The fourth and fifth mistakes continued from the last article!
The fourth mistake:
The fourth big mistake that’s really common to students especially, is placing too much emphasis on paid work. A lot of students think that if they didn’t get paid for it, it doesn’t really count and it doesn’t belong in that experience section. But here’s the thing, employers don’t actually look at it that way. Maybe you’re like Ron Swanson. You’ve been working in the quarry since you were 12 years old and you have tons of part-time jobs that you were paid for that you can put on your resume. But most students don’t have that kind of experience. For the most part, when students are looking for their first entry-level job, they don’t have a whole lot of paid work under their belt.
And when they do, it’s often stuff like working at Subway, or flipping burgers or working as a cashier. Honorable work to be sure, but it often doesn’t exemplify the traits that recruiters are looking for more technical positions. But many times those same students have volunteer experiences, extracurriculars, and clubs where they did gain experience in what the recruiters are looking for. And if that’s you, you should definitely put those experiences right at the top of your experience section. Don’t hide them away in clubs and the volunteering section.
The Fifth mistake:
And that brings us to our final big mistake on the list, which is using the same resume to apply for every single position you go for. This is a huge mistake. Because again, you’ve got just six seconds to catch your recruiter’s eye. So make sure you’re tailoring your resume to every single position that you’re applying for. If you’re an active student, then it’s more than likely you have a diverse set of experiences and skills. So when you’re going fora position, ask yourself, what are the exact skills that are gonna look the best to a recruiter hiring for this position? And make sure you tailor your resume to show those things first. If you have both freelance writing experience and coding experience, then a writing job is gonna take a different resume than a coding job.
And the other important thing to note here, to be honest, is that using the same resume to apply for every single job is downright lazy. And it shows, which is bad, because honestly one of the top qualities that recruiters across every single industry are looking for, is a clear indication that this candidate is going to go above and beyond. And I can kinda weigh in inhere myself at this point because I actually have eight people on my team now. And when I’m looking to hire somebody, the top qualities in my mind are a clear work ethic, a clear ability to solve problems independently, and culture fit. If somebody doesn’t check those three boxes, then their technical skills don’t really matter to me. And, on the flip side, if they do check those boxes and they have a slight deficiency in the technical skills, that often doesn’t matter because I know as long as they’re a quick learner and can solve problems, I can train them in those technical areas.
Now, when it comes to your resume, the best way you’re going to demonstrate these qualities is by letting your past accomplishments speak for themselves by making sure that the experience section shows off accomplishments ina very clear and specific way. But, tailoring your resume to the company and showing that you put effort into the application process goes a long way as well. Now, that being said, when it comes to showing off those more intrinsic qualities, your resume is not the best tool for the job. Honestly, those are probably gonna come out most in the interview when you have real face-to-face interaction with that hiring manager. But before the interview happens, another great tool for showing those qualities is having a website. If you have your own website, then you can build a portfolio that shows off your work in the way that it was meant to be seen. You can show it off in all its details and you can also show the process that you used, which shows your work ethic and your problem-solving abilities. It also just gives you a much more customized and vibrant way to present yourself, as you can see from my website here, which is why I think that every ambitious student should have their own website. Now, if you’re in high school or you’re early on in college and you’re not ready to build a website for yourself just yet, I do think that you should, at the very least, go and secure your domain name.