Do You Have an Elevator Speech?

Do you have an elevator speech to tell people important information about yourself as you search for an internship or job opportunity?  If not, now is the time to develop one.  This is a one-minute speech that grabs attention and says a lot in a few words.  It is a chance to introduce your most important skills and accomplishments.  It is an opportunity to talk about your degree and important facts about your academic interests.  You can include your job experience as well as volunteer work.  Include the career you are interested in and the type of experience you are looking for.  This is a chance to make people want to know more about you and your goals.

Be careful about talking too fast.  Even though you only have a minute to give your speech you want to speak in a way that conveys calm and confidence.

You can use your elevator speech at career fairs, at a summer picnic, neighborhood party, or any other event where other people are gathered.  There is no way to know where your next job might come from.  This is an opportunity to engage your listeners and you only have a few seconds to capture their attention.  The more meaningful your elevator speech is, the more time your listeners will give you.

Give your elevator speech often.  The more you practice and do it the better you will become.

Posted on October 14th, 2014 by

How to Benefit from a Career Fair

The Bellevue University Fall Career Fair is scheduled for Thursday, October 30, 2014 from 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. in the Garden Level of the Muller Administrative Services Building on the Main Campus.

BU Career Fair

Below are four websites all with a different takes on basic information and strategies you need to get the most out of attending a Career Fair.

Getting Something Useful from Job Fairs

Steps for Flourishing at a Job Fair

Career Fair Tips

Attending Job Fairs

The Bellevue University Career Fair is free and open to the public.

Print Your Resume Before Sending

I receive many resumes for critique as attachments to emails. However, when I open the attachment, the resume doesn’t always appear exactly as the sender intended. Perhaps the last line or two is cut off, the heading isn’t aligned correctly, or there are other basic formatting mistakes that make it look like the writer was sloppy or careless. Of course, we address those issues as we work together on the resume.

However, this can also happen when sending a resume to an employer—typically leading to an outright rejection of the candidate. To avoid this, be sure to use the print preview function and also print a copy of your resume to see what it looks like before you send it to an employer. Even better, send it to a friend and have that person print a copy and let you know how it looks.

Checking the printed version of your resume won’t take a great deal more time, but it can certainly make a difference in the employer’s first impression of you. And yes, this strategy should be used with all of your job search correspondence.

Posted on September 30th, 2014 by

Creating a Social Resume

Woman In The Grass With A Computer

Back in the day, a job seeker’s goal was to look good on paper. If you looked good on paper—cover letter and resume—then an HR professional would put you in the good candidate pile and call you for an interview.

Today, job seekers need to look good on paper and they need to look good online. So, I ask you . . . what does your social resume look like?

Your social resume, also known as your social footprint, your online presence, your digital brand, et al, is the digital representation of who you are as a job candidate and potential employee. In case you haven’t heard, employers taking a serious look at you for a position will search LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, and other sites to get a glimpse of what kind of person you are and what they might expect if they hired you.

One way to impress employers and present the kind of social resume that keeps you in the good candidate pile, is to ensure that your digital identity reflects, supports, and enhances the information you’ve included in your paper resume.

Here are a few websites with information on ways to create and strengthen your digital resume.

What’s Up With Resume Wizards

Are they a valuable tool or something to be avoided?  The answer probably depends on who you ask and what your needs are.

Resume wizards work really well for individuals who have never written a resume before.  The value is that the wizard shows how to develop the resume and what information to include.  However, for many individuals, the wizard resume will not showcase your skills/qualifications in the best possible light.  But, if the wizards are standard in Microsoft Word and other word processing programs doesn’t that mean that’s the right way to do a resume?

In my opinion, no.  I used to work as a recruiter for a staffing agency, and I reviewed a lot of resumes.  The resumes done with wizards especially those from Microsoft Word are obvious.  Anyone who works with resumes on a regular basis can spot them immediately.  When students bring in resumes developed with wizards, I always look at them and say “oh, you used a wizard”.  What used to run through my mind as I reviewed wizard resumes from college graduates was that the individual didn’t ask for help on the resume.  As a recruiter, I interfaced with college career centers regularly, so I knew help was available to students on most college campuses.  Career Centers are not likely to approve a resume wizard from a student.  What crossed my mind next was this individual has earned a college degree and should be able to produce a better document.  Remembering that your resume is a critical piece of job search documentation, it should be a demonstration of your highest quality work.

Consistency is extremely important in resumes.  Some wizards use different sizes or fonts throughout the resume.  Most wizards don’t allow you to move sections around because the wizard has a pre-determined order for them.  Each resume is unique to the individual it’s created for because the resume needs to sell this individual for his/her career/field.  Some will list their education first while others will list their experience first.  Some will have long lists of technologies while others list a large amount of community service or volunteer activities.  The key to having an effective resume is to identify the field of interest and then target your strongest selling points relative to that field.  These qualifications are what you want to emphasize throughout the resume.  The Career Services Center at Bellevue University is here to assist Bellevue University students and alumni with their resumes.  Contact us for assistance.

Posted on September 16th, 2014 by