Job Guide: Resume tips

What will I do after I get out of college? It’s a perennial question from college students.

For many the answer may be graduate school. But for others, a college diploma signifies an end to life as a student and entrance into the real working world.

Whatever track GW students may choose, GW’s Career Center helps guide students in the complicated and often confusing process.

Freshmen students may want to hold off on writing a resum? and thinking about a four-year plan. But neglecting the resum?-building process during first year of college may be harmful to the student.

In order to ensure a smooth track through college, the 2000-01 Career Guide, published by the GW Career Center, recommends students start by becoming acquainted with the Career Center and its services.

Students should spend their sophomore and junior years narrowing potential career choices while declaring and working toward a major, according to the Career Guide. This is the time when internships and co-op positions should be secured.

The transition from junior to senior year should be spent procuring graduate school applications, attending career fairs and expanding a network of contacts. Future graduates should develop final drafts of resum?s and start job search plans as early as six months before the planned employment date, according to the Career Guide.

Even though the four-year schedule may seem intimidating, Career Center officials said the goal may be attained through the center’s many workshops and services including career consulting and a 48-hour critique service.

A resume is the first glimpse that an employer will see of an applicant.

On the resume, the student should list all paid and unpaid activities, organizing the information into categories including contact information, education, and experience. Other sections can also be added to show a well-rounded applicant, such as honors, leadership, languages spoken or travel.

A student must keep an ongoing habit of revising the structure, adding new experiences and removing out-dated items.

Students should not try to summarize everything about themselves on their resum?, which is a common mistake, according to the Career Guide.

Students should use a resum? template to create the right appearance. There should also be ample white space in order for the document to seem organized and uncluttered.

In order for the resum? to be scanned into a company’s computer system, the document must be kept simple, using only boldface and upper case 12-point font to emphasize certain words or areas. Avoiding graphics and shaded areas is suggested.

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