I am graduating in December, so I have begun the job search. It is all at once nerve-wracking, exciting and crazy. Trying to hunt for a job while juggling a full class load and two internships is a tad crazy, but an awesome learning and time management experience.
Here are a few tips on resume design and the job search that I’ve learned along the way:
Designing your resume
For those of you that are designers or artists, your resume needs to be designed. It should represent a boiled down version of your design aesthetic. I believe in clean, simple design and I love black and white. My resume embraces all of these things. Make sure your resume shows your design philosophy because it is the first piece of work someone will see when they look at your job application. It is an important part of your arsenal and portfolio.
For those of you who aren’t designers, In my last post, I emphasized making sure your resume stands out. Do not use 12pt Times New Roman. Everyone else uses it, so it will get lost among the pile. Use a special font- perhaps one that is not on everyone else’s computers (but nothing TOO CRAZY or hard to read), and remember to keep it simple and beautiful.
Make sure you save your resume as a PDF when you send it on to people. Otherwise, they won’t get your font- it may default to times new roman and all the work you put into formatting it will be lost.
The Job Search
As much as I hate to say this, a big part of the job search is about who you personally know in any industry right now. With the current down economy, there are significantly fewer entry-level jobs than usual. This is a big damper if you are just graduating college.
For tips on how to find entry-level jobs, I would check out one day one job. This blog focuses only on entry-level jobs. Blog founder Willy Franzen has an e-mail list you can subscribe to that sends you a different job opening every day. It is a great resource for a diverse list of companies across all functions. I look forward to his e-mails everyday.
Applying online feels kind of hopeless. But, there are some great ways to cut through the clutter. If you are applying to a company where you know someone, make sure you put that on the application. It puts your resume at the top of the clutter. Also, ask your contact if he or she would be willing to talk to the person who is looking at the resumes- it may prompt the resume reader to search for and review your resume faster.
If you do not know anyone where you are applying, send a hard copy of your application and resume to the company. This shows the recruiters at the company that you are very interested in the job, and it gives you a second chance to get your resume in front of the right people.
Lastly, be patient. The current job market is tough. Many places will not start hiring until January 2010. But, you never know what will work out so keep your head up and stay positive.
Shannon is a senior at Boston University majoring in Advertising in the College of Communication. She has experience working for NBC Universal in New York City as well as PJA Advertising and Marketing in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She loves clean functional digital design. Digital is the future of advertising and marketing and Shannon likes to stay involved and on trend. Visit her website or follow her on Twitter.