Category Archives: Resumes & Other Job Search Tips

Why a Digital Portfolio?

Alright, the first thing that you’re probably asking is “What’s a Digital Portfolio?”  Well, you wouldn’t be alone.  Many people don’t know what a Digital Portfolio is, but it’s a useful tool when you’re looking for a position.

A Digital Portfolio is basically a culmination of the work you’ve done throughout your college career that showcases your abilities.  So, if you are an artist or a music major you can create galleries of your work.  If you’re a law student, you can keep a cache of your papers.  If you’re a journalist, you can create a holding of all of your articles.  The easiest way to create this Digital Portfolio is through a website creation site such as Weebly, Wix, or WordPress.

Why a website?  Easy.  When you submit your resume, that’s only one page, a snapshot of what you can do (as it should be).  But you can add a website URL or QR code to a website easily and show that you not only can manipulate a resume, but you can also manipulate websites.  Not to mention all of your amazing work that you’ve done!

Want help setting this up?  Come to AA337 for more info.

Words NOT to Put on Your Resume

When writing a resume you think things like “go-getter,” “think outside the box,” and “team player” are good things to put on your resume.  Well, you would be wrong.  According to the Business Insider article “The 17 Worst Things to Say on Your Resume,” those words are among the top ten words you DON’T want to use!

Ok.  Don’t freak out.

These words are not desirable for a simple reason: they are vague.  How do you prove you’re a “go-getter?”  What metrics do you have to show you “think outside the box?”  What constitutes a “team player?”  I’m not being rhetorical.  I’m serious.  Answer those questions.  Instead of being vague about your qualifications, put your qualifications in measurable terms:

-I initiated a charity program = go-getter

-After traditional marketing did not work, I devised a way to partner with (insert company here) = think outside the box

-With my team of 10 people we created a solution to water scarcity and I was in charge of marketing = team player

See the difference?

Video Resume

Alright, just like every innovative resume solution I preface this with a big KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE!  If you are applying at a law firm then making an animated video as your resume might not go over very well.  On the other hand, if you are applying to a video game developing firm then an animated video might be a really good way to show your talents.

DO YOUR HOMEWORK! I can not stress this enough!  Know the place and the position you are applying for before submitting ANY type of resume and tailor your resume to that position specifically!

However, if you are going to try a video resume here are some useful tips:

1.  Write a Script

2.  Carefully consider your backdrop

3.  Rehearse beforehand

4.  Make it look professional

If you’re interested in the many tricks and tips you could use to create a video resume come see us in AA337 for help!

What’s a Curriculum Vitae?

Alright, so what’s a Curriculum Vitae and why would you need one?

Well, you know your resume should (at most) be a one page synopsis of your work history and education.  Since it’s only one page long you can imagine that you’re not going to be really in-depth with the things you did in school.  Now, let me put in right here that MOST employers only want a resume!  If they don’t ask for a curriculum vitae don’t give them one…trust me…it’s annoying.

Now, if a curriculum vitae is requested what should you do with it?  Well, it’s a good place for you to go into detail about what you did in school.  Did you have teaching and/or research assistant experience? (Note: Research Assistant does not mean you did a research paper, it means you were part of ongoing research by a professor for an academic journal.)  Were you published?  Did you present at any large conferences?  Did you receive any academic honors or awards?  Were you a part of an academic community?  By elaborating on these things you can show that even though you may not have a hearty work history, you know what you are doing and you are qualified for the job at hand.

You could even do an e-portfolio to really impress employers, but more on that later.

Click here for Curriculum Vitae examples!

What’s a Prezime?

Alright, now I’m sure you all know what a resume is.  In fact, some of you may have had to write a resume when you applied for admission or for some of your classes.  How many of you used a template from Microsoft?  Be honest.  Now, how many people do you think use that template on a daily basis?

Let me first say that there is nothing wrong with the templates you find on Microsoft.  They are efficient and put the information a future employer would like to see in a format they are familiar with.  Familiar.  Do you pay attention to things you’re already familiar with?  Do you want an employer to simply skim over your resume because he/she already knows where the information is?  I don’t!

So here is an alternative.  It’s called a Prezime.  Instead of the traditional one page resume, you take all of the same information and put it into a Prezi Presentation.  It adds color, animation, and a bit of flair to introduce you to your next possible employer.

WARNING: Know your audience.  A Prezime is not perfect for all occasions.  If you want to be a teacher, great!  Try a Prezime.  If you want to be a lawyer, you might want to stick with tradition.  As long as you are cognizant of the position you are applying for, you should be good to go!

Prezime Example

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I LEAVE – CareerBuilder

The third tool that is highly useful when searching for employment is CareerBuilder.  The setup is simple enough: go to the website careerbuilder.com, type the keywords for the position you are looking for, add the particular city or zip code where you are looking to work, and narrow down your search by adding a category (i.e. education, finance, etc.), then click Find Jobs.  Searching for a photographer position in Washington, D.C. in Journalism yielded nine results.  From there you have the options to check the job requirements and many of the sites give you an option to fill out an application right then and there.

What Happens When I Leave – Indeed

The second tool that is highly useful when searching for employment is Indeed.com. The site itself is

incredibly easy to use. You simply type in what type of a job you are looking for and where you are

looking for it to be located. Then click “Find Jobs.” When I did a search for a Chemists position in/

near Fairfax Virginia the site populated 26 options. When you click on an option you get a detailed

description of the position and either a link to the employer’s website or the option to apply directly

from the search result. You can also save jobs so that you can apply for them later or block the

particular employer from your search results. These options do require you to set up an account, but

the account is totally FREE! It’s definitely worth a look.

The thing I enjoyed the most about indeed was my ability to post a resume. I would suggest leaving a

generic resume and supplement it with more specialized resumes depending on what you are applying

for (but more on that later). This made the application process a breeze when it came to applying

directly from the site.

Do they have jobs that you might want? Indeed.