I’ve officially decided that the worst thing about graduating from college is the job search that immediately follows it, or immediately precedes it (because if you’re smart, you start before you actually finish classes). This is especially tough right now, because we’re competing with people who’ve recently been laid off in the tough economy.
I know from personal experience that the number of job seekers is up: my mother works in a copy shop, and she reports that they are printing and faxing an abnormally high number of rÃ©sumÃ©s right now. Good news for the copy shop; bad news for me and the millions of other people graduating into this job climate.
And let’s face it, writing a rÃ©sumÃ© and cover letter are right up there in terms of the most confusing and stressful tasks. And not all of us have the interview skills of Will Smith, who seems to ace every interview by walking in and solving a Rubik’s Cube (he did this both in Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and The Pursuit of Happyness!). Do we even know where to start?
I got a crash course in rÃ©sumÃ© writing in 10th grade, which gave me the crappy skeleton-version of a rÃ©sumÃ© that landed me my first college job. I look back at that piece of paper now and recoil in horror. 12 point Times New Roman font? What monster is this? My rÃ©sumÃ© has come a long way since then.
Here are some resources that will ensure your first rÃ©sumÃ© is nowhere near as bad and ugly as mine was:
What Color Is Your Parachute? A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers
Interestingly enough, this book doesn’t cover how to write a rÃ©sumÃ©, but it was one of the most useful tools I’ve used in the last year to do so. The one short chapter on rÃ©sumÃ©s that’s in this book was way more helpful than my high school English teacher. But the real gems of this book? It’s hands-down the best guide on job-hunting that I’ve ever seen, and the information on how to survive the interview process is gold.
Rockport Institute: How To Write a Masterpiece of a Resume
There are a lot of web resources that claim to help you with the nitty-gritty of writing and formatting a rÃ©sumÃ©, but all the ones I’ve seen pale in comparison to this six-part guide. I used this website to rewrite my train-wreck rÃ©sumÃ©, and I refer back to it every time I want to add or update my rÃ©sumÃ©. It’s simply awesome.
Cover Letter Guide by Susan Ireland
Just when you thought you were all done with your rÃ©sumÃ©, you have to write a cover letter to go with it! Thank goodness for Susan Ireland and her free cover letter guide! Another resource that I turn to, time and time again.
Advanced Job Search Hacks
Maybe you fall into my category: you’ve got a rÃ©sumÃ© and this isn’t your first time writing a cover letter, but you know things could use some sprucing up. You’re looking for the edge: those little tweaks that will put your application on the top of the pile.
Squakfox’s How to Write a Resume (that gets job interviews) series
She’s worked both sides of the rÃ©sumÃ© game, and can tell you why yours sucks.
Advice from Trent Hamm at The Simple Dollar
I’ve been reading Trent’s site for over two years now, and he never fails to deliver great content on a variety of money topics. So it’s not surprising that he has some great posts on rÃ©sumÃ©s and job hunting:
How to Construct a Killer Resume, From Start to Finish
Ten Tips For Writing a Resume That Will Get The Right Kind Of Attention
17 Essential Tips For Getting That Dream Job
Penelope Trunk’s Brazen Careerist
I don’t agree with everything she has to say, but her blog is definitely worth exploring, especially while you’re on the prowl for a job. Try poking through the articles by category, such as the Resume category, the Finding a career category and obviously, the Job hunt category.
Are there even more rÃ©sumÃ©, cover letter, and job searching resources out there? Of course. And if I know the awesome people who comment on this site, they’ll leave a few suggestions. But try not to get too caught up in reading about job searches instead of actually searching. It’s easy to lose a day (or a week) of your time reading more than you need to instead of taking action.