Ohio University Office of Career Services


Résumé Words Not to Use by Christy R

Résumé Words Not to Use

When browsing a résumé, recruiters often look for specific words that are relevant to the job description. When writing a resume, you should aim to make it stand out. A couple of simple rules will help you to avoid words that are overused and do not add uniqueness to your résumé, as well as words that are not appropriate to put on your résumé.

Never use words that are too general and are irrelevant to a position description.

Remember to be very concrete and provide specific examples about every skill you list on your résumé. Avoid words like responsible or successful. We all have responsibilities that are associated with our jobs, so avoid listing your job duties unless very relevant to the job for which you are applying. Instead, be very specific about your accomplishments. It should be common sense to include only successes on your résumé but just listing them does not provide employers with useful information. Illustrate your success with specific examples and show how the success was measured.

For the same reason, avoid putting problems-solver or skilled on your résumé. These words are too general and need more concrete examples to add value to your résumé.

Avoid using words like assisted, helped or contributed.  When tempted to put assisted down, ask yourself: How exactly did you help/assists? What were the results and how big of a contribution did you manage to add? What amount of work (list specific tasks) did you do?

Avoid using word team-player, describe how you contributed to or lead a team. Never put just excellent written and verbal communication skills—provide an example of how often you had to write and how many viewers you had.

Never use words that are not appropriate for the résumé.

Remember to screen every word that you put on the résumé to make sure they are professional enough to be there. Avoid using over-praising adjectives like splendid or spectacular—they not only do not sound professional but also have no credibility.

Avoid saying how you feel about your job or your job function—words that carry feelings are not relevant to your job function whether you hated it or it was a pleasure. Never include a description of your physical appearance such as attractive unless it is relevant to the job.

You résumé is not the proper place for talking about your political beliefs or your religion—thus avoid words like liberal. It is also not appropriate to mention your health and there is no need to put strong immune system on your résumé.

It is tempting to use familiar with when you are not particularly good at something however still want to mention it on the résumé. You have a choice of learning it well enough to become proficient or leaving it off your résumé. Familiarity means that you know a little but will still need to be trained—just like a person who is not familiar with that same thing.

Avoid highly-intelligent (and rarely used) words. You may just confuse your reader or give the wrong impression. By the same token, avoid jargon or acronyms that are not generally accepted or widely understood. Don’t use clichés and words that are overused and won’t set your résumé apart from the others. Use synonyms to make your résumé stand out.  Never use personal pronouns in your résumé—it is a summary of your experience and “I” or “me” are considered redundant.

By using strong words and avoiding inappropriate words, and by spending good amount of time writing your resume you will be able to add character to it and make it stand out from hundreds of others!

To have a career counselor look over your résumé, come to the Office of Career Services walk-in hours.

—Written by Anna Morlang, CareerCATS Coordinator for the Office of Career Services

References
New Grad Life
SavvySugar: Money
Hub Pages
Online Degrees Today

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Career Resource Spotlight: Military-to-Civilian Career Transition Guide by Christy R

Career Resource Spotlight:
Military-to-Civilian Career
Transition Guide

The Essential Job Search Handbook
for Service Members

Leaving the military might be one of the most difficult transitions you’ll ever make. Significant tim

e and effort must go into getting your civilian life and career off to a good start. This book will guide you through creating a transition strategy and timeline and investigate the continuing military benefits and opportunities available to you.

Taking advantage of this resource will help you:

  • Prepare for what to expect from those around you as you transition from the land of ID cards to one without them.
  • Identify your greatly expanded available military and civilian resources.
  • Clarify your new potential benefits and entitlements as a soon-to-be veteran.
  • Create an overall transition strategy that works.
  • Identify your skills, strengths, weaknesses, and desires so that you can put yourself on the right career track.
  • Write résumés and job search letters that get the attention of employers.
  • Interview successfully for jobs.
  • Effectively evaluate and negotiate job offers.
  • Begin your new job with a clear understanding of the civilian side of things so that your next promotion is right around the corner.

Stop by the Office of Career Services‘ Career Resource Center today to browse our extensive resource library or make an appointment with a career counselor!



Career Resource Spotlight: The Graphic Designer’s Guide to Portfolio Design by Christy R

Career Resource Spotlight: The Graphic Designer’s Guide to Portfolio Design

To all designers out there who know that a solid portfolio can make or break your job search, this book is for you! Putting together a solid design portfolio and cohesive promotional package can be an overwhelming task. Questions arise such as: Should I use color on my résumé or should I keep it black & white? How do I choose which pieces to include and which ones to leave out? How many samples should I include? This guide will answer all those questions, covering topics such as:

  • Planning your portfolio
  • The portfolio process start to finish
  • The traditional portfolio (with résumé, cover letter and business card)
  • The digital portfolio (CD, DVD, web site—including all the technical aspects of preparing your pieces for optimal digital appearance)

The book will take you step-by-step through all the traditional job-search preparations…tailored specifically for graphic designers and artists! Snippets of advice from art directors and other successful professionals in the field are included to make this resource invaluable to young designers getting ready to market themselves.

Ready to get your hands on this book and start creating building a solid portfolio? Stop by the Office of Career Services‘ Career Resource Center today!



Tips for the Job-Seeker by Christy R

Tips for the Job Seeker

Is it time to leave college behind and transition into the real world? Are you bored with your current job and want to change careers? Read on, job search advice is coming your way! There are many ways to go about finding a job that is perfect for you.

Explore your options
First, you need to decide which factors are important to you when seeking a job. Think about the field you would like to work in, hours you want to work, the environment that’s right for you, and whether the job is in line with your values. Decide if you are willing to relocate for the job, and if it is important to you whether you can move up in the company.

Get an Internship
If you find a profession that you are interested in, you may decide to explore what it would be like to work in the field. Consider trying an internship to acquire experience in your area of interest. This is a great way to determine whether a certain career path is right for you. Additionally, an internship is an outstanding résumé booster that will show employers that you have some related experience.

Do Your Research
Once you decide on an occupation that suits you, you’re ready to begin your journey toward finding a specific place of employment. This is when the real hunt begins.

To start, you may want to use online resources to research and find openings for the types of jobs you’re looking for. Look on our Job Search Resources page on the Career Services website to identify job posting websites in specific fields that may interest you. There you can find an assortment of postings by field or type, including seasonal/summer, teaching abroad, multicultural, nonprofit, and green jobs.

Ohio University students may also take advantage of Bobcat CareerLink to view postings online for jobs targeted specifically to OU students and alumni.

Networking
Don’t stop at perusing through job postings online, though. Take your job search one step further by networking. Both face-to-face and social media networking are effective job search strategies. Consider trying out Bobcat Mentor Network, which can put you in contact with alumni from Ohio University that are willing to help you decide which career path is best for you. Some can even help you find an internship or a job.

You can also use social media such as LinkedIn to connect with professionals in your network and beyond. Reaching out to people you already know can help you connect with others in the field or recommend other job search strategies to you.

Career Fairs are also a great way to network. You can meet individuals in the company you wish to work for, or get a feel for the types of organizations you wish to look into further.

Contact the employer
Once you decide which organization sounds like a good match, you need to contact the employer to find out if there are job openings and whether you can interview for a position. Find an email address or a phone number and contact the individual in charge of hiring. Mention that you’re interested in the company and that you would like to schedule an interview if they have an opening.

Prepare for the interview
If you land the interview, make sure your résumé is up to date and tailored toward the specific job you are applying for. Then, you should find references that can attest for your work ethic and motivation. References should be professional and can include professors, advisors, supervisors, or anyone that can comment on your potential for the new job. Once you’ve got your résumé in hand and your references ready, you need to prepare for your interview. Develop an elevator pitch, which is a brief overview about yourself regarding your background, education, relevant experiences, and why you want to work for their specific company. Also make sure to do your research on the company and prepare questions to ask at the end of the interview.

Ace the Interview
Show up a few minutes early to your interview and be professional and courteous to all individuals you meet on the way into the interview. Remember to BREATHE! You’ve done your preparation, and now it’s time to show them why you would be a good fit with their organization.

Be proactive about your job search. It can be a full-time job trying to find a full-time job, so start your search now!

For further information regarding our career resources, visit the Career Services website, or schedule an appointment to meet with one of our Career Advisors.

—Contributed by Kelli Swackhamer, Office of Career Services Practicum Student



Brush Up on Your Career Fair Etiquette by Christy R

Brush Up on Your Career Fair Etiquette

As we gear up for the annual OU Winter Career Fair tomorrow, here are a few helpful reminders to help you interact successfully with employers.

BEFORE THE FAIR

1. Identify & research employers: Visit Bobcat Career Link to find out what employers are registered for the fair. Do some initial research about the companies by visiting their websites.

2. Bring multiple copies of your résumé…and don’t forget to organize them neatly in a nice portfolio.

3. Practice your introduction: Be ready to introduce yourself to employers and highlight your major, class status, and how your knowledge/skills would be an asset to the company.

4. Dress professionally: Dark business suits and ties for men, with polished shoes, dark socks, and well groomed hair. Neutral or dark suits work best for women, with panty hose, close-toed, low-heeled shoes, and minimal make-up/perfume.

DURING THE FAIR

1. Make a good first impression: Greet the employer with a firm handshake and smile, and introduce yourself.

2. Demonstrate your knowledge: Let the employer know that you’ve done your research and are able to communicate how you will fit into the company.

3. Remember names and companies: Be sure to get the recruiters name and business card.

AFTER THE FAIR

1. Follow up: Send a thank you note to the employers you spoke to. Reiterate the main points you discussed with them at the fair e.g. your qualifications, interest, and anything you forgot to mention at the event. Be sure to send a résumé/make a phone call if the employer asked you to do so.

—The information above was taken from the Office of Career Services’ “Career Fair Etiquette” flier which is available for students to pick up at any time. For other helpful handouts on a variety of career-related topics, stop by our office or visit our Handout Library online.



Prepare For Success: What you need to know in order to interact successfully with employers at the career fair by Christy R

You’re standing outside the door of the career fair ready to enter. You’ve printed your résumé, researched the employers, donned your business attire, and drawn up a list of what you need to accomplish in the next couple of hours. Now it is time to put your plan of action into effect. A few tips should help you interact professionally with the employers you’re about to meet.

1. Make a good first impression.
You will most likely have only a short while to speak with each recruiter, so you must make every minute count. The first impression you make will go a long way. In order to accomplish this, just
remember these four things:

  • Eye-contact. Show that you are confident and at ease.
  • Firm handshake. Don’t offer a limp hand, but don’t crush any bones either.
  • Relaxed smile. Be friendly, but avoid gushing with too much enthusiasm.
  • Elevator speech. (See previous post on how to prepare one.) Introduce yourself in a strong, clear, natural voice, at the same time being careful not to shout.

2. Ask questions.
This goes hand-in-hand with doing your research before going to the fair. Employers are impressed when you already have a basic understanding of the company and can ask intelligent questions.

3. Don’t treat the fair as a social event.
It can be easy to become too relaxed and start sharing aspects of your personal life that are not appropriate for this professional environment. Always keep in mind that you are being evaluated on your potential to perform in the workplace.

4. Get contact information.
Most recruiters will either give you their business card or have some out on a table. If you don’t see any, be sure to ask them for their specific title, name (spelled correctly!), and contact information, both phone and email.

5. Follow up.
The very last question you should ask each recruiter is “What is the next step?” Find out which method of follow-up the recruiter prefers, phone or email. Ask them when you can expect to hear from them again, or when they would like you to contact them. Is there anything else they need from you (work samples, portfolio, etc.)? Also be sure to thank the recruiter for their time before you leave.

6. Take Notes.
You can write down key information during the interview if you like, just don’t spend the entire meeting scribbling furiously. That’s why it might be a better idea to take a moment AFTER the meeting to jot down some notes about your conversation. These reminders will be helpful in the follow-up process.

7. Network.
Your most important job at the fair is to network with employers, but don’t forget to network with other job-seekers as well. This way you can share support, company information, and job leads with one another.



Prepare For Success: What you can do beforehand to make the most of your career fair experience by Christy R

Business men and womenWhen planning to attend a career or job fair, a little preparation is necessary to maximize your experience and give you the best results. You’re already taking the time to go to the fair, so you might as well go the full mile and make it worth your effort by following these simple steps.

1. Identify and Research the Prospective Employers.
Obtain the list of organizations attending the fair and identify the prospective employers that most interest you by clicking on the Fall Career & Internship Fair link on the homepage of Bobcat CareerLink. Keep an open mind when making this list. Don’t discount employers based on industry. You don’t necessarily need to be a business major to work for a large business company or a retail merchandising major to work for a department store. Instead, see what kinds of jobs each company has available, and what types of majors they are recruiting.

Once you’ve made your list of 5-10 employers you want to meet at the fair, do some research on each one of them. Visit their websites. Run internet searches. Be sure to familiarize yourselves with key products/services as well as the organizational structure, culture and values of the company.

2. Rehearse your elevator speech.
Prepare a 20-30 second introduction to use with employers. Have a clear focus on why you are here and what kind of job you are looking for. Tell them why you are interested in their company and how your specific skill set will benefit their company. (For examples of a concise elevator speech, see earlier post: Elevator Speech: A 30-second Interview).

3. Prepare résumés.
Have multiple copies of your résumé printed out and ready to go. It’s also helpful to have them organized neatly in a folder or portfolio. Show them that you can be an organized employee.

4. Choose proper career fair attire.
This is a must. For most career fairs professional attire is required, consisting of a clean-cut, well-fitting, conservative look, with darker colors such as navy, black, and slate. Dressing unprofessionally is one of the most common errors made by job candidates. If the outfit you’re considering is something you would wear to a party or a night on the town, it is most likely not appropriate professional attire. It is always safer to err on the side of dressing too conservatively. Also remember to give your shoes a little polish, and don’t overdo on jewelry or perfume/cologne.