The Resume: Special Rules for Students and New Graduates

For most jobseekers, writing a resume is largely a matter of describing their previous work experience. This can be frustrating for young people, who often don’t have much real-world experience. Thus, a young person or new graduate may want to take a slightly different approach to resume-building. Here are some helpful tips.

education

For someone in or fresh out of school, your education is the most valuable thing you have to offer. Therefore, you want to put it near the top of your resume – above work experience – and go into fairly extensive detail. Include the name of your degree and school, your major and minor, your date of graduation, and your GPA (if it’s 3.0 or better). Additionally, you may wish to include information about your most relevant courses taken, internships completed, academic awards received, and extracurricular activities participated in. You may include those things as part of the Education section, or you may create individual sections for each.

work experience

As a fresh grad, you won’t have much work experience. But you may have more than you think. Brainstorm. If you had a part-time job in high school or college as a cashier, babysitter, tutor, housecleaner, or lawnmower, you can include that. If you had an internship or externship, you can include that. If you volunteered with an organization for several months, you can include that – list it as you would a normal job, but include “Volunteer” as part of your job title. For each job you list, focus on your skills and accomplishments at that job which are most relevant to the kinds of jobs you’re applying for.

the kitchen sink

If you don’t have much work experience, you can flesh out your resume by including the other things you do have. Make a list of everything you’ve done, then organize it into categories. Popular categories include: Academic Awards, Athletic Honors, Extracurricular Activities, Leadership Experience, Volunteer Work, Clubs, Computer Skills, Office Skills, Languages Spoken, and Achievements.

additional resources

The Career Center has three templates specifically designed for new graduates: here, here, and here. You may also check out these books from the East Baton Rouge Parish Library for ideas: Best Resumes for College Student and New Grads, Creating Your High School Resume, and Resume 101. Alternately, if you would like personalized help in putting together your resume, please visit the Career Center inside the Main Library at Goodwood, 7711 Goodwood Boulevard, Baton Rouge, LA.

Written by Lynnette Lee

The Resume: Special Rules for Senior Citizens

When you write a resume, there are several criteria to keep in mind for how you present yourself. You of course want to focus on highlighting your best accomplishments and most relevant skills. You want to keep your resume relatively short and easy to read. You also want to make sure that your resume is visually appealing, clearly formatted, and free of typos. But there’s one more thing you might be judged on of which you may not be aware: your age.  Skilled employees with decades of experience may be perceived as too old for the job. Here are some tips to avoid the perils of age discrimination.

Education

At this point in your career, your work experience is usually more valuable than your education. Therefore, unless you graduated recently, your education should go to the bottom of your resume. Likewise, unless your degree is fairly new, you should give only a minimum of information about it – name of degree, name of school, city and state, and major (if applicable). Do not include dates of graduation if it’s been more than 10 years. You do not want to open yourself up to age discrimination.

Work Experience

It can be unwise, if you’re a seasoned employee, to provide your entire work history on a resume. Not only would doing so make your resume extremely long, but it would also advertise the fact that you’re a senior citizen – and open you up to age discrimination. Instead, you will usually want to give only the past 10-15 years of work history. That’s usually plenty to establish your skills and credentials. Also, be careful not to say anything like, “35 years of experience as an RN.” Instead, say, “15+ years of experience as an RN.”

Exceptions

Sometimes, there is a compelling reason for a jobseeker to want to include experience which is more than 20 years old. Perhaps you have a large gap in your recent work history and need to go back farther to establish your experience. Perhaps you’re trying to return to a field that you used to work in 25 years ago. Please be aware of the age discrimination issue, and weigh carefully whether including older information will help you more than it hurts you. If you decide to include older experience, you may wish to use a functional resume template such as this or this, which draws attention away from dates. Here are two articles with more detailed information on how to write a functional resume.

additional Resources

For more information on the special rules for jobseeking as a senior citizen, you may wish to check out Getting the Job You Want After 50 for Dummies or 50 Steps for 50 Year Old Job Seekers from the East Baton Rouge Parish Library. Alternately, if you would like personalized help in putting together your resume, please visit the Career Center inside the Main Library at Goodwood, 7711 Goodwood Boulevard, Baton Rouge, LA.

Written by Lynnette Lee

 

 

 

Monday Motivation

Where there is a will, there is a way. If there is a chance in a million that you can do something, anything, to keep what you want from ending, do it. Pry the door open or, if need be, wedge your foot in that door and keep it open.

Pauline Kael

Tech Talk: Career Cruising, Part 5 – Financial Aid

This is the fifth post in a series delving into the various aspects of the Career Cruising database available through the East Baton Rouge Parish Library’s Digital Library. Read all posts here.

Tech Talk: Career Cruising – Financial Aid

This post will be a more in-depth discussion of the financial aid feature.  The financial aid tab of Career Cruising is literally a treasure trove of information and money. It lists thousands of scholarships as well as information on federal financial aid.

There are three ways to search the database: alphabetically, by keyword search, and by using the financial aid selector.

The financial aid selector lets you choose specific parameters that apply to you, such as location, ancestry, major, interests, special needs, etc. It will search the database to find matching scholarships.  The results include links to the scholarship website with the respective application information.

You can also search by keyword. For example, the database returns five scholarships that have the keyword “Louisiana” in their name. Again, a link to the scholarship website is included in the results.

If you have time on your hand, try searching the database alphabetically and just browse the different scholarships. You will come across some off the beaten path scholarships, for example the Fifth Month Scholarship or the Gulf Coast Hurricane Scholarship.

The financial aid tab also includes extensive information on how to apply for Federal Financial Aid (FAFSA), its regulations, and application guidelines.

The financial aid tab is an ideal add-on to the education section. The database’s most valuable feature is its exhaustive listing of available scholarships. Some of them seem so obscure that surely not many students will know about them, thus increasing the chances for the few that do find out about them. So, if you or your children are planning for college, be smart and use Career Cruising’s Financial Aid feature to search for additional college funding opportunities .

This resource is free to you with a valid EBRPL library card through the East Baton Rouge Parish Library’s Digital Library.

Written by Anne Nowak

New Career Center Books

Are you hoping to start 2018 off on the right foot? Did you make a New Year’s resolution to reinvigorate your job search? The Career Center can help, with these new books full of career advice, job search strategies, and motivational tips.

100 Ways to Motivate Yourself: Change Your Life Forever, Third edition
by Steve Chandler

Everyone has occasional struggles with how to stay motivated. This series contains 100 strategies for getting and staying on track to achieve your goals. The author, a Fortune 500 trainer and consultant, draws on research, the recommendations of professionals, and decades of personal and professional experience to create motivational tips. This new edition is an update on the original best-seller.

Best Job Ever! Rethink Your Career, Redefine Rich, Revolutionize Your Life
by Dr. C.K. Bray

Are you unhappy at work, but unsure why (or what to do about it)? Are you having trouble figuring out how to find the right career and get a job you’ll enjoy? You may benefit from checking out this book, which includes specific tools and personalized methods to identify your dream career, determine how to attain or create the right job for you, and achieve your career goals to get out of your career rut. The author is a Fortune 100 consultant specializing in career development, success, and engagement.

Job U: How to Find Wealth and Success by Developing the Skills Companies Actually Need
by Nicholas Wyman

Having a college degree is no guarantee that you’ll have a job. Sometimes other skills are more important. Despite high college graduation rates, millions of American jobs go unfilled because employers cannot find people with the right skills. This skilled-labor shortage can create a great opportunity for you to gain in-demand skills and build a lucrative career – without having to get a bachelor’s degree. This book provides detailed information on what skills are in highest demand, and what educational options you have for learning those skills. These options include: professional certifications, associate degrees, apprenticeships, and occupational training.

Overcoming Employment Barriers: 127 Great Tips for Burying Red Flags and Finding a Job that’s Right for You
by Dr. Ronald L. Krannich

Many people have “red flags” which make it harder for them to find employment. Some are obvious, like having a disability or a criminal record. Others are a bit subtler, such as having a difficult personality or a lack of commitment. This book addresses hundreds of potential red flags for jobseekers, including self-awareness exercises for recognizing your own red flags, strategies for changing any negative behaviors which may be hurting your chances, and ideas for overcoming the obstacles which are holding you back.

If any of these books catch your eye, you may place a hold on them through the East Baton Rouge Parish Library website.

Written by Lynnette Lee