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Thread: Questions on resumes, business cards, etc.

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    Questions on resumes, business cards, etc.

    Hey folks,

    Been searching around a bit and have come up with a few threads to answer some of my questions, but there are still a few lingering.

    As far as a resume goes for the entry level applicant, what is necessary to be on there? I don't want to include too much, but too little is just as much as a faux pas I suppose. From what I have read, I should be including:

    Cover letter (if requested ONLY)
    Education
    Experience
    Activities/Volunteerism
    References (if requested ONLY)

    Does this look accurate? Is a fraternity something you'd put on Activities or is that generally looked down upon?

    Is it accepted to get calling cards at this point, something with contact info and interests/education stuff? I read all about networking, but I really don't get what this means, and I am kind of assuming that a card like this might be a good foot in the door deal, and look far more professional than most college students do.

    If I were to get a resume set up, would any of you be willing to take a look at it and critique me?

    Thanks for any help you can give, I appreciate it!

  2. #2
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by AG74683 View post
    Cover letter (if requested ONLY)
    Education
    Experience
    Activities/Volunteerism
    References (if requested ONLY)
    -I would always include a cover letter. It let's you fill in the blanks. If it isn't read, who cares, but I always like seeing a cover letter.
    -I would put anything on your resume that you think relates to the job you are applying for - don't put down McD's worker unless you have no other experience to show.
    -Same goes for Education. I would expect that you graduated high school. I don't really care if you got a 4.0 in high school. Stick with college or other related classes.

    Quote Originally posted by AG74683 View post
    Does this look accurate? Is a fraternity something you'd put on Activities or is that generally looked down upon?
    I could care less that you were in a fraternity, unless you did something productive there. Many people like to see that you were active in college, but being in a fraternity means nothing if you can't relate that it shows you are a good candidate for the position.

    Quote Originally posted by AG74683 View post
    Is it accepted to get calling cards at this point, something with contact info and interests/education stuff? I read all about networking, but I really don't get what this means, and I am kind of assuming that a card like this might be a good foot in the door deal, and look far more professional than most college students do.

    I would imagine you are meaning pseudo business cards? If you want to get cards made that have your name and contact info that is great. At the APA conference people give out cards or put there cards in things all the time. I don't know if it will get you ahead, but it can't hurt.

    Quote Originally posted by AG74683 View post
    If I were to get a resume set up, would any of you be willing to take a look at it and critique me?

    Thanks for any help you can give, I appreciate it!
    Sure. I would imagine many of us would comment. It might take us a while to do it though.
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

  3. #3
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by AG74683 View post
    Is a fraternity something you'd put on Activities or is that generally looked down upon?
    I agree with Hink that I could not care less that you were a member of a frat. However, if you had some sort of leadership role or put in some significant work with the fraternity on some project AND your responsibilities were somehow related to the job you are applying for, then maybe include it on the resume or briefly mention it in the cover letter.

    As for other activities, unless you're applying as a position as a personal trainer or camp counselor, nobody cares that you enjoy recreational rock climbing, windsurfing and bird watching (I've seriously seen all those activities and many more on resumes for people applying for planning type positions in the public and private sector).

    Quote Originally posted by AG74683 View post
    Is it accepted to get calling cards at this point, something with contact info and interests/education stuff? I read all about networking, but I really don't get what this means, and I am kind of assuming that a card like this might be a good foot in the door deal, and look far more professional than most college students do.
    I don't think having a personal business card with your name and contact information on it is a bad idea. I would keep it as simple and as minimal as possible though to avoid cluttering it up. I've seen advertisements were it looks pretty cheap to get a box of 500 cards these days that maybe it would be worth it to get one set with name and contact and a second set with that plus education or a 1-line blurb about you and planning or something.

    In the end, while I'm sure there are plenty of folks you will run across that you want to give your resume to, they might feel like they just got Shanghaied if you give them something that they think is a business card and turns out to be a 2"x3.5" CV.
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

  4. #4
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Everything else said seems pretty good, so I'll give some specific advice on the frat:

    Yes, you probably should include it as an activity, but you need to take it a step further: Member of Kappa Tappa Kegga fraternity in which I worked on or led several community service projects and routinely volunteered with the Big Brothers/Big Sisters Organization of College Town City, Texas.

    I say this because frats can be viewed through bias, and you want to identify your frat activity in college as a civic-minded rather than a boozefest. Also, it is those activities that you can more easily tie back to the job you are applying for.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
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    thanks for the help guys!

    I attached what I have so far, how does it look?
    Attached Files Attached Files

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by AG74683 View post
    thanks for the help guys!

    I attached what I have so far, how does it look?
    Honestly... ok, I am going to sound like an Ahole, but nothing sez "snooze" like a template MS word doc resume.

    What projects have you worked on in school? What kind of mapping have you performed? what is "heavy use" in ArcView? Are you spatial mapping or just looking up properties? What new ordinance are you "researching" what information did you gather?

    Any school projects?

    What did you do as a plant tech that is relevant to a planning job?

    A resume sells you. Period. You need to market yourself.

    Sorry to sound so rude, but you can't expect to get a foot in the door with something that is bland and shows no real "skills".
    Men do dumb $hit... it is what they do to correct the problem that counts.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by CPSURaf View post
    Honestly... ok, I am going to sound like an Ahole, but nothing sez "snooze" like a template MS word doc resume.

    What projects have you worked on in school? What kind of mapping have you performed? what is "heavy use" in ArcView? Are you spatial mapping or just looking up properties? What new ordinance are you "researching" what information did you gather?

    Any school projects?

    What did you do as a plant tech that is relevant to a planning job?

    A resume sells you. Period. You need to market yourself.

    Sorry to sound so rude, but you can't expect to get a foot in the door with something that is bland and shows no real "skills".
    I agree.

    Bullets are good when you have a large amount of informaiton to present, but in your case it draws attention to your lack of experience.

    Forget the high school degree. It is assumed. Also drop your GPA from the resume. List your college, the degree, and then highlight your program of study. Ex., Bachelor of Science in Town, City, and Regional Planning with significant course work in applied GIS to map and mitigate zombie invasions within suburban environments.

    Add a couple full sentences to your work history as well. Describe your role within the organization before providing bullets about specific tasks. Add to the bullets. What is Ford Q1 certification and what was your specific role?
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  8. #8
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    As a general note, I always consider what I include in the resume as if every heading had the word "relevent" in front of it. Why should this employer care about this particular experience? That is what I am trying to convey.

    When I work on a reume, I try to cater the information to the job I am seeking - for my experience, I have a one-liner that describes the general responsibilities. Then I have a longer line or bulleted list of things I did within that description that relate to the job I am seeking.

    The same is true of the cover letter where I also flesh out some information that might not fit into the resume. Its a narrative, so you get to say things like "for the past XX years I have been doing this and that kind of work which is why I feel I am a good candidate for this job" Or something to that effect. There is usually overlap between what I highlight in the letter and what is on the resume, so I often say things like "as you can see from my resume..." and then go on to provide insight or info not included there.

    I still subscribe the general rule that the cover letter and resume should be one page each. But as I have aged and had morte experience, the resume has grown. I put my education and jobs up front and then I have a section called "Relevent projects and publications" which allows me to highlight things like grad school projects or things I did as an independent contractor.

    Hope that is helpful. Sorry no time to review your example...
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by AG74683 View post
    thanks for the help guys!

    I attached what I have so far, how does it look?
    You really don't want to post your resume on here, for reasons that will become apparent after a moment of deliberation. We have a thread where you can ask for reviews, and then exchange e-mail addresses via PM.

    Having typed that...make the margins and point sizes bigger to fill up the space, along with the recommendations already posted.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by Veloise View post
    You really don't want to post your resume on here, for reasons that will become apparent after a moment of deliberation. We have a thread where you can ask for reviews, and then exchange e-mail addresses via PM.

    Having typed that...make the margins and point sizes bigger to fill up the space, along with the recommendations already posted.
    Makes sense, but appears the posts lock editing after a while.

    Also, its just very basic, I posted it more along the lines of am I doing it right, not in the stages of making it look good yet

    Thanks for the tips, will change up according to what has been said.

    Also, as far as the GIS stuff goes, that is actually another major I have, I will be graduating with two degrees and a minor.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian
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    Cover letter - Always. Its your best shot to really let them know what you want them to know about you. Resumes are sterile and boring.
    Career Goal - In a sentence, what is your career goal.
    Education (Newest to oldest)
    Experience (Newest to oldest)
    Salary History (Three years minimum)
    Awards / Honors
    Publications (List any articles that you wrote or were a participant in, even a chapter newsletter article)
    Activities/Volunteerism
    References (if requested ONLY)

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Bubba's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by smccutchan1 View post
    Cover letter - Always. Its your best shot to really let them know what you want them to know about you. Resumes are sterile and boring.
    Career Goal - In a sentence, what is your career goal.
    Education (Newest to oldest)
    Experience (Newest to oldest)
    Salary History (Three years minimum)
    Awards / Honors
    Publications (List any articles that you wrote or were a participant in, even a chapter newsletter article)
    Activities/Volunteerism
    References (if requested ONLY)
    Good list - here's my take:

    Salary History - only if specifically requested, especially if you're eyeing something that would be a pay cut

    Awards/Honors, Publications, Activities/Volunteerism - only if relevant
    I found you a new motto from a sign hanging on their wall…"Drink coffee: do stupid things faster and with more energy"

  13. #13
    Salary history on a resume? No way.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by AG74683 View post
    Is a fraternity something you'd put on Activities or is that generally looked down upon?
    I would list it as an activity, list any special positions you held (parliamentarian, sgt. at arms, vp etc.)

    Quote Originally posted by AG74683 View post
    Is it accepted to get calling cards at this point, something with contact info and interests/education stuff? I read all about networking, but I really don't get what this means, and I am kind of assuming that a card like this might be a good foot in the door deal, and look far more professional than most college students do.
    Aw, I think it's so cute when young planners have their own business cards, or any unemployed planner for that point. I usually toss them out as soon as I get home. If you want to network find me (not literally me) on LinkedIn where I'll actually keep in contact, a business card with your name and phone on it will get tossed or lost in the hundreds most people have.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian
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    Salary history is evidence that you are serious and not afraid to be bold about what you want. Call it separating the men from the boys.

  16. #16
    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by smccutchan1 View post
    Salary history is evidence that you are serious and not afraid to be bold about what you want. Call it separating the men from the boys.
    Completely disagree, since in most cases salary range is posted on the position especially in public sector positions. Second, if you put your salary history up front you could be either undercutting or scaring off a potential employer. Leave the salary up to negotiations prior to job acceptance, get the job then if they want you they'll meet you in the middle.

  17. #17
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Tide View post
    Completely disagree, since in most cases salary range is posted on the position especially in public sector positions. Second, if you put your salary history up front you could be either undercutting or scaring off a potential employer. Leave the salary up to negotiations prior to job acceptance, get the job then if they want you they'll meet you in the middle.
    I agree with you. What I have earned in NJ is irrelevant to what I might earn in other locations that do not have as high a cost of living. Additionally, many people look at the qualities of the job itself not just the salary range being offered. I might be inclined to take less money if its a place I really want to be and the job is a good fit.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  18. #18
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Tide View post
    ...Aw, I think it's so cute when young planners have their own business cards, or any unemployed planner for that point. I usually toss them out as soon as I get home. If you want to network find me (not literally me) on LinkedIn where I'll actually keep in contact, a business card with your name and phone on it will get tossed or lost in the hundreds most people have.
    Different view here (I'm a Vistaprint frequent flyer with cards for several different avocations). LinkedIn is marvelous if there's a device in both people's pockets. If you're not packing, you're scrambling for something to write on and with. A card is a lot easier.

    I gave out about ten cards last week at our local "slut walk" (my LinkedIn profile presently focuses on social networking and local community vibrancy).


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