Getting a Tax Refund? Time for Career Development

New-100

Getting a Tax Refund? Time for Career Development

If you’ll be getting a tax refund this year, you can’t go wrong spending it on career development.

Though before I get started, I must point out that getting a tax refund simply means you’ve had too much money withheld from each paycheck throughout the year. And, instead of being able to do useful things with your own money all year long, you’re just belatedly getting back what is already yours. It’s not free money.

/soapbox

All that said, if you do wind up with a refund after filing your taxes, one of the best ways you could spend it would be on career development.

Learn a skill

Maybe there’s a new tool or technology taking your field by storm. Maybe there’s an old standby you never got around to learning as well as you should have. Or maybe you’re interested in changing careers, and want to expand your skill set to reflect that.

Whatever the case may be, there are numerous sites wanting to help you reach your goals. Two of the best tutorial sites around are Lynda.com and Skillshare.com. (Jobscan is not affiliated with either site in any way. They’re just great tools.) These online learning sites are an easy and convenient way to boost your career development.

Lynda.com offers a free 10-day trial, followed by monthly membership fees ranging from $25 to $37.50 per month, depending on the plan and billing option you choose. Subject matter experts teach the online courses, which you can complete at your own pace. There are nearly 3,500 courses available, covering topics ranging from the general (Giving Your Elevator Pitch) to the specific (Building Curtain Walls with Revit).

Skillshare.com offers a free membership, which never expires, or premium options at $8 or $10 dollars per month. For each premium annual membership purchased, one premium annual membership is donated to a student. Some courses require an additional fee on top of the monthly membership. Anyone can teach a Skillshare class, and you can read detailed reviews from previous students before you commit. The course offerings are diverse in terms of both topic and difficulty—whether it’s Hand-Lettering Basics or AngularJS Fundamentals and Practice, Skillshare has something for everyone.

Attend an event

Whether a one-day workshop or a weekend conference, there are options for every budget and schedule. Online networking can be effective, but it isn’t a substitute for meeting and talking with people in person. You may choose an event that’s strictly about networking, or you might be more interested in the more organic, laid-back networking that happens at an event focused on skill building. Strengthening your network and strengthening your skill set are both important parts of career development.

Don’t hesitate to try things at the edges of your comfort zone. If you’re a technical writer, a poetry workshop will exercise different writing muscles and force you to think about words in new ways. If you’re in sales, an improv class will sharpen your active listening skills and make you more confident thinking on your feet.

Earn a new credential

Many universities feature worthwhile certificate programs that you can complete in one school year. The courses for these are often held on some combination of weekends, evenings, and online to accommodate the schedules of those concurrently earning the certificate and holding down a job. Less intensive than applying to and completing graduate school, a certificate will show that you care about furthering yourself and your education and staying up-to-date in your field.

If you do consider this route, research your options thoroughly, and be wary of for-profit universities. Two of the most sought-after technical skills for 2015 are project management and database management; certificate programs in both of these areas abound. No matter what your interests and industry may be, there is almost certainly a certificate that makes sense for you.

Between the learning and networking opportunities, and the credential to add to your resume, a new certificate could be the perfect career development splurge. The average federal tax refund in 2014 was $3,116, according to the IRS. That’s right around the price tag of many certificate programs.

If you’re getting a tax refund of any size, consider devoting some or all of it to your career development (and look into adjusting your withholding).

See also:

Top Resume Skills for 2015

How to Format Resume Skills

Resume Examples: How to Format Your Promotions

Resume Examples: Keywords for Customer Service

Customer Service Resume

Resume Examples: Keywords for Customer Service

If you’re a job seeker or career changer interested in seeing how you compare to your competition, consider browsing through resume examples. Seeing the resumes of people in roles similar to the ones you’re after can provide you with insight about the strengths and weaknesses of your own resume.

You might find some skills you should brush up on, tools and technologies you could learn, or accomplishments to strive for. You might be inspired to find a way to sell yourself as ready for the next step. Resume examples can be a perfect launching point for a job search.

All that said, don’t forget that an individual job posting is your primary source when filling out an application. You can demonstrate your ability to fulfill an employer’s needs by echoing relevant keywords from the job listing. Using the right resume keywords can get your resume noticed–not just by an applicant tracking system, but ultimately by a human who can offer you an interview.

Resume examples can definitely be useful, but consider them a secondary source.

The word cloud above was generated using the text from a dozen customer service job postings. The larger the word, the more times it appeared throughout the posts.

Customer service resume keywords

  • Account
  • Answering
  • Client
  • Communication
  • Computer
  • Customer
  • Database
  • Detail
  • Guest
  • Organized
  • Manage
  • Office
  • Organized
  • Phones
  • Requests
  • Scheduling
  • Service
  • Solutions
  • Team
  • Training
  • Verbal

People and organization 

To succeed in customer service, you need the foresight to help solve problems for people, and the organization and innovation skills to not only keep things running smoothly, but to spot opportunities for streamlining and simplifying. You also, of course, need people skills. (And remember—it is possible to highlight soft skills on your resume.)

Targeting your resume

Adapting your resume to a specific job posting isn’t a time-consuming process, and the effort pays off with far better results than submitting the same resume over and over. A career management document can help you make targeting your resume a fast and easy process.

If you want some feedback about how well you’ve targeted your resume for a given job, try Jobscan. Paste in the text of your resume plus the job description, and Jobscan will give you instant feedback about improvements you can make. While resume examples can provide inspiration, they just don’t compare to personalized feedback.

See also:

Writing a Customer Service Resume

How to Choose Resume Keywords

Showing Off Your Soft Skills on a Resume

8 Resume Accomplishments to Make You Stand Out

LinkedIn Help for Job Seekers

LInkedIn Help

LinkedIn Help for Job Seekers

While 94 percent of recruiters use LinkedIn to find candidates, according to a 2014 Jobvite study, only 36 percent of job seekers are active on LinkedIn. What could be the cause of such a discrepancy? It could be job seekers wondering, “How can LinkedIn help?” Filling out your LinkedIn profile can seem even more daunting than writing your resume—after all, you can target and send individualized resumes, but you only have one LinkedIn profile.

LinkedIn does have a learning curve—it’s not a passive site where all you do is sign up and wait for the perfect offer to roll in. (If that were the case, 100 percent of job seekers would use it.) Because the site is used by so many recruiters, but comparatively few job seekers, those who do use LinkedIn help themselves stand out. Here’s how to set yourself apart:

Customize your URL

First things first: Choose your custom URL. Aim for something along the lines of linkedin.com/in/firstnamelastname (add your middle initial, city, or some other identifying factor if needed). You can have anywhere from 5 to 30 characters in your custom URL.

To edit your URL, choose “edit profile” from the LinkedIn home page and click the URL under your profile photo. Then click “edit,” type in your chosen custom URL, and click “save.” That’s all it takes to create a meaningful, memorable URL—much better than the string of random numbers originally assigned to each user. You can even add this URL to the contact information section of your resume.

Craft your headline

Next, think about your headline. You aren’t limited to only your current job title and company; you have up to 120 characters at your disposal. You can add letters indicating your credentials or education—for example, “MSW” for “Master of Social Work.” Add keywords specific to your industry or to your goals. If you’d like to land more speaking engagements, for example, you should have “Speaker” in your headline.

You can also change your headline on a regular basis. Try changing it monthly for a few months, and then see whether a certain month stood out in terms of profile views. If so, then you’ve got a model you can work on refining.

Choose your keywords

In addition to adding keywords to your headline, think about the keywords you want to use throughout the rest of your profile. The summary and body are the next most important spots, so make them count. Profiles are searchable, so if you want to come up in the search results for your current industry—or your dream industry, if you’re looking to change careers—make sure your profile reflects that. Keywords include credentials, technologies, tools, skills, and more. Browse job descriptions that interest you for inspiration, and do a search for job titles similar to, or above, your own. What words are you seeing in common? Those are the ones you should be using.

Convey character

LinkedIn endorsements aren’t worth much. People can—and do—mindlessly affirm the skills of others in their network. Recommendations, on the other hand, can be quite valuable. You can say anything you want about yourself, or get endorsements from people who don’t understand a thing about your skill set and experience. But writing a recommendation takes time and familiarity. Ask people who serve as your job references if they’d be willing to write you a brief LinkedIn recommendation.

What so many employers are looking for today is the right cultural fit, so recommendations can be intriguing to hiring managers and recruiters. If you’ve got ice in your veins when under pressure—and someone else says so, rather than you saying so about yourself—that recommendation would be one way to show that you’re the right fit for your high-stakes dream job.

In the end, if you follow this advice for LinkedIn help, your profile will be in fantastic shape—and you should start attracting the attention of hiring managers and recruiters.

See also:

How to Find Jobs with LinkedIn

How to Choose Resume Keywords

7 Steps for Choosing and Using Job References

Applicant Tracking System Terms You Need to Know

Key ATS Terms

Applicant Tracking System Terms You Need to Know

If you’re job hunting for the first time in several years, you might not be aware of a relative newcomer to the job search: applicant tracking systems. These tools play a huge role in determining who gets invited for interviews, so if you need a primer, read the glossary below.

Applicant tracking system

An applicant tracking system (or ATS) is a software application used by employers to handle the hiring process. An ATS stores, sorts, and often parses resumes submitted by candidates. Features such as filters, search functions, rankings, and others are designed to allow employers to find the best candidates for each role. An ATS can also be used to communicate with candidates, track candidate progress through the hiring process, post jobs, and more. Approximately 90 percent of employers now use an ATS.

Database

A collection of data; also used to refer to a database management system. A database management system is a software application that allows data to be organized, defined, and queried. When a candidate applies for a job through an ATS, the information contained in their application is entered into an applicant tracking system’s database.

E-recruitment

The use of online technologies to find, attract, communicate with, and hire job candidates. An ATS can simplify this for employers, and some even offer branded career portals. Other e-recruitment tools include job boards and social networks, such as LinkedIn. Savvy job seekers can research potential employers by looking into their e-recruitment efforts.

Onboarding

The process of introducing a newly-hired employee to an organization. Many applicant tracking systems provide hiring managers with assistance from recruiting all the way through onboarding, rather than focusing on the hiring process alone. Onboarding traditionally involves extensive paperwork; each ATS that offers onboarding aims to streamline the process. Some applicant tracking systems create in-depth candidate profiles to help with onboarding. These profiles compile information about a candidate in one place—and often include details about previous applications.

Parsing

When a computer analyzes a piece of text. For job seekers, this text is most commonly a resume, cover letter, or LinkedIn profile. Computer algorithms don’t necessarily pick up on nuance, and they can be tripped up by formatting, abbreviations, or unfamiliar terms, among other things. While most of a candidate’s information tends to be parsed correctly when entered into an ATS, errors and omissions are still common.

Resume keywords

The presence of key terms can help an ATS—and a hiring manager—decide whether a candidate meets the qualifications for a certain role. Effective use of resume keywords boosts a candidate’s score or ranking within an ATS, making them much more likely to get noticed. Because so many openings get hundreds of applications, hiring managers often only review the candidates ranked most highly by an ATS. Resume keywords can include everything from academic credentials to technologies to soft skills.

Screening

Screening is the process by which applicant tracking systems determine whether an applicant is a good candidate for a role or not. Resume keyword presence and frequency, a matched skill set, education credentials, years of experience, and the right answers to screening questions are all among the things an ATS looks at when screening candidates. Screening questions are set by employers, and they vary by job, not candidate. Each applicant to a given role will face the same questions, weighted with the same level of importance. Some questions are merely informational—things an employer would like to know—while others are called “killer” or “knockout” questions. An answer to this type of question that falls outside of the parameters an employer sets will remove a candidate from the running.

Knowing these terms is crucial to understanding what an ATS is and why most employers today use them. Armed with information about applicant tracking systems, you will greatly improve your chances at submitting applications that rank highly and garner interviews.

See also:

8 Things You Need to Know About Applicant Tracking Systems

How to Choose Resume Keywords

Job Search Tips for 2015

5 Unexpected Secrets for the Best Resume Keywords

keywords

Selecting the best resume keywords is as easy as…

The best answers are often the most unexpected ones. These five unexpected secrets to incorporate the best resume keywords in your resume are so simple, they will blow your mind—and help you sail past an applicant tracking system (ATS)!

1. Slash that job title

Not really. However, do take a good look at your current and previous job titles. Are they standard titles such as “Executive Assistant” or “Software Engineer?”

A trendy title (“Karma Yogi” instead of “Yoga Instructor”) might catch the eye of hiring managers, but confuse applicant tracking systems. Forgetting to phrase job titles in clear terms for an ATS is wasting some of your best resume keywords.

Don’t falsely promote yourself, but if your resume includes an unusual job title, you can put its standard equivalent in parentheses following the job title you were given. This will keep applicant tracking systems happy and hiring managers intrigued. For example:

  • Admin Wizard (Administrative Assistant)

2. Unleash the acronyms

Let those acronyms breathe!

Even well-known acronyms might not be recognized by applicant tracking systems. Acronyms could be categorized incorrectly in the ATS database, or discarded as unrecognized content.

Spelling out the acronym first and including the acronym second is an easy way to avoid misunderstandings. For example:

  • Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS)
  • American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA)

Acronyms can be used alone after the first reference.

3. The more, the merrier

When incorporating resume keywords into your resume, they should echo the keywords in the job description. Taking advantage of online keyword tools such as Jobscan will help you format your resume keywords correctly.

If you use any given keyword too many times, an ATS might flag it as spam. Vary your keyword use slightly—always including the original phrasing first! For example:

  • Used social networks for community building…
  • Managed social networking for…
  • Expanded social network reach by…

4. Singing in the rain

On a resume, umbrella terms hide the very best resume keywords. Umbrella terms are general terms used to encompass similar words and phrases.

Body organs: heart, kidneys, liver, stomach.
Social networks: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest.

Belting out each resume keyword loud and proud will clearly show what you have to offer. Don’t just say you know Adobe Creative Cloud. Be specific! For example:

  • Proficient with Adobe Creative Cloud (Photoshop, After Effects, InDesign, Acrobat)

5. Put a ring on it

Or at least a name. When uploading a resume, don’t forget to use your name and the desired position as the file name.

Don’t let your uploaded resume get lost in the pile of attachments named “Resume.” Make it easy for the hiring manager to find you again!

These five commonly overlooked keyword details can help you make sure your resume will stand out.

See also:

The Truth About Those Best Resume Keywords Lists Many Job Seekers Don’t Realize

The 5 Simplest Tips to Beat Applicant Tracking Systems

Spring: A Great Time to Get a Job

great time to get a job

Spring: A Great Time to Get a Job

Spring is a time of growth and renewal—and it’s also a perfect time to get a job. Hiring ebbs and flows throughout the year, and many industries have their own peak times for hiring (for example, retail hiring spikes ahead of the holidays). But across the board, spring is a great time for a job search.

Harsh winter weather typically decreases spending, and sales slowdowns can lead to hiring slowdowns. But as the weather improves, spending ramps back up. That’s great for job seekers, because it means more employers are ready to hire.

“In March, employment continued to trend up in professional and business services, health care, and retail trade, while employment in mining declined,” according to the March 2015 jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

If you’re looking for a job that involves getting outside, spring is a perfect time to search. If you want seasonal work over the summer, such as at a farmer’s market or doing field biology, you should be applying now.

Education hiring tends to follow the school year calendar, with teachers and administrators experiencing hiring spikes that coincide with the beginnings and ends of school years and semesters.

Construction jobs

Construction is one of the fields with a busy hiring season in the spring.

Other fields that have busy seasons in the summer—meaning they do lots of hiring in the spring—include construction, hospitality, and tourism. Don’t forget to think outside the box when considering industries for your career path. If you’re in accounting, you could get a job doing payroll for a construction company. If you’re in IT, you might find a city with a tourism bureau that needs to add a systems administrator. If you’re a singer, you might enjoy a stint performing on a cruise ship. Auditions for those positions are typically held in the spring.

The hiring process is just that—a process—which means you should be looking for opportunities at least a couple months ahead of when you’d like to start a new role. “Businesses looking to hire professional workers before fall often do so [in the spring], before key decision makers start rotating out for summer vacation,” according to John Rossheim of Monster.com.

When timing your job search, don’t forget to take fiscal quarters into account. These can have a big impact on when it’s easiest to get a job. Budgets are often tied to quarters, and even quarterly performance. So if there’s not much room left in a budget, hiring might get pushed back until the next quarter.

The U.S. government’s fiscal year starts in October and ends the following September. Some companies tie their accounting to this schedule, while others use the calendar year, school year, or some other method. If, when researching potential employers, you can find out which schedule a company uses (searching for their quarterly reports should clue you in), you’ll be ahead of the game.

If you are unemployed, but want to get a job, the best time to start your job search is today. If you have a job, but are looking for something that’s better in some way than your current role, knowing a thing or two about hiring cycles might help you plan your search.

See also:

Job Search Tips for 2015

How to Research Potential Employers

Resume Format: How to List Seasonal Work

The 5 Simplest Tips to Beat Applicant Tracking Systems

ATS

The secrets to beat Applicant Tracking Systems are simpler than you think!

Looking for relief from your job search? Jobscan presents the five simplest tips job seekers should absolutely use to beat Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)!

1. Use standard resume headings

Whether you call it “Professional Summary” or “Career Summary,” or “Work Experience” or “Work History,” sticking to these standard headings is the best way to go.

Many job seekers try to over-customize their resume headings (for example, using “About Me” and “Accreditations”). This backfires because Applicant Tracking Systems are typically unable to recognize nonstandard headings, and as a result they’re unable to sort the content appropriately in their databases.

Many qualified resumes have been rejected because their format was not optimized for an ATS.

2. Don’t touch headers and footers

Colorful, eye-catching images (including tables and graphs) and fancy typefaces often confuse Applicant Tracking Systems.
 
Headers and footers are best left empty (leave your contact information out of there!) with standard 1-inch margins.

For all job seekers applying to creative positions, such as web designer or architect, save the color and creativity for the in-person interview and times when you’ll use a paper copy of your resume (for example, a job fair).

3. Echo resume keywords exactly

If anything on a resume can beat Applicant Tracking Systems, it would be those trusty resume keywords. Resume keywords are the skills and qualifications in the original job description that should be included in a resume (e.g., communication skills, Microsoft Word, and academic degrees).

However, simply using any form of these keywords will not win over an ATS: keywords must be formatted to echo the original job description exactly (to an ATS, there is a difference between “Microsoft Word,” “MS Word,” and “Word”).

Jobscan is an excellent online resource to make sure you have included all your resume keywords and formatted them correctly.

4. Left alignment and conservative typeface

Use left alignment for your resume text. Center and right text alignment can give resumes a formal or edgy appearance and boost their chances of standing out. Unfortunately, this will not boost their chances to beat Applicant Tracking Systems; the system may not parse the content correctly.

Any typeface that is not conservative (such as Helvetica, Times New Roman, Verdana, Arial, Tahoma, or Calibri), or that is not a standard size, runs the same risk.

5. Write out all acronyms

You may have thought your parents and grandparents were terrible at deciphering texting slang such as “LOL” and “OMG,” but Applicant Tracking Systems are stuck in the Stone Age when it comes to acronyms.

Even if an acronym is well known (for example, BMW or IBM), it may not be recognized or categorized correctly by an ATS.

To avoid misunderstandings, always spell out the acronym first before including the acronym (if necessary):

  • Companies and Associations: International Business Machines (IBM); American Cancer Society (ACS)
  • Products: Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)
  • Brands: Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing (3M)
  • Years: 2014-2015 (never 2014-’15 or ’14-‘15)

Following these five simple steps will help you make sure you have an ATS-friendly resume.

See also:

Is Your Resume Unintentionally Unprofessional?

Why Your Resume Won’t Survive the New 2015 Applicant Tracking Systems Without Jobscan

Job Search Tips for 2015

Resume Examples: Keywords for Graphic Design

Graphic design resume keywords

Resume Examples: Keywords for Graphic Design

Resume examples can serve as road maps for job seekers, giving them insight into how close they are to their desired next step–and where they stand compared to the competition. Looking at the resumes of others in the same field can clarify which skills and technologies are needed to be considered current, and which sorts of accomplishments are needed to reach the next level. Still, job seekers should remember that targeted resumes are based on individual job postings. Resume examples can be good for inspiration and insight, but job seekers shouldn’t base their resumes on them.

The right resume keywords are crucial to getting a resume noticed–by an applicant tracking system, and by a human. Companies hire when they have needs to fill, and job seekers can demonstrate their capability of fulfilling those needs by echoing relevant keywords from the job listing.

The word cloud above was generated using the text from a dozen job postings for graphic designers. The larger the word, the more times it appeared.

Graphic design resume keywords

  • Adobe
  • Agency
  • Artist
  • Brand
  • Client
  • Color
  • Concepts
  • Creative
  • Design
  • Detail
  • Digital
  • Graphic
  • Illustrator
  • InDesign
  • Layout
  • Marketing
  • Media
  • Photoshop
  • Portfolio
  • Print
  • Production
  • Strategy
  • Typography
  • Visual
  • Web

Graphic design portfolio

Graphic design requires talent not just with design, but with a range of tools and technologies. Even gifted artists have to stay up-to-date on software, trends, and marketing and advertising practices.

Having a strong portfolio is critical. There are a number of free portfolio sites available online where you can display your work. (Creative staffing agency Vitamin T has some recommendations here.) You can also make your own site, of course. And don’t forget that you can add work samples to your LinkedIn profile.

Tailoring your resume

Tailoring your resume for each individual job application isn’t as time-consuming process as it might seem–especially since it pays off with far better results than submitting the same generic resume everywhere. To speed up the resume targeting process, try using a career management document.

To see how well you’ve targeted your resume for a particular job, try Jobscan. Simply paste in the text of your resume and the job description, and Jobscan will give you feedback about what you’ve done well and where you can improve. (For example: How is your resume’s word count?) Resume examples can be great for inspiration, but they don’t compare to personalized feedback.

See also:

How to Choose Resume Keywords

8 Things You Need to Know About Resume Keywords

Top Resume Skills for 2015

The Top Recruiter Stats for 2015 Job Seekers

Ever wonder how those other 2015 job seekers are faring? Feeling frustrated and a little lost, like you? Definitely. But have no fear, this infographic lays out the top recruiter stats every 2015 job seeker should know: which top five things a job seeker should consider before accepting a job, which two channels employers are using to promote themselves, and what 89% of 2015 job seekers say is the most important tool for job searching.

Job_Infographic_revised3

Educate yourself, 2015 job-seekers!

See also:

2015 U.S. Job Search by the Numbers

Why Your Resume Won’t Survive the New 2015 Applicant Tracking Systems Without Jobscan

Job Search Tips for 2015

5 Signs Your Resume is Not Ready for the 2015 Job Search

3 Fresh Tips to Get a Knockout Resume Format for Internships

internThe traditional resume format for internships is a chronological format, primarily because this format highlights education and experience (work or volunteer) first (about.com).

An internship resume should include the following categories (in order):

  • Contact information
    • Full name
    • Address
    • Preferred phone number
    • Email address
  • Resume objective (a single sentence outlining what you can bring to the internship/do for the company)
  • Education information (School name, location, date of expected graduation)
  • Relevant courses and activities
  • Honors and awards
  • Relevant experience (volunteer and/or work, with locations and dates)

This format provides a good skeleton for your resume, but if not filled in with specifics about what makes you a distinctive and qualified candidate, it will simply read as bland to companies.

To help distinguish yourself from the pool of competitors, here are 3 fresh tips to achieve a knockout resume format for internships:

1. Quantify your resume

Whenever possible, include a number to paint a clear picture of your experiences and achievements. For example, “Division 1 Varsity Tennis Team Captain for last several years in college” vs. “Division 1 Varsity Tennis Team Captain for last 2 years in college.”

If you participated in a volunteer group, movement, or campaign, for how long were you involved? If you had a leadership position, how many people were you managing?

A number jumps out on a page and demands attention.

2. Keywords

When recruiting, businesses rely on an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to receive, filter, and file submitted resumes to determine which candidates are the most qualified. The ATS achieves this by combing through every resume for resume keywords. These are skills and qualifications mentioned in the original job or internship description that should be mentioned in the submitted resume.

Depending on the size and nature of the company you wish to intern at, your resume may or may not be subjected to an ATS. Nevertheless, resume keywords are always a bonus with hiring managers as including them customizes your resume to the particular job.

Seasoned job seekers know their resumes are likely to be scrutinized by an ATS. To prepare, they take advantage of online keyword tracking tools such as Jobscan to help customize their resumes and help them rank higher in the ATS.

Aspiring interns may want to consider using such tools– after all, many internships have the potential to turn into full-time positions.

3. Branding

As a beginning job seeker with minimal professional experience (hence the internship to gain some!), another obstacle is to make yourself stand out from the crowd. The best way is to look for patterns in the activities and courses you have chosen. Your combination of interests and experience will be unique, and being able to convey that will help you stand apart.

The same goes for any work and volunteer experience: Which projects and companies did you pursue (small and local, or large and corporate)? Where do you excel (strong communication skills? Organizing large projects)?

Companies want to give interns the opportunity to grow, achieve, and bring fresh new energy to their company. Showing what makes you different, and then demonstrating how your distinctiveness can benefit a company, is bound to have hiring managers picking up the phone.

Definitely Do Not Use These Resume Examples!

Top Resume Formats in 2015

Why Your Resume Won’t Survive the New 2015 Applicant Tracking Systems Without Jobscan