In a world of internships and frequent job-hopping, I feel as though I always find myself in a job conversation. "Have you applied to the American Repertory Theatre yet?" "How did that Cirque De Soilel internship work out?" "Did you hear? He graduated last year and now has an entry-level position with MTV." At my school, these are run-of-the-mill elevator conversation starters. I'm not bragging - this is just what happens when you attend a big-city liberal arts school. Plus I don't personally know any of these people so I can't even properly name drop.
What I'm saying is: there's a lot of job-talk in upperclassmen-ship. And it makes me nervous. I could write a whole other post about my dream job (and I probably will in the coming weeks) but for now, let's talk applications.
Normally, everyone asks you for references, a cover letter, and a resume. References are things I technically have but don't really like asking for. Cover letters are things I can write but do not enjoy, nor am I very skilled.
Resumes...well, for those I'm sort of a boss. Like, I don't like showing off. But my mother taught me well.
You want to learn my tricks? Well, grab your computer and let's get started.
|Like my Microsoft Paint skills?|
Open up a couple different word documents and decide on some graphic design things: font, color scheme, etc. For instance, my entire resume is written in Tahoma, with headings of sections in blue, in bold, and italicized. Individual experiences are bolded and italicized and the time I spent on them is flushed to the right. All descriptors are listed underneath in plain text. Sounds complicated - really isn't. While you don't want a sheet that's too busy, it helps to break up the page and quickly glance at what you've accomplished. Depending on where I'm applying, I sometimes have separate sections for "leadership experience" vs "publishing experience," etc. This way, whatever hiring manager can easily see the different areas I'm skilled at and how I have applied my knowledge.
After you've made all your tricky decisions, it's time to start writing down everything you've ever done. Well...not really. While I do know some people that have every scrap of experience slopped on one resume, it can get busy really quickly. My secret (cough: my mother's secret that I have stolen) is having several resumes that you can pull from to make an individualized sheet for each employer you apply to. For example, I have a I-just-need-a-paying-job resume (being a barista in high school, my current retail job, etc), an I-can-write-and-edit-watch-me-go resume (editor for different magazines, contributor for certain extracurriculars, any publications I've been featured in), and a sometimes-I-boss-people-around-and-do-it-sort-of-well resume (leadership experience, any events I've run, and all the times I stage managed in high school). Between these three, I can craft myself being perfect for every job. Sort of. OKAY MORE EXAMPLES: When I applied to my current internship, a writing/tutoring non-profit, I had to show equal parts event experience and writing knowledge. I pulled from both of my non-retail resumes so I had five specific things I had recently done to show I had these abilities, instead of having to sort through everything I've ever done or hand them a resume with twenty bullet points on it. Make sense?
So find your different strengths and start filling in the word document. I don't know your specializations, so I can't help much apart from saying: be specific! Don't just list that you were part of an extracurricular - what position did you hold? how long were you a part of it? what tasks did you do? I usually list it in this format:
role I had, title of thing - month, year to month, year (or present!)
task I did
task I did
task I did
Usually, three is enough, depending on what you were responsible for. Make sure to use action verbs. "Assisted with..." "Responsible for..." "Created..." "Synthesized..." (See, you get to use grown up words in this resume business!)
|Look at me with my OL swag...|
Awesome, you're almost done!
Now, all you need to do is type your contact information up at the top and PROOFREAD PROOFREAD PROOFREAD. And then PROOFREAD SOME MORE. (Wow the word "proofread" looks strange when you type it five times...) Just make sure there are no tense inconsistencies, incorrect dates, or GOD FORBID...typos...
After that, release your happy resume off into the world! Apply everywhere! Or, at least...everywhere that pays.
Labels: college, internship, writing