Tag Archives: resume

Why Wawa (or Weis, or Walmart) Matters

“I don’t have any direct experience, I only make food at Wawa.”

“I’m just a cashier at Walmart, I don’t really do anything.”

“Weis is Weis. It’s not impressive, you know?”

Sound familiar? Many times, when meeting with a student, they get self-conscious or frustrated because they feel like they have nothing to offer an employer. But you know what, you have  A LOT to offer an employer! You just need to frame it in a different perspective.

When you make food at Wawa, you are preparing items to order in a timely manner. So you’re able to follow directions and work quickly.

When you are a cashier at Walmart, you need to be a responsible person and make sure your drawer is balanced. You also need to stay calm and professional when there’s a huge rush of customers.

When you work any role in a grocery store, you need to have a solid knowledge of where products are in the store, plus be able to give clear directions on how to find said products. All while providing friendly customer service.

All of these skills are important in the workplace, right? As you write your resume, don’t focus on your job title. Focus on the skills you gained from the experience, and how useful those skills will be to an employer fortunate enough to have you work for them!


Five Facts for your Federal Resume

More and more students are including positions with the federal government as part of their job search. And why not? There are positions for all majors and career paths, they offer great benefits, and every day is different while still having a positive impact on society. However, it’s important to note that when you apply for a federal position, you will need to use a federal resume. The Partnership for Public Service is an excellent resource as you get started in your federal job search. One of their resources is a guide on developing your federal resume.  Here are five tips to get you started:

  1. It’s ok to be longer than one page.  In fact, for an entry-level position, your resume could run anywhere from two to five pages. The content of your resume is very similar to a civilian resume, but will provide much more detail.
  2. Tweak your resume to match the job announcement. Just as you would for a private sector position, it’s important to keyword match and ensure that you emphasize that you are a solid fit for the position.
  3. Give detail, but be concise. It’s ok for your resume to run longer than a page because you are providing a much more extensive history of yourself, but do not let your accomplishment statements become so wordy that the hiring manager cannot interpret what you are getting at.
  4. Make absolutely sure that you are including all of the required information. Civilian resumes can be flexible in what you choose to include. However, a federal resume has different requirements for every resume, such as name, contact information, citizenship, educational history, and full employment information including hours worked per week.
  5. Proofread! Read over your resume multiple times to make sure there are no spelling, grammar, or punctuation errors.

To see more helpful tips from the Partnership for Public Service, check out Create Your Federal Resume and Federal Resume Writing Tips

Be A Grammar Nerd!

Jim Schreier recently posted an article on Careerealism about the 5 grammar mistakes everyone should avoid having on their resumes. Many job seekers would argue “why is it such a big deal if I use ‘there’ or ‘their’? Who cares if I use the wrong ‘to’? It’s all just typos!” More and more, hiring managers are using typos and grammar errors to eliminate possible candidates- errors show carelessness and inattention to detail. Here are Schreiers’ big 5 grammar mistakes everyone should avoid:

  1. Impact, Affects, and Effects- This is a huge mistake because they’re vital to your accomplishment statements. “Affects” is used as a verb. “Effects” and “Impacts” are both verbs.
  2. There, They’re, and Their- This is a common mistake. If you aren’t sure which form to use, don’t hesitate to ask someone to read over and make sure for you. “There” refers to a place. “They’re” is a contraction for “They are.” “Their” is a possessive.
  3. Too, To, and Two- All too often, this is played off as a typo. Don’t be careless here! “Two” references the number. “Too” is used in place of “as well” or to include something else.
  4. It’s and its- This is another frequent typo, but can make a big difference it what you are conveying. “Its” is possessive. “It’s” is a contraction for “it is” or “it has.”
  5. You’re and Your- An all too common mistake that can change the meaning of your sentence. “You’re” is a short form for “you are,” while “your” is another possessive.

Schreier makes other good points and provides much more detail in his full article, which you can read here: http://www.careerealism.com/resume-grammar-mistakes/

More Than Just Bullet Points!

More Than Just Bullet Points!

A common problem our students face is that they doubt their skills set and accomplishment statements.  With only their college experience, it can seem to them that their resume is the same information over and over again.  Maybe they’re accounting students, who completed two internships, but they did tax accounting at both places.  Or they’re communications students who write for every publication on campus.  “But there’s only so many ways to say that I write!” they point out.  It’s a very valid point.  This article from Careerealism can be extremely helpful for many students who are facing that issue.  Your resume, as with numerous other things in life, is a point where quality is better than quantity. You can write for five different newspapers and magazines, but what qualities did you gain from each of them? What challenges did you face, and how did you solve them?  What accomplishments did you gain at the magazine versus the newspaper?  Your resume is more than just listing skills.  Use your resume to show growth and how you stretched your boundaries!

Are You A “People Person?”

The season of On Campus Recruiting is upon us, and one of the questions we see so many student struggle to answer is “Are You A People Person?”  Or, they’ll confidently put “People Person” on their resume, but then are unsure of how to convey that in their interview.  Don’t worry, the Culture and Manners Institute at http://www.cultureandmanners.com/  is here to save the day!


“I’m a people person.”

What does that even mean?  It makes me think of people who say, “I’m a dog person” or “a cat person.”

The idea is to show potential employers (or potential clients) you get along with people without saying, “My etiquette skills rock.”  Because in a me-focused world, employers want to know if you will get along with others or be a human volcano of bickering, fighting, gossiping, whining, blaming… and leaving a splash of coffee on the bottom of the coffee pot to burn, instead of refilling it after you take the last cup.  Nobody wants that in their workplace.

There’s a better way to show you get along with others and that’s to say it on your resume (or sales materials) by starting each bullet point with what I call, “I-work-well-with-others action words.”

  •  Collaborated with…
  • Teamed with
  • Involved with team
  • Negotiated
  • Contributed
  • Joined
  • Joined forces with
  • Worked together with
  • Supported
  • Cooperated
  • Co-authored
  • Resolved
  • Assembled group of

Mix these words with bullet points of individual initiative and leadership action words: (Managed, Specialized in, Supervised, Initiated, Delivered, Designed, Motivated, Selected, Directed, Drove, Created, Trained, Coached, Counseled, Researched, Edited, Produced, Fostered, Enhanced…) and you have a winning resume.  All of these action words work well in your cover letters and the actual interview, too.

3 Ways to Trouble-Shoot Your Resume

3 Ways to Trouble-Shoot Your Resume

We read articles from all kinds of blogs, but we really love reading via Vault! This week they had a great piece on resumes and ways to show what a great candidate you are. Take a look! What are some tips you would want to share with someone writing a resume?

What to Avoid When Writing a Cover Letter

What to Avoid When Writing a Cover Letter

We talk a lot about writing a resume, but we don’t talk about cover letters nearly enough. Here are some great tips from Careerealism to keep in mind as your write yours! Remember, your resume and cover letter should never go anywhere without each other (unless your specifically told when you apply to only include one)

What Qualities as Employers Seeking?

What Qualities as Employers Seeking?

Thanks to NACE for another great infographic!

5 Things You Can Do Over Break

Many students are so excited to go home for winter break… and for goof reason! Mom’s food, free laundry, sleeping in, no homework! But there is always that pivotal moment when it dawns on you that you’re bored. And since we don’t want anyone to be bored, here are 5 things you can do over break!

1. Write (or edit) your resume. Break is a great time to add in things from the previous semester, like related courses you took or any leadership positions you held for a club.

2. Find job sites. Many students jump to monster.com or even craigslist, but some fields have their own specific job search sites. Another option is to look up professional organizations and see if job postings are listed on their sites, too.

3. Create a LinkedIn profile. It’s a chance to show the world your professional side AND let’s you connect with people in your field.

4. Cook a dinner for your family! And I don’t just mean whip up some easy mac and a hot dog. Use google to find a good recipe, learn how to properly set a table, and practice good etiquette. “May I please have the salt?” Pass the salt and the pepper!

5. Go to at least one informational interview. This is a great chance to ask questions about the field, learn from someone who is already there, and make your network bigger and stronger. Don’t be afraid, the majority of people are thrilled to talk about their job and their journey.

What other things do you plan on doing over break so you aren’t bored?

Why being a server or cashier is important

Many times I’ll meet with students who have summer jobs. They make pizzas, they answer phones, they bag groceries. When I ask them to tell me what they do, they look at me like I have three heads. “Like, seriously, all I do is bag groceries. Nothing special.”

Actually, dear student, yes it is!

The summre job back home, or the job on campus to make some extra cash, is very beneficial. It gives you something we call transferable skills. These are skills that are applicable to every single job you do. They may seem very basic, no brainers, or even unessential to discuss. But, it’s always good for an employer to know, right off the bat, that you have experience and utilize these skills.

Now, say you’re a cashier. What skills can you get with that? Attention to detail, accuracy, customer service, the ability to problem solve, ability to think quickly on your feet, comfortable with a flexible schedule, and a willingness to work with the team by covering shifts or staying late.

Or maybe you work in the dining hall on campus. You show up for work on time. You are able to follow directions. You comply with food and safety standards. You work well with your peers. You report problems when you see them. You greet everyone in a friendly manner.

How many of you, if you were an employer, would want an employee that has all of those skills? I know I would! So never doubt the fact that you’re a babysitter, or do house repairs, or caddy at a golf course. You’ll be able to exhibit skills that are essential to your position, no matter what field you go into!