Friday, November 6, 2015

Top Trends in Resume Writing

Hunting for the perfect position? Seeking to change careers entirely? Fresh out of your undergraduate or graduate studies? Consider these developments in the resume-composing realm to revamp your list of accomplishments.
1)      Digitization: You know about the importance of LinkedIn, the value of your presentation on social networking sites like Facebook, and that taking advantage of free cover letter and resume critiquing sessions. But have you considered the inclusion of videos, social media campaign examples, or mobile-friendly copies? Certain alum, of course, will know that a digital portfolio is often preferred for certain applications, and previous co-op experiences or passion projects will have helped with that. For others, however, if you are applying to more non-traditional industries, start-up companies, or even simply a general job posting, consider adding electronic elements that award your accomplishments a modern twist. An employer may rely on smartphone technology to view your resume, so ensuring that yours is accessible is also key. A recent article from Inc. notes that some companies are now using Instagram to engage in a process known as “purple squirrel hunting,” in which they pursue the most qualified candidates that may be already working, thus they would require less training. With you cooperative education experience, this could prove advantageous to the average job-seeking RIT graduate.
2)      Design: Innovation in resume formatting is certainly more applicable to some program graduates more than others, but it is nonetheless attractive and becoming increasingly popular. Consider adding colorful, but not too overpowering, images such as timelines that track accomplishments, charts that compare project growth, pictures that note where you hail from, photographs of major influencers, and the like. As long as text is still the main component, and there are not too many sections, infographics can add a unique element to a resume that extends beyond traditional templates found simply via popular search engines. Stick to a one-page limit, but lay out your profile in a more creative manner.
3)      Highlights: Facebook recently unveiled a new feature that attaches star icons to events such as starting a new position, a marriage, the birth of a child, et cetera, and these occasions are what one sees when scrolling through another user’s profile from years past. Why not do something similar with your resume? At each previous position, mention key projects that you assisted with or developed, and note your specific role(s) at any given point. Additionally, include awards received or other forms of recognition and promotion from whom you report. Achievements are just as important as job titles; what did you add to the organization that could transfer over to a different company?
Start over: This may sound intimidating, but imagine deleting everything in your resume and starting from scratch. Which successes can you remember that would highlight your assets? Which are less important or relevant? Starting from the beginning can allow for a completely new layout and order of accomplishments, stemming from a new mindset when switching career paths or simply looking for a different position. Ensure that you have a copy of the original resume to copy certain items from, but do not resort to sticking the exact outline use.

By Hayley Johnson, Graduate Intern, RIT Office of Career Services & Cooperative Education

Monday, May 18, 2015

Considering a Mid-Career Change?

Are you thinking about a change in your career direction?  Are you currently between jobs or without a job?   It is tough to decide to make a change, and for many it is even harder to decide what you would like to do and then to commit to pursuing it.  The following ideas may help you get started on the process.
1)       Self Assessment- Why are you thinking about a change now? What options do you want to consider?
People consider a mid-career change for a variety of reasons.  Sometimes it is a process you initiate and sometimes it is not.   Perhaps you are seeking a lifestyle change or a more satisfactory work/life balance.  Maybe you are hoping for increased compensation or benefits.  Some folks are looking for more challenge or excitement (and some are looking for less!).  Perhaps you are looking for more direct ways to help others in the work you do.  A career values card sort may help you prioritize the most important factors for you in your work and your life.  I have found that a reprioritization of our values is often what leads us to contemplate a change.
Which of your interests do you want to focus on in your work?  An interest inventory may assist you in determining how your interests relate to occupational possibilities.  Here is the O*NET Interests Profiler that will generate some occupational possibilities for you after you answer some questions about your interests.
Carefully evaluate the skills and abilities that you have.  Identifying what you enjoy doing and are good at can be key to career satisfaction.  How can the skills you have be transferred to a new opportunity?  This blog about transferrable skills will give you some ideas about how to leverage you current skills into new opportunities.  The Skills Profiler takes you through a series of questions that allow you to identify skills and activities you have. This leads to a customized Skills Profile that includes:  a summary of identified skills and work activities, a list of occupations matched either to skills or work activities and a link to occupation profiles for more detailed occupational information.  The My Skills My Future website suggests occupations that might use similar skills to other jobs that you have had.
Some personalities are more attracted to certain occupations more than others.  If you have not already done a personality assessment that yields a Myers-Briggs personality type, here is a quick inventory that will generate it for you.  Then, you can go to the Personality Page website that has information related to personality as it relates to career choice, relationships, and personal growth.
2)       How do I find out more about the career options that appeal to me?
I would suggest that you first do research on reliable websites and in relevant books.  Two websites that are good starting places are the Occupational Outlook Handbook and O*NET.  It is also very helpful to get information from people who are already doing a job that you want to learn more about.  This process is called networking or informational interviewing.  LinkedIn can also be a very useful source of information.  Here is an article that introduces the benefits of using LinkedIn Alumni in the career search process.  Often information really is the key that will help you determine how interested you are in an alternative you are considering.
3)      What are the gaps between your current qualifications and occupations that appeals to you?  Are you willing to get more education and/or training?
If you determine that additional education or training would be necessary for an occupation that appeals to you, you have some serious thinking and planning to do.  In what ways could you obtain the skills:  a graduate degree, a college course or certificate, an internship or apprenticeship experience?  If you think you might go back to school for another degree, be sure to research the typical job outcomes for people who have attained that degree.
4)      Resist the “quick fix” to current unhappiness.
You are undertaking a big change.  Be careful and thoughtful in your self-assessment and information gathering.  Curb the impulse to make a quick change so that you can thoughtfully choose an option that is right for you.
5)      You don’t have to do this alone.  Be willing to ask for help and get support where you can.
The RIT Career Services Office has many services for alumni.  You may already be aware of those services if you have found your way to this blog.  We have a Career Services Coordinator who works with graduates from your RIT major.  Check our website or call our office at (585) 475-2301 to find out who your Coordinator is and get in touch with him or her.  Your Coordinator can help you assess the risks and benefits of making a mid-career change. 
There is lots of good information on our website that will assist career changers.  Here are two more sources of information from RIT Career Services that could be helpful:  Career Resources and Changing Careers.  And don’t hesitate to contact our office with your questions.

Carolyn DeHority, Assistant Director-Career Counseling, RIT Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education

Thursday, February 19, 2015

How Do I Connect With RIT Employers?

As an RIT alum, you may be wondering if you can still connect with our recruiting companies.  The good news is - you definitely can, AND they want you to!  Companies who successfully recruit co-ops, interns, and new graduates value the skills and experiences of RIT alumni, and look to us when they have experienced hire opportunities.  Here are some ways you can connect.

  • Use RIT Job Zone.  You have continued access to our online job listing system (see the main Alumni page of our website to login or register for an account).  This allows you to view current job postings, search our employer database for company contact information, and gain access to additional resources, including CareerSearch, a comprehensive database of companies sorted by industry and geographic location.
  • Upload your resume into the Alumni Resume Book.  You'll find this option in the Documents tab of Job Zone.  Our employer partners have access to this resume book and use it to reach out to alumni who fit their current needs.
  • Attend the Career Fairs.  If you're in the Rochester area, you're able to attend any of our general or major specific fairs.  The Spring Career Fair is Wednesday March 4 from 10-4 in the Gordon Field House; bring your alumni ID to enter.  All attending company information is on Job Zone.  Also coming up this spring is Creative Industry Day, on March 19th, and the Hospitality and Service Management Fair, on April 7th.
  • Attend company information and networking events.   Many companies who are on campus to recruit provide these sessions to informally meet with students and alumni, and share information about their company and available opportunities.  All information is posted on Job Zone under the Events tab.
  • Join our LinkedIn group - RIT Career Services.  This gives you the opportunity to network with employer members, and many companies post positions at the experienced level on the group.
  • Meet with your Career Services Coordinator in our office - in person, by email or by phone, who has additional company connections and resources specific to your field of interest.  If you're not sure who your Coordinator is, call our office at 475-2301 to get connected.
Let us assist in your job search efforts; we're here to help you achieve continued career success!