Résumés. We use them to get our first jobs and we know we’ll use them every step of the way towards our ultimate career. It’s a sheet of paper that details all of our professional and educational accomplishments. No pressure! Now, I don’t know about you, but for me, making a résumé on my own isn’t so easy. It’s hard to remember everything that’s relevant to my résumé, let alone write it in the correct order and structure it properly.
Questions begin to pop up like, what are employers looking for? What does it mean to chronologically order things? Do I really need a special skills section? It’s been six months, why can’t I get a job?
Some people haven’t yet had the opportunity to learn basic résumé building skills. Or they’ve been at one job for so long that they don’t how to transfer skills. You may need help with finding a new style for your résumé, structuring your cover letter, or practicing for job interviews. And if you’re going to be looking for a summer job, you probably need to get all these things done before the semester ends… which is in less than a month!
Yes, that’s why I’m here to say I’m learning side by side with you. I had the opportunity to try the Online Résumé and Cover Letter Critique and Job Coaching Appointment with the Student Employment Centre at Douglas College. This service is included in your student fees, so it’s open to everyone! Through these online and in-person sessions, I learned a lot about résumés, cover letters and job interview skills. The staff member who reviewed my résumé clearly had a lot of experience and she gave me tips on how to improve my résumé.
But, a word to the wise! The Student Employment Centre staff are not there to write your résumé for you! They can help you to identify areas of your résumé that need improvement, and they can make recommendations on how you can improve it, but it’s up to you to take that advice and make your résumé a-freaking-mazing.
For the Online Résumé and Cover Letter Critique, you’ll need to upload your most updated résumé and let them know what your goals are. For example, I said was getting my résumé ready for a part-time summer job search when I submitted it to the SEC for review. About 24 hours after I submitted my résumé, they sent back some tip sheets and a checklist that showed me the basic structure of a good résumé and identified areas where mine could improve. The SEC website also has many résumé examples, which is really helpful for figuring out where to start with your own résumé.
For the in-person Job Coaching Appointment, I scheduled an appointment online. At this appointment I got answers to specific questions about job hunting. You can even schedule a mock interview online, which is pretty handy.
I got an abundant amount of knowledge from both the online and in-person resources at the Student Employment Centre. I worry that I’m bad at writing résumés, and it’s hard for me to create one when there can be so many versions for different employers. Thanks to the SEC, I was able to learn about a résumé structure that works for me. SEC staff let me know that I could include experiences on my résumé that I thought were outdated, as long as they made sense to the objective of my résumé. The best part, though, was knowing I could create a section solely around my leadership experience. Yes, I’m geeking out and it’s because now I know that I can show all the passions of my life on my best personal marketing tool: my résumé!
Working on your resume? Looking for a summer job? Thinking ahead to your career? Check out the Student Employment Centre website for more tips and services!