Spring Cleaning: Quick Tips For Sprucing Up Your Resume

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.

 

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On Sourcing Employers: Database Deep Dive

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Jellyvision

“Jellyvision talks people through big life decisions, like selecting a health insurance plan, saving for retirement, managing finances, and navigating a career. Our recipe: behavioral science, cutting-edge tech, great writing, purposeful humor, original animation, and oregano.” That’s the pitch Jellyvision makes to customers who are interested in hiring them as clients. As students, how can you contribute to their mission?

First step: Cover Letter. Cover Letter. Cover Letter. I can not stress enough the importance of having a solid cover letter in your application. Head recruiter, Brian Glickman, shared with me that this was the first piece of information they review in an application before even glancing at the resume. They want you to show your passion and share why you want to work there and how you can contribute to their team.

Next step: Audition. They are looking for people who will be great cultural fits in their roles and demonstrate the skills that are needed to successfully do the job. You’ll be evaluated on this audition and then different team members all decide if you move forward in the process and get hired. This is time for you to shine!

The company’s strongest product, Alex is growing FAST and they’re always looking to expand their teams as more clients start to use Alex in their companies for financial guidance. They have internships and apprenticeships that run from May/June – November with the potential for full-time hiring. Full-time needs are diverse and include analyst positions along with consumer insights role. Opportunities can be found on the Jellyvision website. Last note, they will be at the Kellstadt Career fair on Thursday, October 22nd.

Jellyvision Front Desk

Common Cover Letter Mistakes

Fall is well underway, which means its recruiting season for the KGSB! In order to be prepared to apply for your dream job (and get an offer), it’s important to have a well written cover letter to support your application. To review, a cover letter can add value to your application by allowing one to connect the dots from previous experiences to the skills needed in the position.  To do so successfully, let’s review three common mistakes made by students when writing a cover letter:

  • Opening paragraph common mistake: Not addressing why you’re interested in the position. Too often do I review cover letters that neglect to explain why the student is interested in this position with said company. Think of it this way, if you’re an accounting student, you could apply for accounting positions at a Big Four firm, a small local business, a school, you name it. However, what is it that makes you want to be an accountant for this specific company/institution? By researching the employer and listing what it is that really drew you to this opportunity, you will sound more genuinely interested and appear more attractive. Remember, it’s about the employer. They want to know why you want to work for them, so give them your answer!
  • Middle paragraph common mistake: Re-writing your resume. In my opinion, this is one of the easiest mistakes to make when writing a cover letter for the first time. With that being said, it is also the worst ones to make! Don’t get me wrong, it is important to narrate your past accomplishments and transferrable skills. Employers will want to know what skills you bring to the table to better understand the value you could add to their team. However, this ‘value’ piece is usually what is missed. After explaining the skills you have, be sure to connect it back to the position.  Make is easy for employers to see that you have the skills they’re looking for!
  • Closing paragraph common mistake: Making the focus about you instead of the company. This can be a tough pill to swallow, but employers are looking for people that will make them better- not candidates that will become better professionals by working for them. For example, by using phrases such as, ‘this position will allow me to build my skill set’, or ‘this company would help me grow as a professional’, the focus is then on your own personal growth. These types of phrases can be re-worded to showcase the impact that you would bring to the company instead, which will make your cover letter much more powerful. Try and put yourself in the place of the employer. If you were hiring a candidate, which type of phrase would sound more appealing to you as the reader?

For more information on writing and constructing a cover letter, please check out the Kellstadt MBA/MS Career Strategy Guide on Handshake.

This blog post was written my Kathleen McDonald, graduate intern in the CMC who provides support to our International students.

MBA Diversity Conferences

Attending diversity conferences are a great way to boost your career prospects as you look for a internship or full-time position. As a newly admitted student, these conferences are an opportunity for you to gain exposure to the different types of positions available for MBA students and networking with companies that may not be on your target list.

Many of the conferences have fast approaching deadlines, so make sure to check out the MBA Annual Conferences 2015-2016 and get registered! There are two conferences happening in Chicago in October: National Society of Hispanic MBA (10.8-10.10) and ReachingOUT MBA (10.8-10.10). Remember to do some research beforehand of target companies and rehearse your elevator pitch. Contact the CMC if you need additional assistance in prepping for these conferences.

Discover

A few weeks ago I visited Discover Financial at their headquarters in Riverwoods and it was quite a sight! The sprawling campus is home to over 3,000 employees and houses teams that work for the credit card, the lending program, Pulse, and many more projects.

In speaking with the Human Resources team, the greatest need for talent is in the following areas: Analytics in Consumer Banking, IT, and experienced hires for Information Security, Risk and Compliance.

The campus offers its employees some great perks, notably a strong internal mobility program. Over the last year, 75% of the vacancies in the company were filled by internal hires. The ideal candidate out of school is someone who is eager, demonstrated leadership and involvement outside of the classroom, career changers are welcome as long as they show passion for their new path and someone who has demonstrated strong networking skills.

Outside of the work, the company boasts a philosophy of collaboration. The headquarters has specific breakout rooms for groups of employees to get together and brainstorm innovative ideas. Everywhere I turned, I saw pods of people sitting in the open and having meetings, discussing projects and connecting outside of their respective divisions.

For open positions please check Handshake and LinkedIn.

Walking trail, yoga studio, and power tools

What do all three of things things have in common? They were some of the features I saw during my visit to Grainger’s facility in Lake Forest, IL. The Grainger campus spans acres and is home to roughly 3,000 employees. The campus is expansive and has great perks for employees including: large gym, health clinic, convenience store, 3.5 mile outdoor trail, dry cleaning service, large cafeteria and an employee development center. The employee development center is home to an auditorium and classrooms where employees participate in professional development workshops and attend presentations to help them learn new skills and grow within the company.

I met with Grainger’s finance department which boasts a team of 700 employees. I met with both finance and human resources staff to get a better understanding of the roles at Grainger and how we can develop their brand on campus. In addition to the technical skills required of the analyst roles, the senior directors present at the meeting stressed that they were looking for candidates that also had soft skills. Relationship building is a key part of the role because most analysts sit on a leadership team for a project directly interacting with senior level positions. Currently there is a posting for a Senior Financial Analyst role posted on Handshake. Grainger is growing and my goal is to strengthen the partnership we have moving forward so more opportunities are available to the students.