My business and technical writing professor told our class the other day that it is a fact that we are entering one of the most difficult job markets that there has ever been. One way to tackle this obstacle is to develop great and effective writing skills. It is very important that resumes, cover letters, acceptance letters, rejection letters and follow up letters/emails are written and designed with high quality. These documents are very important because they help develop a personal brand/image for you right from the get-go. If you have a typo, you can come off as lackadaisical, or if your formatting is unattractive, you can come off as unorganized.
One way to help make sure you documents are well written is to provide yourself with a lot to choose from. Give yourself a plethora of experiences and internships that show you are a self-starter and involved. Also, if you aren’t involved in anything on campus be sure to join a club or a committee. Then, once you are in an organization be sure to commit to a leadership role and do something with it. Employers love to see students who hold leadership positions but even more of what is then accomplished. For example, implementing a new program, organizing an event, coordinating volunteers or fundraising are great ways to prove supervision. Always remember to emphasize these on your resume to help you stand out, and emphasize key numbers like the amount of people you oversaw or amount of money raised. From my experience, recruiters liked to see a specific goal that was met through quantitative data.
Once you provide yourself with a tidy list of past jobs and involvement, there needs to be that extra degree of separation through uniqueness. This can easily be achieved through presentation which has gotten easier and easier with the Internet and a creative piece of mind. Even if you have perfected your resume and its style, I am sure you will consider updating it after seeing some other inspiring examples. A new service called visualize.me thinks that “the traditional text resume is boring, lengthy and long overdue for a makeover.” They are creating an online resume format that is beautiful, relevant and fun.
Visualize.me’s goal is to help enable people to express their professional accomplishments in a simple, yet compelling personal visualization. Look at this great example. There also have been people who have utilized YouTube and video to create a storyboard type of resume. This video I posted is a video timeline, and it outlines everything you would find on a normal resume. Pretty neat, right? These are just two ways, among many, that can help make you stand out from the crowd.
Other ways that can be beneficial to students are posting thoughts on a blog, Facebook, Twitter and any other web program … just be PG-13. Building a personal brand and becoming “searchable” can expose other elements of yourself that interviewers may not have been able to take away from an interview. Be sure to utilize online media and available sources, especially for resumes because it adds to that first impression … and believe me, you want to make it a good one.