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Career Prep 101: Resumes, Cover Letters and Job Searching. Emily Vees , MBA Associate Director, Career Center. Opening the Door. What is the purpose of a resume? Did you know…. Most recruiters only spend about 6-10 seconds looking at a resume?!

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Career Prep 101:

Resumes, Cover Letters and

Job Searching

Emily Vees, MBA

Associate Director, Career Center

opening the door
Opening the Door
  • What is the purpose of a resume?
  • Did you know….
    • Most recruiters only spend about 6-10 seconds looking at a resume?!
      • Skimming to find an indication that you meet their needs
  • Stand out from the crowd
    • RESUME
      • 1 page, clean format, easy to read, no typos
resume format
Resume Format
  • Chronological v. Functional
    • Chronological – job experience arranged listing most recent first
    • Functional – work experience arranged according to skills
    • Students and Recent grads = chronological
  • Organizing the Resume
      • Objective – optional
      • Education - college only, GPA
      • Relevant Coursework
      • Internship Experience
      • Work Experience
      • Campus/Community Involvement
      • Leadership Experience
      • Awards/Recognition
    • Research – Senior honors thesis, work done with Faculty (not just a class)
    • References – separate page; ask permission before listing
education section examples
Education Section Examples
  • Include:
    • University, location, degree, graduation date, major/minor, GPA


Bachelor of Business Administration Expected: May 2015

Major: Marketing Management GPA: 3.1

The University of Akron, Akron, Ohio


  • The University of Akron, Akron, Ohio

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science GPA: 3.5 Expected:May 2014

Minor: Economics

experience section examples
Experience Section Examples

technical resume tips
Technical Resume Tips


Most firms will do Boolean searches?

  • A type of search allowing users to combine keywords with operators such as AND, NOT and OR to further produce more relevant results
  • This means they are scanning your resume for keywords!
  • Keywords can be found in the job description.
professional summary section
Professional Summary Section

Professional summary :

  • Summary about your skills and experiences that would make you appealing to an employer.
  • Should include keywords from job description.


  • Business and technology student with experience in IT project leadership including planning and implementation management, development and analysis. Product knowledge spans software, hardware, and related computer services. Completed internships in software and development, skilled at learning new tasks quickly with the ability to analyze and solve problems.
technical summary skills section
Technical Summary/Skills Section

Technical Summary:

  • List all buzzwords, including platforms, languages, operating systems, frameworks, what are you familiar with?


  • Languages: HTML, Java, C#, Visual Basic, SQL
  • Platforms: Windows XP, Citrix, Mac OS
  • Software: Microsoft Office Suite, Project, Visio, Adobe
resume reminders
Resume Reminders
    • Avoid using fill in templates
  • Use Action Verbs
    • Administered, Created, Developed, Executed, Facilitated, Planned, Managed, etc.
  • Avoid Wordiness – use phrases instead of sentences, eliminate the pronoun “I”
  • Recruiters like numbers!
    • Example “Supervised 6 staff members”
  • Tailor to the job for which you are applying
    • Use the job description to your advantage
  • Email address – is it professional?
  • Do not include graphics or photographs
cover letters
Cover Letters
  • Introduces you, establishes your interest in the position, explains why you are submitting your resume
  • Typically 3 brief paragraphs:
    • The first explains why you are writing and the position you are seeking
    • The second explains how your skills relate to the specific job, why you are qualified for the position and how you can benefit the organization
    • The third reiterates your interest and requests a follow up; either a reply or an interview
  • Do not discuss salary requirements
  • Do not repeat your resume, highlight the appropriate skills
  • Should be tailored for each job/internship you apply for
job searching
Job Searching
  • Utilize your resources!
    • Career Center jobs database and resume referral
    • Upcoming Career Fairs:
      • March 4th – Science and Engineering Fair
      • March 5th – All-Campus Career Fair
    • Faculty advisor/Computer Science jobs page
    • Online job boards:
interviewing aspects

Interviewing Aspects

Do’s, Don’ts and Dress

interviewing tips


Interviewing Tips
  • Turn off your cell phone
  • Have a firm handshake
  • Be familiar with the organization and position
  • Ask questions
  • Dress professionally
  • Send a thank you note
  • Ask about next steps

Be Late

Fail to practice beforehand

Dress inappropriately

Overlook body language

Speak negatively about yourself or others


Fail to ask questions

what to wear
What to wear?

Business Casual means:

  • NO jeans, shorts, t-shirts, sundresses, flip-flops or tennis shoes
  • Nothing wrinkled, frayed or worn-out
  • Acceptable attire includes:
    • Khakis or dress pants
    • Any type of collared shirt: polo, long or short sleeve dress shirts such as oxfords or blouses
    • Suit jackets are not necessary
    • Women can wear skirts, but must be appropriate length
    • Avoid anything sleeveless
what to wear1
What to wear?

Business Professional means:

  • A SUIT!
  • For Men:
    • A dark suit with a dress shirt
    • A coordinating tie
    • Dark socks and dress shoes
    • Avoid wearing bright colored shirts and loud ties
  • For Women:
    • Dark coordinated suits, properly fitted (not provocative), with matching dress blouse (no plunging neckline)
    • Skirt length no more than one inch above the knee
    • Polished matching dress shoes with moderate heel (no open toe/heeled shoes or platforms)
    • Neutral colored hose (no runs)
image breakers
Image Breakers
  • Heavy cologne/perfume
  • Visible tattoos or body piercings
  • Noisy, clunky or distracting jewelry
  • Unnatural hair color, messy hair style and/or unkempt facial hair
  • Loose or missing buttons
  • Clothing that is wrinkled, too tight, or too big
  • Scuffed shoes; open-toe shoes
  • Poor posture (stand and sit up straight)
  • Lack of a firm handshake
  • Overstuffed briefcase, bag, or pockets
  • Sweaty palms
  • Chewing gum
  • Smoking prior to the interview
  • Something stuck in your teeth
behavioral based interviewing

Behavioral Based Interviewing

Tell me about a time when….

behavioral based interviewing1
Behavioral Based Interviewing

What is a behavioral based interview?

– An interviewing method that encourages you to talk about how you’ve dealt with past experiences

– Allows for a conversation, not an interrogation

– Looks for lessons learned from past experiences

– Effectively probes beyond the facts to reveal abilities

comparison of questions
Comparison of Questions
  • Traditional Style:
    • “Tell me about one of your group projects”
  • Behavioral Style:
    • “Describe a time when you tried to get a group of people to cooperate and work together as a team so that an objective could be accomplished”
  • Traditional Style:
    • “Tell me about a challenge you have faced”
  • Behavioral Style :
    • “What types of problems have you had to identify and solve in your academic career? Describe in detail one of the most significant of these problems and the solution you developed”
situation task
  • Describe the situation, task, or problem.
  • Be as specific as possible and provide details
  • Be concise, yet detailed.
  • Assume the interviewer knows nothing about the situation – provide relevant background.


  • Describe the specific action(s) you took that had an effect on the situation.
  • Don't describe how you would behave or what the team did. Describe how you did actually behave.
  • If you later decided you should have behaved differently, explain this. The employer will see that you learned something from experience


  • Describe the positive result(s) or outcome(s)
  • Be ready to articulate what you learned as a result of the situation (particularly if using a negative example). What happened? (grade, project, benefits, etc.)
  • If possible, quantify your results and make sure to connect accomplishments to the position for which you are interviewing.


getting a star
Getting a STAR

The interviewer will probe further for more depth or detail if needed.

  • What were you thinking at that point?”
  • “Tell me more about your meeting with that person.”
  • “Lead me through your decision-making process.”

Note: If the interviewer has to probe too often, this could be a sign that you aren’t listening well.

  • “What I would do…”
  • “What I usually do…”
  • Extensive need to probe for details
  • Rambling / Tangents
  • Long-winded – be concise
  • Failure to listen - You can ask the interviewer to repeat the question, BUT not every time!
    • Providing a negative example without telling what you learned from it: “I handled an angry customer. He was rude to me. He ended up dropping our insurance.”
and remember
And remember…

Silence is OK!!

You are allowed to think about your response.

practice makes perfect

Practice Makes Perfect

Applying what you have learned

sources of experience
Sources of Experience
  • Group Projects
  • Campus/ProfessionalOrganizations
  • Leadership Positions
  • Previous Work Experience
  • Summer/ Part-time Jobs
  • Internships
  • Hobbies and Interests
  • Awards and Recognition
  • Volunteer Work
think of some stories
Think of some “stories”
  • Times where you saved/made money for an employer
  • A crisis or two and how you responded/recovered
  • A time where you were part of a team and what your contributionwas
  • A time when you dealt with stress
  • A time where you provided successful leadership
  • Failuresyou faced and how you overcame them
  • Events that caused you to change direction and how that worked out
what else does the career center offer
What else does the Career Center offer?
  • Individualized career advising
  • Internships/co-ops/

full-time employment

  • Resume/cover letter critiques
  • Job search strategies
  • Interviewing skills and mock interviews
  • Business etiquette and networking techniques
  • Career Fairs
  • Career workshops and programs
visit us for more tips
Visit us for more tips!


Your One Stop Shop For Everything Career Related!


Student Union, Room 211

Monday-Friday 8am-5pm