Resume aids placement

Charels Powell

In the light of the ongoing economic woes and a saturated job market, Los Medanos College students will provide a free opportunity to students that the general public usually has to pay for — a resume-writing workshop. The mini-seminar, scheduled for Oct. 17 at 3 p.m. in Library Room 214, will highlight a new program that walks students through the steps of creating what Career Center Coordinator Lisa Spencer considers a vital aspect of today’s job market — a resume tailored to the job sought.

“I think the number one mistake people make with resumes is that they make them generic, so they would be good for all jobs and that gets them no jobs,” said Spencer.

She explained that because more people are seeking employment, companies with positions to fill usually get hundreds of applications, and if the resumes do not seem to match what the companies are looking for they end up in the circular file — aka the garbage can.

“If there is a big stack of resumes — usually they give you about five seconds. If they don’t see how it is relevant they just throw them away,” said Spencer.

Business Professor Brad Nash gives the resume submission and review process a similar critique.

“If your resume does not stand out you may never get beyond that point,” said Nash. “What I have noticed now is that employers are almost looking for a reason to exclude people, so they can make it through a mound of applicants.”

The reason behind this, explained Nash, is potential employers figure if an applicant cannot put together a quality resume they probably don’t deserve consideration for their job no matter what their personal qualities might be.
LMC student Michael Walker agrees that a polished resume is vital.

“It is crucial — basically you are making a presentation about yourself,” said Walker. “A resume is the first contact a lot of the time. You can go face-to-face, but most of the time even before they see you, they make a judgment about you.”
Economics Professor Shalini Lugani also commented on the marketing aspects of a resume, and how the sales pitch needs to be solid if the words on the page are to translate into earning power, especially during recessionary periods.
“A solid resume may become more crucial during an economic downturn because many more people are seeking employment and not enough jobs are being offered,” said Lugani. “Of course, a good resume is always an effective informational and marketing tool but during lean times it becomes even more so. Providing the right match of your skill set with the requirements of an employer will enhance your chances of being hired.”

An added benefit of a quality resume, Spencer said, is that when done properly it helps to define what profession an applicant truly wants. Students attending the workshop will actively create a resume they will be able to use to find a job and will have Spencer on hand to answer any questions that come up during the process. The resume builder will walk attendees through the document’s creation in a step-by-step fashion. For example, there is a prompt for previous employment history that will fashion a bullet point list out of a job title alone — a description will appear, and students can select from a list of options and edit them into precise wording.

If the resume is not completed at the workshop the resume draft won’t be lost because it is saved on an account that any student with an Insite email will have access to. In fact, use of the program is not restricted to those who attend the workshop, but is something all students can use by going to losmedanos.edu/career center then selecting resume builder from the drop down menu.

Spencer explained completed resumes can be exported as word files or PDFS (printable document format).
One benefit workshop attendees can draw on is Spencer’s familiarity with writing resumes, a task she believes day-to-day life does not prepare most people for. “I don’t think it is intuitive at all because it is writing in a weird way,” said Spencer. “You don’t use the word I or me, but you are still talking about yourself.”

Students looking to attend do not have to sign up in advance they can just show up on the day of the workshop.
For more information on the Career Center contact Spencer at 439-2181 ext. 3110 or visit losmedanos.edu and select Career Center from the A-Z index (located near the top of the screen.) The office itself can be found on the second level of the College Complex in Room CC2-263.