Eyes on the Prize: Getting Hired After Graduation

09/21/2017 09:02 pm ET

As a college counselor I am the first to admit that I meet plenty of students obsessed with where they go to college. Some of these students fail to recognize that how they apply their educations is even more important than where they attend. Instead of focusing solely on the name of the institution that captures your child’s mind, foster conversations about how a college education can prepare your child for a healthy, happy, and financially independent future. We should explore what our kids want to do when they get out of college and work backwards with the school and program that gets them there.

We want our students to be healthy, happy, and financially independent when they graduate from college.
We want our students to be healthy, happy, and financially independent when they graduate from college.

For any high school or college student seeking to gain exposure to a profession, the best place to start is with an internship. Most internships will require a resume and for the first time resume writer this can seem daunting. Our friends at Clarion University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Career and Professional Development have compiled a list of "Top 5 Resume Mistakes to Avoid." These useful tips are a great tool to reference in the beginning stages of resume creation and the job hunt for any age.

Typos and grammar mistakes: With today’s sophisticated word processing tools, there is no excuse to have even a single spelling mistake or grammar error. To be extra diligent, visit the university’s career center to get a second set of eyes on your resume before sending it to any future employer.

One size fits all approach: A recent Career Builder Survey stated that 79% of HR Employers revealed they pay more attention to tailored resumes. Career service centers like Clarion’s Center for Career and Professional Development can help resume writers find a clear match between what the employer is looking for and what they have to offer so that each approach is specific and thoughtful.

Too much, or not enough, information: A resume is not meant to be an autobiography — employers are busy, they scan your resume in 20-30 seconds at max so it needs to pop. A good tip is to use bullet point phrases that are enhanced with data, dollars or percentages.

Templates & objectives: Templates can be out of date and also not compatible with online applicant tracking systems, not to mention they make it difficult to stand out. -Objectives that state the obvious are not helpful, for instance: "to secure a position in accounting with your company.” Instead, craft a short professional summary that addresses the job posting.

Ignoring key words: Most resumes are reviewed by online systems before being reviewed by an HR manager so it can be helpful to closely review the job posting & Onet: www.onetonline.org. Also, use the school's career center’s specialized, professional staff who can dig deep to help navigate this process.

Greg Kaplan is the founder of College Path, the first web app that serves as a virtual advisor for college admissions, a college application strategist, and author of Earning Admission: Real Strategies for Getting into Highly Selective Colleges. College Path and Greg are dedicated to helping students develop and market their passions to earn admission to their dream college and create the foundation for long-term success. For more information, visit www.collegepathweekly.com.

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