Helpful Résumé Tips and Summer Interview Tricks

by Katie Yeaton

As I reach my first-year mark out of grad school, I have been reflecting a lot on the job search process, particularly when I was interviewing last summer.  My search started in March of 2017 and I was fortunate to be hired in August just in time for Resident Assistant (RA) training. I grew from my first application to my final interview within these five months, I also realized what was most important in my search.  Somewhere along the way I became more comfortable with my “about me” responses and felt less like I was “selling” myself to get a job. With practice, I became more confident and my surface-level answers faded. I am writing these tips and tricks for everyone currently searching, those who know they will be in the future, and for those who want to pass along a few tips of encouragement for friends.

Résumé Tips
  1. Include your most recent employment: Even if you are not working in higher education, include all of your recent employment and talk about some of the applicable skills you have gained.  Customer service skills, organization, communication, listening, etc.; all of these skills are immensely valuable to your potential new role.
  2. Brain-dump: If you have not already done so, create a résumé where you list out all of your job responsibilities.  Before you apply for a particular position, tailor your descriptions to a shorter sample of bullet points that best relate your experience to your desired job.
  3. Get Feedback: One of the aspects I played with before submitting my résumé was the format.  Some of my layouts were simplistic and well-received, while others were too overwhelming.  Before submitting your résumé (and cover letter) get feedback from at least three people.  Multiple opinions may help you decipher what can help you (positively) stand out.

Interview Tricks
  1. Bring your own water! It’s good to stay hydrated and this way you are not looking for water during lunch.
  2. Lint roller: I remember having hair all over my jacket on my first interview and it was one of the most distracting things.  Avoid the distraction, bring a small lint roller. :)
  3. Comfortable & Professional: Especially in the summer, walking around a college campus in long sleeves, a suit, dress shoes or heels are going to be hot and potentially uncomfortable.  Be practical, yet professional when selecting your on-campus interview outfit and be conscientious about the weather. (I always kept a pair of flip-flops in my car for after my interview.)

Good luck to all those still searching!

Student Affairs - the First Years

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