It’s that time of year again, and as we start to think of ways to refresh and regenerate, what a better place to start than our resumes! Especially if it has been a few months, even a year since you’ve last updated, there are likely many new projects, experiences, and achievements that you will want to include. Your resume is a document that blends both storytelling and marketing into one finely tuned package, so making sure you are using that space wisely is important.
Things to keep in mind while updating:
1). Quantify: Adding those specific details like the amount of money or percentage of time you saved your employer goes a long way in showing the impact you had while working there. This information is especially crucial to update frequently, because the longer you wait to add in that information, the more challenging it will be (and sometimes impossible to get the exact numbers/data if you no longer work there). You are much more likely to be able to include more specific and accurate information if you update your resume frequently.
2). Consistency: Double check your formatting for consistency throughout, and maybe even have a second or third pair of eyes check this for you (such as a CMC Career Adviser). Little details can easily get thrown out of place, and while it might not seem like a big deal, consistency on your resume shows to an employer that you are detail oriented and that you took the time to proofread. Your resume is your first impression, and you don’t want to appear sloppy in your first impression to anyone.
3). Note Job Descriptions for Key Words: I would recommend having a document where you list common skills, words, and phrases you come across as you search postings for jobs you are interested in. Compare that document to your resume, and see where the gaps and similarities are. For example, you may include “Created marketing materials through using Photoshop to promote _____ campaign” on your resume, but a lot of the postings you are interested in mention looking for list specifics such as “campaign management” “business to business” and “direct marketing.” Perhaps you do have that exact experience in those areas, but the employer won’t be able to know that because your resume wasn’t picked up by their ATS (Automatic Tracking System).
Happy resume updating! Remember that there are great resume visuals and guides available to you on Handshake under the Resources tab.
Why create a target list or source employers? Many students that I meet with have their sights set on the Big 4, or well-known names that have a large marketing presence. They think they already know exactly who they want to work for. Unfortunately, by only approaching the job search from this name-brand perspective, you may be overlooking a great deal of opportunity. According to “The 2-Hour Job Search,” 99% of overall employers have fewer than one hundred employees (Dalton, 16)! That’s an exponential amount of untapped opportunities to explore in the job search.
There are a few methods of sourcing employers, but one that utilizes key university resources that you have access to as a DePaul KGSB student are university library databases. I met with my fellow Career Specialist, Enrique Guerrero, to learn from DePaul University Librarian Brian DeHart about these databases, and what to keep in mind while searching. I often advise students to think of their job search as a research project…they already have the skills for this over the years of school (especially as a graduate student!) and utilizing databases to create a target list is one of the most research-project-esq tactics! We discussed the following three in depth:
- LexisNexis: As a grad student, you probably have familiarity with this resource, but you may not have known that you can create a company list with this! To access this resource, click on “Create a Company List via LexisNexis.” Here, you will be able to search by various information including company size, sales/revenue, NAICS code or SIC code. In case you didn’t know, NAICS and SIC codes were derived by the federal government to categorize employers. NAICS is the newer version, but using one or the other to select the industry in which you want to search employers for will be helpful in your database search.
- Business Source Complete: Business Source Complete is a division of the EBSCO database that focuses on current company profiles, and a SWOT analysis from the market research firm MarketLine. This will be a helpful resource in researching employers and learning more about what they’re up to.
- Reference USA: Reference USA will allow you to perform similar functions to creating an employer list through LexisNexis. Advantages of this resource over LexisNexis: it connects directly to Indeed, so while you’re creating your employer list, you will simultaneously be able to see if an employer is hiring at the time. Also, it is connected through the Yellow Pages, so you will have greater access to the super small businesses, if that is what you are looking for. Disadvantages over LexisNexis: There is so much data and it is difficult to tell how up-to-date it is, so you may find employers that are no longer in business.
Whichever resource you choose, make sure you do your research in the job search! If you have any questions about making an employer list in your job search, schedule a career advising appointment with CMC.
To learn more about how to use databases and how to effectively utilize them to build your employer list, save the date for in an interactive and informative upcoming workshop presented by the CMC, “Kellstadt Build Series: Developing a Target List” on May 4th from 4:30-5:30 in the DePaul Center room 5800.
Additionally, if you have any questions about how to use databases and university library resources, you can schedule an appointment to meet with DePaul Librarian Brian DeHart.