My First Resume and I Don’t Have Any Work Experience!!!

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It is incremental for your resume to display that you have the skills and knowledge to fill a job vacancy, but what if you have no past work experience to start your resume? Take a few minutes to think about odd jobs you have done in the past, school related activities, or volunteer projects you have been a part of. For example: babysitting, lawn work, school projects, or an event you helped plan. It may take some thinking outside of the box, but you will realize you have developed work skills without having an actual job.

Write a list of the circumstances you think of, your responsibilities for each, and the contact information of people who assisted you. The people you list can be used as references for employers to contact.

Now create a “Pre-Professional Experience” category on your resume. This will show the reader that you have yet to have a job, but have gained skills. It also shows that you are dedicated to reaching out and achieving professional experience.

Split this section into different categories such as, “Odd jobs,” “School Activities,” “Extracurricular Activities,” and/or “Volunteer involvement.” Under each subcategory use bullet points to explain the skills you have attained from each.

  • Leave pronouns out of your resume such as “I” or “me.” This increases the professionalism of your resume and makes it easier for the audience to understand.
  • Use action words at the beginning of each bullet. For example: Managed, created, developed, gained, or increased.
  • Quantify and prove relevant successes with percentages, statistics, dollar amounts or specific dates.

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Natalie Swanson – Marketing/Client Relations – Vision Staffing Solutions

July 26, 2012

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How To: Write Work Experience on Your Resume

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In order to compose the work history section of your resume, you must first take a look at the job description of the position you are applying for. You need to show that you have the skills and knowledge to fill the job vacancy, so by reading the job description you will be able to match your work experience to the position you are seeking.

Find keywords, duties, and responsibilities of your potential career in the job description. For example, if problem-solving is a keyword, then insert specific examples and experience with problem solving in your past work history. In agreement, if management is a responsibility, provide instances where you have had management experience in your past jobs.

If you are applying for a company, not just a specific position, pick the type of job you want and focus your work history on that. For example, pick “Inside Sales.” Use Google to search job descriptions for Inside Sales Representatives and compose your work history section to meet those criteria.

  • Use bullets to phrase your relevant work history. You do not need to include everything you did in your past jobs, just write bullets with skills applicable to your new employer.
  • Leave pronouns out of your work history such as “I” or “me.” This increases the professionalism of your resume and makes it easier for the audience to understand.
  • Quantify and prove relative successes with percentages, statistics, dollar amounts or specific dates.
  • Display your knowledge of the industry by using acronyms throughout your work history. If you used CSS, write “CSS” rather than “Cascading Style Sheets.”
  • If you have specific skills such as computer software or hand tools, you can include them in your work history, or you can list them in your “Summary of Skills” section of your resume.
  • Unless it is your only experience, don’t include positions such as your high school job at the grocer. Keep your work history short and relevant to your future career.

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Natalie Swanson – Marketing/Client Relations – Vision Staffing Solutions

July 25, 2012

How to List Education on Your Resume

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As with other sections of your resume, list information in an order that pertains to the interest of your audience. List your educational information in the following order (always start with your highest education first):

Name of degree in the name of your major – Name of University – City, State of University – Graduation Year – Minor – GPA

*If you feel that the name of your school is of more interest to the reader, list that first and the degree second.

If you haven’t graduated yet, list your information the same way; simply put the graduation date in the future to inform the employer that you have not graduated yet.

Where you list your education on your resume is another important factor. This depends if you feel your education is of more interest to your audience or if you work experience is. If you are a recent graduate and have little to no experience in your field, you would want to list your education prior to your work history. If you are a job-seeker with experience it will probably be more beneficial to list your work experience first. If you recently achieved your MBA or another graduate degree and have work experience, it’s a good idea to list your education first ahead of your work experience because the graduate degree should be more valuable to employers.

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Natalie Swanson – Marketing/Client Relations – Vision Staffing Solutions

July 19, 2012

Add these to your resume

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When writing your resume — Don’t solely put action phrases that are all too commonly used in resumes: Increased sales, managed territory, managed budget, or saved money.

Instead, use dates, stats, and $$$ to quantify and prove your past successes:

07/17/2012 – write actual dates next to great accomplishments in past positions

13% – note % that you increased sales for the company.

5 counties – list # of states or counties you covered in your territory.

$25,000 budget – state the $ amount of the budget you managed.

$20,000 – state the $ amount of money you saved for the company.

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Natalie Swanson – Marketing/Client Relations – Vision Staffing Solutions

July 17, 2012

What goes in a cover letter??!

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The information that needs to be included on a cover letter is outline below in a generic formatting. As you would with your resume, personalize the cover letter to the exact job and employer you are seeking out.

Date:

Contact Information:

Name

Address

Phone number

Email address

*You could include your Facebook and/or LinkedIn profiles here

Greeting:

Dear Hiring Manager (Use a name if you have it), *Do a google search or a phone call to determine who will be receiving your cover letter. People are much more inclined to read something personalized than generic like “Hiring Manager.”

Body

Include the following information in paragraph form:

  • How you heard of the position and why you are applying
  • What you have to offer the employer and why you are a good fit the position- make valid connections between your skills and the job requirements
  • Thank the employer for their time and consideration and inform them of how you can be reached

Cover Letter Closing:

Sincerely,

(Physically sign here if you are handing in a hard copy of your cover letter)

Your Name

——

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Natalie Swanson – Marketing/Client Relations – Vision Staffing Solutions

July 13, 2012

Elevator Speech – How To Make It Why You Should Have It

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What is an elevator speech? Imagine you find yourself in an elevator with the hiring manager of the company you would do anything to work for. You have approximately 30 seconds to sell yourself to this person before the elevator gets to the floor where the hiring manager steps off.

Will you ever find yourself in this exact situation, probably not! But elevator speeches can be used in just about any circumstance where you have to tell someone about yourself quickly without losing their attention.

  • Job interview
  • Networking event
  • First day of work
  • First day of class

Answer the following questions in your speech:

  • What are my top strengths?
  • What adjectives best describe me?
  • What is it that I am trying to sell about myself?
  • Why am I interested in the company I’m applying with, event I am attending, job I am starting, or class I am taking?

Now create a speech from the answers you have generated. Make each answer into a complete sentence, and spend some time connecting them together and making them flow.

Go back through the newly written material and take out any unnecessary words making it as short as you can while still achieving your point.

Practice. Practice. Practice. If you simply memorize your speech it will sound staged when you say it. You want it to roll off of your tongue naturally and with sincerity and confidence. Practice saying it to friends/family and even try it in front of the mirror.

If you do all of this, you will always have information prepared for any situation when you must tell others about yourself and you will be able to say it with confidence and ease!

Natalie Swanson – Marketing/Client Relations – Vision Staffing Solutions – View our Job Openings

July 07, 2012

Doesn’t My Employer Have to Give Me a Break?

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If you are worried that you are not receiving enough break time at work, read the following excerpt taken verbatim from Minnesota Department of Labor & Industry’s website.

“Minnesota state law requires employers to provide restroom time and sufficient time to eat a meal. If the break is less than 20 minutes in duration, it must be counted as hours worked. Time to use the nearest restroom must be provided within each four consecutive hours of work. Meal time applies to employees who work eight or more consecutive hours (see Minnesota Statutes 177.253, 177.254 and Minnesota Rules 5200.0120).”

Source: Minnesota Department of Labor & Industry. Retrieved June 20, 2012, from http://www.dli.mn.gov/main.asp

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Admit To Your Mistakes

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Make a mistake at work? Big or small, mistakes are no fun to admit. In fact, it probably seems like a better idea to try and hide it from everyone. Wrong!

In the eyes of others, those who admit mistakes and can move on from them are more likely to gain respect from managers and co-workers than those who hide mistakes or blame someone/something for them happening.

That being said, admit to a mistake as soon as possible. Bring a solution to with you, and take full responsibility for implementing the solution.

If there is no way to fix it, use the mistake as a learning point. It seems that the best possible way to learn is the hard way, and don’t sweat too much; mistakes happen to everyone. There is a reason we use the saying “human error.”

Check out these famous mistakes:

High school Varsity coach cut Micheal Jordan from his basketball team.

Decca Records turned down The Beatles for a recording contract.

John Grisham’s first novel, “A Time to Kill,” was rejected by 16 publishers before finally signing a contract.

Check out some now funny construction mistakes.

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Natalie Swanson – Marketing/Client Relations – Vision Staffing Solutions

Job Hoppers Aren’t So Bad

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Job Hopping refers to being hired, completing the training, and working for a company for a minimal time, finding a new job and then doing it all over again.

Hiring a new employee and training them into the workplace takes time and money, and it has been proven that prolonged job vacancies at a workplace decreases company morale and negatively affects the bottom line. These reasons are why hiring managers are careful when checking over resumes and interviewing. So do they think poorly and are they hesitant to hire job hoppers?

Surprisingly, not always. Recruiters have said that job hopping shouldn’t be a major concern in the hiring process. It is a red flag if someone has several different positions in the last year alone, but one or two in their recent past could just mean that the job applicant is searching for the right career, or seeking something more challenging from their work.”

If you are constantly changing your career or job because of the chance to earn more money or a higher title, it will easily be noticed by hiring managers and you will not be considered for positions.

That being said, switch careers for the right reasons and you will be fine.

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Natalie Swanson – Marketing/Client Relations – Vision Staffing Solutions

July 07, 2012

Late for the Interview.

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First of all. Do your best to prevent being late for an interview! You can prevent this by doing the following:

  • Find the address a couple of days before the interview.
  • Put the address in Google Maps or in your GPS and look over the route you will take to the interview.
  • Take a drive the day before, preferably around the time of your interview, to find out where it is located exactly and approximately how long it takes you to get there.
  • Leave 15 minutes earlier than you think it will take you. Give yourself some leeway in case you run into traffic along the way.
  • Set your clothes out the night before. This way you won’t be late due to wardrobe indecisiveness and you will find out if your shirt needs to be ironed.

BUT we all know that “life happens.” If you are late for an interview:

  • If possible, call the workplace and inform them that you are sorry, but you are going to be late, and let them know your estimated time of arrival. If you are driving, pull over to make this phone call.
  • Don’t rush. Be safe. It’s better to be late than to never get there!
  • Don’t let being late kill your confidence. Take a couple deep breaths before you walk in!
  • When you arrive, don’t babble on about why you were late.
  • Don’t make excuses; take ownership and responsibility for being late.
  • Apologize and inform the interviewer that you realize you threw off his/or schedule.
  • Offer to make things better! Suggest that you are able to come back at a different time if it better fits the interviewers schedule.

Sometimes there are unprecedented circumstances that cause you to be late for an interview; employers should be understanding in these cases! Don’t lie about though. If you didn’t actually save a baby, remember that it is very unethical to claim you did.]

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Natalie Swanson – Marketing/Client Relations – Vision Staffing Solutions

June 28, 2012