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Advising Center: Career Planning Resources

There are many ways to create your resume, so think of the following as resource guides only.  Your resume is your personal advertisement to snag the interview, so it has to work for your experience and the career field in which you are applying.

Key Resume Elements:

  • Contact Information
  • Professional Summary/Career Objective
  • Certifications & Licenses (if applicable)
  • Skills/Core Competencies
  • Professional Experience
  • Education & Training

Resume Tips:

  • One page resumes are recommended - keep it short
  • Make it visually appealing and easy to read
  • Use action words
  • Use consistent formatting and font
  • Proofread!!

Resume Types: 

There are three main resume types.  Here are details about those types to help you select which format is best for you.

Chronological:

Resume is typically listed by work history in reverse order.

Functional:

Resume focuses on skills, strengths, and what is specifically important to employers.

Combination:

As one might assume, this resume type blends both the Chronological and Functional elements.

 

What is a cover letter?

The cover letter is a personalized aspect of the application from you to the specific employer. It is not a re-telling of your resume, but rather an opportunity to highlight your skills and experience in relation to the company and specific job to which you are applying.

Content: Every cover letter is different, but here are some guiding content principles:

First Paragraph: This is where you clearly state your interest and purposing for applying for this position. You may also state how you heard about the position and/or organization.

Middle Content: This is where you begin to showcase your fit for the position in which you are applying. Do not simply restate your resume, but rather respond to aspects of the job posting, showcasing that you have the qualifications that the employer is seeking.

Closing Paragraph: Close your letter by requesting an opportunity to discuss the position and your qualifications with an interview, and offer to provide any additional information, such as a reference or supporting materials. Thank them in advance for the opportunity.

Tips: Below are just a few tips to follow when crafting your cover letter.

  • Keep your cover letter to one page
  • Be sure to address the job requirements and/or employer's goals.  This means you should not recycle and send the same cover letter to two different job listings
  • Address the letter to a specific person (if known) or to the hiring manager or search committee.
  • Always use a business format and be sure to proof read for good spelling, punctuation and grammar.
  • Enclosures: If there are additional items requested by the employer, such as references or transcripts, be sure to include these items.  You can also link to professional portfolios or sample work if it is relevant to the position.

Now that you have landed the interview, this is your time to shine!  It is important to prepare for this step, so here are some helpful tips:

Research the Employer: Make sure to research the employer to learn as much as possible.  You'll want to be familiar with the institution's structure, mission and vision, market impact and competitors (if applicable), and more.  If you know someone who has worked at the organization, try to reach out and learn first-hand information.  Not only will you impress with  your knowledge in the interview, but this a good time to assess if they are a right fit for you.

Research the Job: It is important to learn as much as you can about this career you are seeking.  Understanding the necessary skills and abilities will help to ensure you address your fit for the position during the interview.  You can also learn the market salary range to assist in the negotiation stage.

Rehearse: Interviewing can be a scary and nervous, so rehearsing is an important step.  Review some typical questions, including behavioral and scenario questions, to begin to formulate your answers.  Research some difficult questions you might be asked and determine ahead of time how you are going to respond.  Practice with a friend or family member. The more prepared you are, the confident you will be to nail the interview!

Create Questions: To demonstrate your interest, be sure to prepare questions for the employer.  These should not be questions where the answers are easily found on the employer's website or in the job ad.  Instead, these should help you get to know the employer, their culture, and their expectations.  Remember, this is a time for you to determine if its a right for you too.

Dress the part: While interviews are not black-tie events, they are also not slumber parties. If the position requires professional attire, you should dress accordingly. But do you research on the job environment - being dressed too casually or too formally can create an awkward situation.  Whatever you wear, be sure you feel comfortable; fidgeting during the interview can be distracting.

Be Prompt:  Always schedule your time wisely to ensure you will be on time for your interview.  Being late is a bad first start and can raise red flags for the employer as to your behavior in the workplace.  It can also make you feel rushed and nervous, so even arriving 10-15 minutes early will give you peace of mind.  If you have never been there before, make sure to review a map in advance.  If you live nearby, you can drive by a day in advance so that you know where you are going, or use Google maps to assist.  

Re-Review: Just before the interview, re-review the job posting, and the cover letter and resume you submitted.  It is easy to forget small details when you are nervous, so a quick recap will help keep items fresh in your mind.

Selecting a major and a career is a continual explorative process.  One must first start a self-reflection process to assess their own interests, skills, and personality traits. Using this knowledge, students can explore career fields that match these traits, and map out an educational and training plan to reach their goals.

Need assistance? Schedule an appointment with the Advising Center.

Below are some resources tool to start the exploration process.

Use the following links to watch career videos and learn more about the knowledge, skills, abilities (and more) required for these career fields you can seek here at KVCC:

Allied Health Fields Trade & Technical Fields
Other Available Career Paths

* Note: some career paths will require additional education beyond KVCC.

Explore additional career fields here: https://www.mynextmove.org/

Additional External Resource Links

Advising Center - advising@kvcc.me.edu - (207) 453-5118