Career Services

Resumes and Interviews

Career Services offers Resume Reviews on a walk-in basis and by appointment. Walk-in Reviews are available Mon-Thu 8AM-4PM and Fri 8AM-3PM. Appointments for Reviews can be made by coming in to Career Services in the KSC building or by calling 602.787.7073.

For all Resume Reviews, bring an electronic draft of your resume on a flash drive, in MS Word / Plain Text / Rich Text format (no MS Works). It is recommended that you bring one job description that includes the minimum and desired qualifications for a job for which you are interested in applying.

A Resume is...

  • A marketing brochure to sell yourself to an ________________
  • A brief _____________ of your skills
  • A tool used to get the _____________
  • A way employers use to _____________ applicants
  • An opportunity to create a great _____________
  • A _____________ to your interview

What are Employers looking for in a Resume?

  1. Overall appearance and _____________ quality.
  2. _____________ phrases.
  3. Measured __________________ that show what you can do for their business.

Resume Tips

  • Keep it Short and Simple (KISS)
  • Make it easy to read and scan
  • Top third most important (highlights)
  • Don’t use “I” or “me”
  • 1-2 pages in length
  • Use “action” or “skill” words
  • Be careful not to use jargon

    Use only use your last 10 years of experience

  • Be careful with spell check!
  • Have someone review it!
  • Ask yourself, “If I were the employer, would I interview this person?”
  • Expect to revise, revise, and revise again!
  • Prepare a “Job Specific” resume for each position you apply for
  • Use 10-12 font
  • Use Arial or Times New Roman font
  • Use plain, professional paper
  • Target your resume for each job!

The Steps to Writing a Resume Worksheet

Step 1.
Choose a job target (also called a job objective).
I want a job as a _________________________ in the __________________ field.

http://online.onetcenter.org Use this site to help with Steps 2-4.

Step 2.
What skills, knowledge, and experience are needed to do your target job?

Step 3.
Make a list of your strongest skills and abilities (3 or 4) that make you a good candidate for your target job.

Step 4.
For each of your skills, think of several accomplishments you have done to illustrate that skill.

Step 5.
Describe each accomplishment in a simple, powerful action statement that emphasizes results that benefited your employer.

Step 6.
Make a list of the positions you have held, in chronological order.

Step 7.
Make a list of your training and education that is related to the new job you want.

Step 8.
Choose a resume format that fits your situation.

Chronological: If you are staying in the same field and you have unbroken employment history.

Functional: If you are making a career change OR do not have a continuous record of employment.

Which format is best for you?

Chronological

  • I've held the same job for more than five years.
  • My employment history is one of stability.
  • I rarely hop from job to job.
  • My past employer is a prestigious company well known in my field.
  • My job titles are impressive.
  • I plan to continue in the same field as my past job.
  • I have considerable experience but in one area only.
  • I have a limited repertoire of skills.

Functional

  • I am changing careers.
  • I have never held one job for a long period of time.
  • I recently finished school and do not have any professional experience.
  • I am re-entering the job force after a considerable absence.
  • I am proficient in many areas and have many skills.
  • I have held many jobs in a variety of unrelated work areas.
  • Most of my work experience has been freelance or temporary.
  • My skills fit better with my present career objective than prior job titles.

Resume Headings

Personal Information

  • Your first and last name should go at the top so your name stands out (Bold font size 14-20)
  • List your address: street, city, state, zip (optional)
  • Include phone number with area code – limit to two phone numbers
  • List your personal e-mail address if you have one (should be professional)
  • Never put your picture on a resume or include any personal information such as marital status, age, etc. that an employer can use to discriminate. Think EEO: age, disability, national origin, race, religion and gender.

Objectives

  • Used to state what kind of job you are seeking
  • Focuses your resume
  • Keep it simple and specific
  • Use a general objective if you can’t change your resume for every job
  • It is optional – if not included employers will assume you are looking for a job similar to your last position
  • HINT: Think like you are in HR…”What pile do I put this resume in?”
    Example: “Sales representative in the pharmaceutical industry.”

Summary or Highlights of Qualifications (top 1/3 of resume is MOST IMPORTANT!)

  • Use to emphasize/summarize your skills as they apply to the minimum requirements
  • Use if you’re changing careers and need to highlight your transferable skills
  • Highlight the accomplishments that benefited your previous employers
    Example:
    • Ten years of customer service experience
    • Creative problem solver with exceptional organizational skills
    • Ability to plan, initiate, and carry out ideas and programs
    • Computer Skills: MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Access
    • Bilingual in English and German

Education, and Honors, Awards and Activities These categories can be combined or separated, as you prefer.

  • List your most recent education first. State the name of school attended, degree, major (if applicable), city, state, and years attended or graduation date
  • Put your education towards the top if it will help you get the job, otherwise put it on the bottom of your resume (New Grads 1-5 years can move to top) after that move to bottom. Include your G.P.A. if it is 3.0 or above. You can list your G.P.A. in your major, provided you list the number of courses you’ve used to determine the average (i.e. Major G.P.A.: History 3.5 (8 courses). Overall G.P.A.: 3.2).
  • High School not required on resume if college student or graduate (but is normally required on application)
  • If you were active in school and can write paragraphs about your extracurricular activities, you are free to select only the three or four most interesting/impressive ones.
  • Commonly known honors (Phi Theta Kappa) need no explanation, though lesser or unknown awards can be explained briefly.
  • How to list your education (first example is during college, second is after graduation)

    Paradise Valley Community College, Phoenix, AZ, currently enrolled, GPA 3.5
    Completed 48/64 credits toward Associate in Arts Degree

    • Phi Theta Kappa
    • Presidents’ Scholarship

    Associate in Arts Degree, May 2012, GPA 3.5 with Honors
    Paradise Valley Community College, Phoenix, AZ

Professional/Relevant/Work Experience

  • Summary of your job descriptions and duties (Refrain from using the work duty and responsibility- these are 70’s terms)
  • List your most recent job first and work your way back for 10 years
  • Try to include statements of achievements and contributions. The top thing that employers are looking for: What did you accomplish at your job? (Look at the job description to find this
  • Emphasize duties that will be transferable to the job you are seeking
  • State your Job Title, Company Name, Dates Employed, City, State, and Job Description
  • Use action/skills words to start your sentences (i.e. Trained new employees)
  • Keep your sentences short (One to two lines)
  • Use past tense to describe all jobs (even your current job)
  • If you have had a series of job titles with one employer, list all the job title, dates you held the job, and a job description separately

Other Optional Resume Sections

  • Certifications
  • Achievements
  • Activities
  • Associations
  • Training
  • Honors
  • Military Service
  • Relevant courses
  • Volunteer Work

Online Resumes

(Scannable, searchable, uploadable)

Microsoft Word and other word processing software are formatted in HTML and cannot be read by most human resources web-based programs. The result is a loss of formatting and special characters (bullets, apostrophes, etc.) which are displayed as weird characters.
To avoid this problem, you may have to convert or save your resume in a plain text format which means it will not retain the same formatting as your original resume.
Plain text resumes are used to post (upload) on the Internet. The benefit of a plain text resume is a company can download your resume regardless of their type of computer. Additionally, it is a way to protect companies from downloading viruses.

HINT: Don’t be concerned about the loss of special characters when using a plain text resume because employers are interested in the content of your resume and are accustomed to viewing resumes in this format.

Saving Your Resume as a Plain Text File

How To:
The following are instructions on how to convert your resume into a plain text file:

  1. Open up your resume in MS Word
  2. Select “File”, “Save As”
  3. Select the drop down box next to “Save as type:” (see circle below)
  4. Select “Plain Text” from the drop down menu
  5. Click “Save”, “Ok”

Online Resume

Cheyenne Thorpe
1234 W. Main Street
Chandler, Arizona
Home: 480.998.1111 Message: 602.988.1212
Email: xyz@juno.com

OBJECTIVE

Help Desk Specialist Posting 45678

KEY WORD SEARCH

Microsoft Certified System Engineer, MSCE, A+ Certified, Windows NT, SQL, hardware maintenance, network technician, help desk, support desk, site documentation.

HIGHLIGHTS OF QUALIFICATIONS

Able to work as a member of the team to satisfy customers under tight time constraints.

Successful sales experience. Regularly met or exceeded sales quota.

Strong customer service background includes the ability to build and maintain positive customer relations, resolves customer complaints, and to anticipate customer needs.

Experienced in a call center environment.

Bilingual in English and Spanish: reading, writing, and speaking.

RELATED WORK HISTORY

Network Technician
ABC Contractor, Mesa, Arizona
03/2006 – Present

Was responsible for network installations, troubleshooting and providing related help desk support. Trained end-users in the use of NT workstation and Windows 95.

 
 
 

Customer Service XYZ Company, Boulder, Colorado 05/2001 – 03/2006

Worked with customers in a call station environment to solve basic problems over the phone. Able to describe technical information to non-technical end-users.

Sales Associate
Bob’s Books, Boulder, Colorado

Sold books and accessories for small, privately owned bookstore. Set up in-house displays that quickly boosted sales by 15%. Demonstrated strong phone skills and customer service by expediting customer concerns professionally.

EDUCATION

AAS, Microsoft Networking Technology Program
Mesa Community College

RELATED ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Dean’s Honor Roll

Chronological Resume Template - MS Word doc (Right click, Save Target As)
Functional Resume Template - MS Word doc (Right click, Save Target As

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Upload your resumes for class assignments

Have you spent countless hours revising your resume and searching for the perfect job yet fail to prepare for the interview? The interview is your opportunity to shine, to show the employer that you're the best candidate for the position. Preparing for the job interview may be the MOST crucial element of getting the job of your dreams. PVCC Career Services offers the following to help you prepare for this important day. We recommend that you review the sample interview questions from the link below and ANSWER them thoughtfully. Then schedule your mock interview.

Make an appointment to practice your interviewing skills in a role-playing situation with a career services expert. Call us at 602.787.7073 to schedule an appointment.

Tips for Successful Interviews

  • Be prepared to sell yourself (Inventory your assets).
  • Research the employer (and the job) beforehand. Start with the company's web site and annual report.
  • Bring your resume (Also pen and notepad).
  • Communicate your potential value to the firm effectively. Show your sense of humor.
  • Demonstrate interest and enthusiasm in the company and the job.
  • Ask for more details about the job.
  • Listen carefully and maintain eye contact with the interviewer.
  • Smile! Be cheerful and responsive. Speak up!
  • Express yourself in a clear, organized fashion.
  • Discuss your transferable skills if necessary.
  • Should mention of your liabilities prove necessary, put a positive spin on it.
  • Emphasize you are a team player, customer service and technological skills.
  • Be prepared to explain gaps in your work history.
  • Take time to consider each question before answering and communicate confidence in your abilities.
  • Reinforce your answers with examples from actual experiences. Relate your skills and accomplishments to the responsibilities of the position.
  • Impress them with your goals and plans.
  • Ask questions about the company, its products and services, and its future plans.
  • Allow the interviewer to finish the interview. Be sure to restate your genuine interest in the job.
  • Close with a handshake and "thank you".
  • Send a thank you letter the next day.

Other Interview Tips

  • Arrive on time or 15 minutes early (To allow time to freshen up).
  • Leave friends or relatives at home.
  • Give the interviewer a firm handshake (avoid the death grip – some people have arthritis).
  • An interviewers job is to make you feel at ease; don't take this as a sign to be overly friendly with the interviewer.
  • Check your posture and avoid fidgeting with your hands.
  • Allow interviewer to speak without interruption.
  • Expand on your answers; yes or no responses are too simple.
  • Keep responses relevant and precise.
  • Leave discussion of personal problems at home.
  • Stay positive!
  • Avoid criticizing previous employers.
  • Speak about your accomplishments.
  • Leave salary negotiations and discussions of company benefits until job offer.
  • Don't disagree with the interviewer.
  • You're being interviewed for the present position, leave talk about rapid advancement until you have proven yourself with the company.

Pre-Interview Tips

  • Prepare some questions to ask the interviewer, refer to them at the end of the interview.
  • Schedule a mock interview with PVCC Career Services or role-play with a friend. Think through your answers aloud while you're driving or in front of a mirror at home.
  • Know how to answer illegal or improper questions. A response to a question such as "Do you have any children?" could be, "Does that have a bearing on my ability to do the job?" The interview process should focus on job related questions. However, some interviewers do not realize they are asking questions that are not related to your ability to perform the job. If you really want the job, be diplomatic in your answer.
  • Prior to your interview, try to find out name and position of interviewer(s).
  • Prepare a list of references; names, addresses and phone numbers of three people who have agreed to serve as personal references.
  • Arrive a little early to allow extra time to fill out an application.
  • If something happens and you are going to be late, call the interviewer.
  • When you arrive, be sure to use the restroom and check your appearance.
  • If you are feeling anxious while waiting to be interviewed, take some deep breaths, breathing through your nose (it will feed your brain). Read any company literature that is in the waiting room. Most interviewers realize that people feel anxious when interviewed.
  • Smile, smile, smile!

Post-Interview Tips

  • Ask for the business card(s) of your interviewer(s).
  • Write down information and discussion points about the organization and the job.
  • Write the interviewer's name, department, addresses and phone numbers in your notebook.
  • Evaluate your interview; determine how to improve your next one.
  • Write or email thank-you letters.
  • Follow up with phone calls to determine the status of the hiring decision.

THINK POSITIVE – IT'S A PLUS!

P – Posture: Gestures and eye contact
L – Language: What you say and how you say it
U – You: Sell your knowledge, skills, and experience
S – Smile!

Pre and Post Interview Tips (downloadable)

Check Yourself from Head to Toe

First and foremost: Get a good night's rest. Someone who looks tired may be perceived as lazy or sickly.

Hair
Shampoo your hair. Your hair will be one of the first things noticed and it makes a big statement about your overall hygiene and cleanliness.
Simple Hairstyle. To allow the interviewer to notice your face, eyes and expressions, wear a simple style that is not distracting.

Eyes
Relieve the redness. Avoid red, irritated eyes by using eye drops.

Nose
Trim your nose hair. Be sure to blow your nose if needed prior to an interview. If your nose is running, bring tissues or handkerchief.

Ears
Use Q-Tips. Clean ears will not be noticed, but dirty ears could be a deal breaker.
Earrings. Wear only small, unnoticeable earrings.

Mouth
Teeth: In the morning, brush, floss and use mouth wash. After eating, check your teeth and have a mint.
Lips: Avoid bright lipstick colors. Stay with a neutral tone and check your teeth for any smears.
Jewelry: Avoid wearing tongue jewelry to a job interview as it might interfere when you speak.
Smile: Show the interviewer (s) you want the job and smile big. It will relax you and help you appear more confident.

Hands
Nails: Trim your nails and cuticles. The interviewer will notice when she/he reaches to shake your hand. If you can afford it, get a manicure.
Men: Keep your nails short and clean.
Ladies: Nails that are too long may prevent you from doing the work and will be “red-flag”.

Face
Piercings: Facial piercings can be controversial. It is best to remove them.
Men: Shave. Avoid “5 o’clock” stubble for the job interview. Presenting yourself clean shaven is ideal.
Ladies: Keep your cosmetics to a minimum. In a business environment, less is more.

Body
Tattoos: Visible tattoos are not appropriate in all work settings. If unsure, cover them up
Jewelry: Avoid excessive jewelry.
Men: limit yourself to a watch and a ring.
Women: a watch, a ring, a necklace, and a pair of simple post earrings is plenty. Deodorant or antiperspirant: Prevent any bad odors and be as cool as a cucumber. Applying a little on your hands will ensure a nice dry handshake.

Feet
Shoes: Shining your shoes shows that you pay attention to detail and that you are a meticulous worker. Avoid sandals and open-toed shoes since many companies do not allow them.

What to Wear

Dress one level above the clothes that you would wear on the job. Business executives should wear suits. Support staff should wear conservative dress clothes. Be sure to ask the human resources department if you are not sure how to dress for the interview. Solid colors work best – so avoid bright colors, loud fashions, or bold patterns.

Classic Professional Outfits.
Men: navy-blue blazer, gray slacks, white shirt, red tie, black lace-up shoes, black socks, and a black dress belt.
Women: charcoal gray or navy pantsuit, white blouse, simple necklace or scarf, black pumps and neutral hose.

Dry clean your clothes. Have your attire dry-cleaned and pressed. Looking sharp shows respect for the interviewer, the job, and yourself.

Try on your outfit days before the interview. This allows you to see if your outfit fits properly and feels comfortable. In addition, you can repair problems such as holes, tears, splits, stains, and missing buttons. Do not forget to check your hosiery and try on your shoes.

Do not wear the latest fashion trends. Many of the latest fashion trends may be great on the runway but they do not work in the interview room. Save your trendy clothes for a more appropriate setting.

Empty your pockets. Men; resist the urge to put your hands in your pockets. Playing with change and keys can be distracting.

What Not to Wear

  • Textured hose – plain and neutral work best
  • Cropped shirts or tops (midriff showing)
  • Exercise wear, bike shorts, leggings (tights)
  • Muscle shirts or half shirts
  • Hats (except outdoors)
  • Overalls, faded pants, or pants with holes
  • Skirts/dresses not appropriate length
  • Backless, low-cut, or shoulder baring blouses/tops/dresses
  • Big dangling earrings – small and simple works best

What to bring

  • Three questions to ask your interviewers
  • Copies of your resume and carry them in a simple manila folder
  • Social Security Card
  • Work permits and visas, if applicable
  • Work samples or a portfolio if needed
  • Money for gas, tolls, public transportation and phone
  • New notebook and a pen that works

Presenting Yourself in a Job Interview (downloadable)