written by: Nicole Renteria
This past Tuesday, herNetwork teamed up with LOCK to provide students with a workshop, guided towards helping them build resumes and LinkedIn profiles. Those who were interested were able to sit down with experienced members of both clubs, who provided insight and tips for their peers.
I had the privilege of speaking with LOCK’s Chris Pratt to ask him questions regarding my own scattered resume. Going into it, I had the impression that any high school activities still remaining on my resume was a waste of space. To my surprise, Chris assured me that keeping high school activities on your resume as a Sophomore is totally acceptable. After a sigh of relief, he went on to explain that until you can add new information to your resume, keeping the important experiences you have from your past is necessary. As you approach senior year, weed out the less relevant information with the new experiences you have gained throughout your years here in Boston!
As I moved down the table, I met with Lisa, our Vice President of Marketing, to discuss what employers are looking for in a strong resume. Her rule of thumb: Employers are scanning your resume; they want to see the important ideas and achievements stand out. Lisa advises to keep it short! Limit your bullets to information that best represents what you gained from your experience. Something to keep in mind is your tense form; pick one and stick to it. A clean and precise resume will always catch the attention of your potential employers!
When I felt like I had my resume skills mastered, I switched over to the LinkedIn table to meet with Bronwen Ambridge, Executive Vice President of herNetwork! As a new user to the networking site, Bronwen walked me through the steps of creating my profile. We started with the profile picture. Her advice: keep it professional. Try and avoid the cute selfie you took last week and find something that is a better representation of your professional self! Next, include companies, schools, or groups that you are involved in. Listing such groups will help you to connect you to people you may know within your community.
Confused on what personal information to add? Take that resume you just perfected and publish it to your profile! LinkedIn is a virtual representation of your resume, but it can include relevant interests and skills that may not fit on your one-page resume. For example, you can add a list of courses that you have taken that apply to the major you are pursuing.
For more information on how to enrich your profile try using the University LinkedIn tab! This will provide you with a checklist on what to add and helpful tips on how to network with potential employers. LinkedIn provides you with basic networking tools and allows you to form connections in an easy manner! Down the line this will help you connect with people in businesses you are interested in pursuing.
When should you look to create one? As soon as possible! By the end of your freshman year, look to create a profile that you can continue to build upon. The same goes for your resume! Create a structured resume early on. As you complete your first internship, replace your old leadership skills from your high school french club with that awesome internship where you spent your entire summer in Paris!
For more tips and tricks on perfecting your resume, be sure to visit the Boston University Center for Career Development or the Feld Career Center. Online guides and tutorials are always available to help you jumpstart your professional toolkit.