Optimize your resume to get the job: insight from communication specialist

Attending EMU’s Student Development Conference and Workshop was a great way to gain professional insight into the world of communication specialists. Through attending this event it gave communication majors the “run-down” on nailing their resume and obtaining the job.

These professionals held a Q&A session, and I thought this was one of the most beneficial and interactive parts of the conference. The professionals associated with the Q&A session included Kevin Devine, director of student media at EMU, and president of the Michigan Collegiate Press Association; Kelli Cesarz, social media coordinator at Moncur; and Daniel Blenman the Talent Recruiter for Cultivating Team Detroit.

Hearing about what these individuals are looking for in interns and employees and providing giving feedback about the hiring process in the communication industry inspired me to make a list of do’s and don’ts for optimizing your resume, and setting yourself apart from competition within the communication field.

HR Panel at SDC 2014

HR Panel at SDC 2014

Resumes Do’s and Don’ts

Do: keep it short: No future employer wants to read a novel placed in front of them entailing your job experience since you were 17 at McDonalds. Think of this as a movie trailer of your career that only utilizes your high-points that relates to the job you are applying to.

Don’t: include irrelevant information: Chronological order isn’t always ideal if it doesn’t apply to what you are applying to now. If you graduated high-school over four years ago, and now have gained college experience it should not listed on your resume. The employer knows that you’ve obtained your diploma.

Do: get inspired, use technology: Sometimes the basic paper resume isn’t enough. While your resume should be short-and-sweet, you should always utilize tools like LinkedIn, WordPress, and Wix to add some media flare to your resume. Also it gives the option to display tangible work by using these social platforms.

Don’t: be too vague: Emphasize your skill. Highlight it as strength, explain it thoroughly. Don’t bullet-point basic information to shorten your resume if it’s important. However, don’t exceed three to five bullet points per section.

Do: utilize key words: Utilizing key words indicates skills competencies that you possess. If you are applying for a position make sure it’s clearly listed on your resume as a skill that you actually have. The majority of the time, job descriptions is vague; we are all well-aware of this. But try to pin-point as many obvious qualifications that set you apart from the rest.

Don’t: use nonprofessional email addresses as your primary email: Younger candidates using witty or clever emails such as “tooKute22@ymail” may not obtain the position based off the perception one may give off by utilizing a unprofessional email address.

Do: have multiple resumes for different jobs: Employers look for concrete specifics. You should never submit the same resume to two totally different occupations.

Don’t: lie on resume: Lying or stretching the truth or even embellishing about little details may tarnish your personal-branding. In the communication field the worst thing anyone can do is create little white lies; because your entire career is driven off your credibility, ethical stance, and networking. If someone suspects you to be dishonest your career options may be limited in the future.

Do: use spellcheck: Most important learning experience by attending SDC was noticing how many typos go unnoticed by candidates. One great tip was to read your resume backwards to potentially catch misspelled words or improper use of grammar. One of example of this is someone misspelling the word “Public” instead of spelling “Public,” this individual spelled “Pubic” and sent this resume out to many employers. By not utilizing spellcheck this prevented this individual to land a job. Don’t be that person.

Aricka Terry
Guest Blogger
EMU PR Student

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