Career/Cover Letter Event Blog

As a 4th year student without a summer internship set up I assumed attending a resume and cover letter building instruction course would be the correct event for me. I currently have a resume and cover that I update and use but I figured it could use a revamp and I could utilize the information for the rest of my life. I first found out a little bit more about the new update Cal Poly career services has begun using called handshake. Handshake updates users with a variety of current job and career related opportunities as well as incorporating career services tips and advice.

 

Extensive information on how to create or improve a resume was provided during the early half of the event. Going in, I was looking to see if I should use a graphics software in order to make my resume flash a little more to employers. I was relieved when we were told that the concept of a resume does not need showy features. Rather, it should stick to a more traditional approach of demonstrating qualifications one has as an applicant. Each time a person is applying for a new job it is important to tailor a resume to what the company’s job description entails. Expand on what separates you as a candidate from other potential hires. For example, conducting background research is important for knowing what experience to list. Experience is not limited to jobs or internships that you have been a part. Experience can also encompass school projects you have created or labs you have been a part of if you are a more technical major. For a resume, it is best to separate experience by subject starting with what is more applicable to the business being applied to. The resume needs to be consistent in formatting without any grammatical errors. When listing actions performed in experiences it is important to use short phrases with action verbs. For example, “facilitated intern communication” is a great deal more effective than “very adaptable”. When listing skills, it is important to stick to technical skills and capabilities rather than soft skills. It is great to show employers that you can step in on day one and be ready to work.

 

The second half of this event was dedicated to cover letters. The cover letter’s role in the application process cannot be understated. Much like resumes, people generally have a standard cover letter that they use on a consistent basis. A cover letter should be used to communicate one’s connection and personality with the company they are applying to. It should consist of 3-4 paragraphs with an opening and conclusion. Background research on the company and the job description are imperative. Only through this research can you modify your cover letter to become one worthy of catching the company’s attention. Address the person evaluating the cover letter if it they are known. The opening paragraph should explain why the company caught your interest and what they have to offer. The middle paragraph(s) should explain why you are qualified for the job and what you bring to the table. In these paragraphs touching on and going into more depth about the experiences on your resume is a good idea. A cover letter shows the strength of your communication skills and creates an idea of your personality to a prospective employer. It develops the personal brand that you are attempting to create. The event concluded with a question and answer section.

This resume/cover letter event is exactly what I needed to have confidence in the coming month as I will be applying to several job openings and attending an upcoming marketing career fair. It really made me consider my own personal brand and what I wanted to portray to a company I am applying too. It also made me think of what a company will look for in someone they are hiring. This event and time in my life really reminded me of the anticipatory socialization stage in the socialization process. I have been pursuing my degree from Cal Poly my entire life and now that I am finally almost at that there it is kind of surreal. I am nervous to attempt to enter the workforce but am also positive and hopeful for potential jobs out there that suit me. I will make sure to balance what I want out of a company with the opportunities I am offered to decide what is right for me going forward. Right now, I am near the end in my own personal final stage of the anticipatory socialization process and am just trying to enjoy every minute of college I have left before I graduate. I am sure by the time the encounter stage of the socialization process comes around I will be more than prepared to because of the things I have learned in my time at Cal Poly.

 

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