Each year I receive numerous questions from returning students on how to add an internship to an already full-page resume.  Students struggle with what to delete in order to fit the job description and accomplishments from their internship onto the page.  How do they decide what to delete in order to add more information?  Can they have a two-page resume? 

If you only have a certain amount of space to demonstrate your value to a potential employer, you need to identify what information MUST be on your resume and not focus so much on what to delete.  Too often, especially early in our careers, we work to add as much information as possible to our resumes to fill the page.  Then, once we start getting substance to our portfolios we struggle with that to delete.  Your goal is to have a resume that promotes the value you will offer potential employers.   Can one have a two-page resume as an undergrad or graduate student?  While some people will say some graduate students can certainly have a two-page resume, most still say keep it to one page.   Regardless of the length, the purpose of a resume remains to be a document that grabs the attention of the reader to promote knowledge, skills and abilities. 

After completing an internship, you should see that this experience is what needs to be on your resume as opposed to bullet points from previous jobs.  You will start to distinguish between your work history and professional experience.  Jobs that allow you the opportunity to demonstrate your ability and value towards your future career goals will take the place of jobs in which you answered the phone for a parent’s company or other part time jobs. 

Each time you add something to your resume, decide whether this experience is better suited to market your ability in the future or just state what you did in the past.  Your high school experiences helped you get into a great college or university; your college experiences help you land a great entry-level position.

Who likes writing objective statements?  Who actually reads objective statements?  My guess is that the answer to both of those questions is a NO!  Objective statements are outdated and should not be used anymore. 

So, you might be asking yourself, what do I write at the top of my resume to show an employer what I’m seeking?  The answer is much more interesting to both write and read.  Write a BRANDING STATEMENT!

When you purchase any product, you search for traits and qualities that meet your needs.  Through a targeted marketing campaign, the seller showcases their product’s value.  The value that a product can contribute is what the customer wants to read and subsequently buy. The same holds true for a resume.

Employers want to see how you can meet their needs.  By writing a quality branding statement, you will not only articulate what you can do for a potential employer but will also state your goals if written effectively.  A branding statement noting your proven ability to manage large-scale projects will interest employers seeking project managers.  Your communication is focused on the customer or employer not yourself.

As a job seeker, your responsibility is to brand yourself as a solution to potential employer’s needs.  Hiring managers are tasked with having the right resources to effectively produce positive results.  Challenging opportunities within an organization where you can increase your responsibility and upward mobility will be the result of you being a valued contributor to that organization not the reason you are hired.  Brand yourself as a solution in your resume introduction and employers will pay attention.  Your objective will be met once you demonstrate you are the ideal brand for the organization.

Albert Einstein defines insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. If this is the case, then insanity is rampant amongst job seekers today.

Are you frustrated that no one is responding to the dozens of resumes you are submitting online? Do you find yourself discouraged at attending career fairs only to be told to apply online and then nothing happen? Not only is this unsuccessful practice a form of insanity, but the frustration will lead you to insanity as well.

Get off of this hamster wheel. The job search process is frustrating enough. There is too much in life you can’t control, so focus what you can control. If something is not working in regards to your job search strategy, then change it. Here are a few quick tips to increase an effective job search process.

  1. Talk with a career coach: Career Coaches have the experience. These experts know the job search process across industry and functional area of business. They know the pulse of business today and work to guide job seekers towards the goal of finding employment. Visit www.careerealism.com for a solid list of professional career coaches.
  2. NETWORK: I can just imagine all of the eye rolls are reading my recommendation to network. Simply put, networking is the key to finding employment. Remember that applying for positions online is only a piece of the process. It is not THE process. Too many job seekers spend their time only applying online. If this is your approach, you are missing the most important step which is to connect with real human beings. Humans hire; systems track candidates.
  3. 3. Build a solid and professional online presence. Your LinkedIn profile should be a comprehensive marketing story of your past successes and future abilities. You should have a strong presence on Twitter making sure you are following industry professionals and employers of interest. Use Hashtags to search for conferences in your field in which you cannot attend. Get involved and be seen. To learn the very best tips on social networking, please read Miriam Salpeter’s book “Social Networking for Career Success”.

I recently read that job seekers should stop focusing on pushing our resumes for a successful job search and instead draw people to you. The former is how you put yourself on that job search hamster wheel. You will keep running in place without getting anywhere near your goal. Get off the hamster wheel and stop the insanity in your job search and career management. Stop doing the same thing and expect different results.

 So much to do; so little time.  For better or worse, the definition of internships have changed overtime.  The number of companies that hire fulltime candidates from the intern pool has skyrocketed in the past few years.  The stakes are much higher for internship candidates to obtain an offer from an employer of choice. Internships have long been considered the 10 – 12 week interview; however, students are feeling the pressure to out shine their co-interns even more than before.     

Here are three things to do during your internship that are sure to make a lasting impression and set you on a positive course towards success. 

  1. Find a mentor:  Build a working relationship with someone within the organization who can offer candid and sage advice throughout your internship.  This person should not be your boss or a fellow intern. Find someone in the company who is well respected and connected.  Be interested in learning ways to be more effective. 
  2. Connect with your supervisor:  Your supervisor can be your best of champions or your worst of enemies when it comes to securing fulltime employment from an internship.  You want your supervisor to find you invaluable.  Be a great communicator, always have a positive attitude, and far exceed the department’s expectations if you want to increase your chances of receiving a fulltime offer.
  3. Welcome and seek feedback:  One major difference between school and work is the timing and delivery of feedback.  As students, you are used to getting feedback after every homework assignment, every quiz and every exam. Some organizations only offer formal feedback during annual reviews or internship exit interviews.  Try to briefly meet with your supervisor every week or so to discuss your performance, and make a concerted effort to correct or polish the areas where improvement is recommended.

Be an asset to the team, and make the employer grow to say, “We cannot afford to not hire this excellent candidate.”  Go beyond your job description.   Always seek ways to deliver quality results and build lasting professional relationships along the way.

In the job search, there are a multitude of factors that can contribute to one’s struggle in securing employment.  Instinctively, the first culprit blamed for the problem is the resume. If you not getting job offers, ask yourself where the breakdown is happening.  Be careful not to immediately blame the resume. 

If you are getting interviews, then your problem is most likely not your resume.  You got the interview, so your resume must be doing its job.  If you are not getting call backs after interviews, then I am going out on a limb here and your interviewing skills could be to blame.  If that is the case, then you are in need of a challenging mock interview.  Just because you have the knowledge, skills and ability to do a job won’t matter to an employer if you can interview effectively. 

There are many other possibilities as to why you might not be securing job offers which proves you have to identify the root of the issue.  Your problem could, in fact, be your resume, but it can also be your interviewing skills, your behavior while waiting for your interview (never be rude to a receptionist), your thank you note, your follow-up manner (always be gracious), along with many others.  A good solution is to find a career coach—someone who will work with you in breaking down the job search process to find where your weaknesses lie and work with you to strengthen your approach and job search competencies.

It’s that time of year in the life of collegiate intern recruiting.  In our current economy and latest trends in the job search, students in both undergraduate and graduate programs around the world are either interviewing for internships, seeking prospects or receiving offers.  As with every year, however, offers are not all received on the same day nor are decisions are all due from intern candidates on the same day. 

The topic of concern on the minds of our intern seekers hopefully transitions from receiving offers to making a decision.  Intern seekers all of a sudden become concerned with making a hasty decision in the event something better comes along.  Hedging their bets becomes the name of the game.  However, handing over one’s integrity in the game of the job search can get a person eliminated from competition immediately.  No one wants that to happen.  Remember that you are the only person who can give away your integrity. 

Simply put:  make a decision and live with it.  The grass is always greener.  For every decision you make, you also make a sacrifice.  If you receive an offer and decline hoping something better will come along, you run the risk of not receiving another offer.  If you accept an offer, you run the risk of a better offer coming down the pike.  For every decision you make, you also make a sacrifice.

No wait, I think the better question is “Do you know what LinkedIn Groups are in the first place?”  If you do not know, then I highly recommend you log into LinkedIn and look for the latest tutorials because this amazing resource is ever-changing with phenomenal new features.  My favorite is the “Group”.  There are Groups for various school alumni, industries, companies, and functional areas.  Some groups are pretty general and some are very specific.  If you haven’t searched for or joined Groups, you must do so today.  I mean right now as a matter of fact. 

The value of Group activity on LinkedIn has become one of the most powerful networking tools in business today, and that value translates to job seekers.  LinkedIn Groups offer not just great forums for discussion and job boards but also CONTACTS! 

Belonging to and being active in Groups within LinkedIn can make a dramatic difference in finding individuals who can and, most likely, will offer great advice as you navigate through your job search.  What better way to build your network than to find targeted groups of people with interests that align with yours. 

The Group function in LinkedIn alone is one of the best arguments for you never beginning a cover letter with “To Whom It May Concern” again. 

In my profession, I have found a dramatic difference in expanding my network and relationships with colleagues I never knew existed through Groups such as the National Association of Colleges and Employers, Texas A&M Alumni, and Relationship Masters Academy to name a few. 

I highly advice you join targeted LinkedIn Groups that are right for your career goals, get involved in the discussion forums, add contacts from the group to your network and start building new business relationships.   I am confident you will see a dramatic difference in your connection to your profession and potential employers.