Congratulations, college students and recent grads: You’ve made it through another year of higher ed! As you fill your phone with new friends’ numbers and plan all the fun you’re going to have this summer, you’re probably also trying to find the perfect summer job.
If you’re looking for a temporary job that lasts just during the summer, think about positions that have a time limit, like a paid internship in a new city or a seasonal farming in a far-off locale. Or you might want to look for a more permanent job that you can continue when school resumes. The possibilities can be overwhelming, but luckily, best practices for writing a great resume are pretty much the same for long and short-term positions.
Customize your resume for every job
It’s good to create some resume templates which can be handy to make little adjustments but always tailor your resume for each position you apply for. This is one of the most common pieces of advice you’ll come across on the job hunt, and for good reason. Depending on your city and industry, you might end up competing against lots of other equally qualified applicants. A generic resume doesn’t stand a chance.
This doesn’t mean you need to start from scratch every time. Just find a few places you can tweak the language to match the terms used in the job description. A little bit of resume strategy can go a long way.
Think in terms of quantifiable results
Remember that the people reading your resume are just that — people. This means it should be well written: Keep it short, sweet, and to the point. How short? Some people think a one-page resume is ideal, while others will tell you to shoot for two. It really depends on your experience.
In addition to your contact information, most resumes include sections for education, past work experience, volunteering and relevant projects, and even a list of skills. In each section, focus on specific accomplishments rather than general duties. If you can use numbers or other hard data to describe what you did in each role, your resume will have greater authority.
Workshop your resume with a friend
All the accomplishments in the world won’t get you very far if your resume is riddled with typos. Even the most hawk-eyed writers can easily miss errors in their own work because they’ve spent so much time looking at it. Find a trusted friend who’s also working on a resume, and agree to workshop each other’s drafts.
They’ll notice errors that you might not catch, and let you know if anything is unclear. They might even be able to point out skills or experiences you’ve forgotten to include. And if you do the same for them, you’re likely to see aspects of their resume that you can use to make your own resume stronger.
Be ready for anything
Embarking on the summer job search means stepping into the unknown. You might land your dream role on the first try, or it could take a while to get traction. In case it does take time to find the job you’re looking for, come up with a few ideas for getting extra cash during your transition from classwork to work-work. You might think about babysitting, doing odd household jobs, tutoring, or becoming a mystery shopper — the possibilities are endless!
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