A resume is a one (sometimes two) page summary of your qualifications that relates to the position for which you are applying. It serves as an advertisement and creates a prospective employer’s first impression of you.
The resume should be concise, yet provide sufficient information to effectively present your qualifications and to interest the employer enough to invite you for an interview. A resume is a personal statement that should reflect your style, and will differ from any other person’s resume.
Identification– Place your name, address, telephone number, and e-mail address at the top of the resume. It can be centered or placed on the side with a line for effect. Do not use terms like name, address, or resume. Your name should be in bold or larger font size. Do NOT include personal information like marital status, date of birth, number of children, etc.
Education– Your education history should be placed at the top of the page if it is your most important quality. Include the names of schools, degrees received, dates degrees received and major. You may also list some relevant course work if desired. This may be particularly helpful in some of the technical majors.
Work Experience– This area can be titled “Work History,” “Employment,” “Employment History,” or “Professional Experience.” This category can include internships and volunteer activities. Do not leave any gaps in your work history. Include name of the employer, your job title, and responsibilities or duties. DO NOT include supervisor's names and phone numbers. This should be included in the reference section or on the job application.
Honors/Activities– This category can include information such as club memberships, awards, honors, interests, etc.
Computer Skills– This category is normally included since employers want to ensure that the candidate has the common computer skills, such as Word and Excel. You can also use the heading "Skills" to include all other relevant skills such as bilingual skills.
References– It is not necessary to list references on your resume. If you want to include your references, they should be placed on a separate sheet entitled “References.” Most employers do not require references to be sent with the resume. If you indicate that your references are available upon request, make sure that you are prepared to provide them.
The purpose of the cover letter, like the resume, is to introduce yourself to a potential employer. It is a generally accepted practice to include a cover letter with a mailed resume. The cover letter should be one-page and should not be another version of the resume. It generally contains three sections:
1) An introductory paragraph, which includes how you found out about the position and that you want to apply.
2) A paragraph that contains some personal information about yourself. This generally includes your educational background and a few sentences about your experience as it relates to the position.
3) In the final paragraph, ask for the interview and let them know how to get in touch with you.
The job interview can be one of the most nerve-wracking moments of your life. So how do you prepare for this important step in the job search? The following is some information to help you prepare for the job interview.
- Be on time. This means a few minutes early.
- Learn the interviewer’s name and how to pronounce it. You should use Mr. or Ms.
- Bring a spare copy of your resume, pen and paper in a briefcase or folder.
- Expect to spend some time developing rapport.
- Be aware of your non-verbal communication including eye contact and posture.
- Nervousness is not a negative. Nervousness indicates that you are interested in the position. However, avoid nervous mannerisms, like tapping your fingers, playing with a pen, etc.
- Do not exaggerate or lie.
- Do not take over the interview. Answer each question and wait for the next question.
- Be prepared for some personal questions, even some inappropriate ones. Some interviewers may not be aware of what they can ask, legally. Try to anticipate how you would handle personal questions.
- Be sure you understand the question. Feel free to ask for clarification.
- Do not apologize for lack of experience or weaknesses.
- Be self-confident, but not over-confident.
- Let the interviewer bring up salary.
- Silence is not a problem. Feel free to take a few moments to think about an answer.
- Emphasize what you can do for the organization. Employers want to know what you can do for them.
- Do not try to give the answer the interviewer wants.
- Always focus on the positive. Do not talk negative about previous supervisors, co-workers, etc.
- Have a few questions ready. This demonstrates that you have taken the time to research the company.
- Do not expect an offer on the spot. It may take a few weeks to process your application.
- Be yourself. You do not want to get hired on the basis of something you are not. You want to be hired for who you are.
- What do you consider your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
- How would you describe yourself?
- How do you think a friend or professor who knows you well would describe you?
- Why should I hire you?
- What qualifications do you have that make you think that you will be successful in business?
- What do you see yourself doing five years from now?
- Why did you select your college or university?
- What led you to choose your field of major study?
- What college subjects did you like the least? Why?
- What college subjects did you like best?
- How has you college experience prepared you for a business career?
- Describe your most rewarding college experience.
- Do you have plans for continued study? An advanced degree?
- Do you think your grades are a good indication of your academic achievement?
- What have you learned form participating in extracurricular activities?
- What do you know about our company?
- In what ways do you think you can make a contribution to our company?
- What criteria are you using to evaluate the company for which you hope to work?
- What qualities do you look for in potential employees?
- What does it take to advance in your field?
- Has your company hired UA Fort Smith graduates before? How have they done?
- What do you consider to be your organization’s three most important assets?
- What do you see ahead for your company/organization in the next ten years?
- Is this a newly created position or is someone being replaced?
- How would I spend a typical day?
- When might a decision be made as to whom will be offered the job?
- Can I provide you with any further information?
Career Services has a Professional Clothing Closet available for current students who need attire for job interviews, internship interviews or classroom presentations. Professional attire available includes gently used business suits for men and women, button-down shirts, blouses, ties and shoes. Access to the Professional Clothing Closet is free to all students by appointment only. Please call us at (479) 788-7017 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment.
- Select conservative, professional apparel. Do not allow your apparel to divert the interviewer’s attention from what you say and your qualifications.
- Make sure your hair is clean, neat, and looks professional.
- Remove piercings other than single-ear jewelry for interviews.
- Cover visible tattoos.
- Wear clean and pressed clothing.
- Apparel should fit well and remain in place while sitting and/or walking.
- Choose professional apparel in accordance with industry standard or specific company policy.
- Wear a conservative (dark blue, brown, black or gray) two-piece business suit.
- Skirts are traditionally knee-length but those slightly shorter or longer are also acceptable. Generally, no shorter than a dollar bill's width from the knee is acceptable.
- Avoid transparent, tight-fitting clothing, low necklines, or revealing waistlines.
- Wear conservative hosiery, especially if you choose to wear a skirt.
- Do not wear strong perfume.
- Use natural-looking makeup and conservative nail polish.
- Carry a purse or briefcase with extra resumes.
- Wear conservative shoes that match the suit.
- Accessories should be worn in moderation.
- Wear a conservative matching suit in navy, brown, black or gray or wear a navy blazer and gray dress slacks.
- Wear a light colored dress shirt that coordinates with the jacket and pant.
- Wear a conservative silk tie that coordinates with the jacket and pant.
- Socks should be dark blue, brown, black or gray, and coordinate with the suit.
- Wear conservative, clean, and polished shoes that coordinate with your suit.
- Wear a belt that matches your shoes.
- Wear minimal jewelry.
- Wear minimal cologne.
- Bring a portfolio with extra resumes.
*May 2015 and prior graduates will still have the hard copy Placement File option until further notice. Students have the option to move all of their information into an ePortfolio.
**Students graduating after May 2015 will be creating an ePortfolio. Students will begin creating their ePortfolio in Practicum II. A staff member from Career Services will present ePortfolio information and discuss the setup process. Students/Alumni are responsible for maintaining their ePortfolio.
An ePortfolio is an electronic version of a hard copy Placement File and can include as much information as the student prefers. Education graduates will create their ePortfolio in Practicum II and maintain their ePortfolio for as long as they wish, including determining who has visibility rights. A staff member from Career Services will present ePortfolio information and discuss the setup process. Students will be able to share a link to their ePortfolio with school administrators along with their application materials.
A Placement File is an attractive packet of information used in the application process by Education graduates. It usually contains a cover sheet, a student's resume, letters of recommendation, Praxis scores and transcript. Copies of the Placement File are usually submitted with an application for a teacher position. The Placement File is maintained by the student and housed in the Career Services Office. Copies can be mailed by request of the student or picked at the Career Services Office with proper identification. Please see Placement File documents at the bottom of this page.
To establish a Placement File the student must submit the following items to the Career Services Office: Completed Placement File Setup Form, Resume, Letters of Recommendation, Praxis scores, and Teacher’s License Certificate (if available). Students can submit documentation either electronically or in person.
Your Placement File contains highly confidential information. For your protection, the Career Services Office has to be very careful in the dissemination of that information.
To request a copy of your Placement File, please fill out the following request form and email to email@example.com.
To view or pick up/view your placement file, you MUST present valid photo ID.
Please allow 24 hours for the preparation of your request.
Current Policy: Information that is submitted for the Placement File is kept on file for two years. After two years the information is scanned and the paper copy is destroyed. The scanned copy is maintained for eight additional years. Original information should not be submitted.
*May 2015 and prior graduates will still have the hard copy Placement File option until further notice.*
ePortfolio...................................Free (Google Sites)
10 copies, picked up..................Free
5 copies, mailed.........................Free
Additional copies (after 10), picked up.....$1.00 each
Additional copies (after 5), mailed.........$2.00 each
Payment is due prior at pickup or prior to mailing out.
If multiple files are mailed to a single address, the charge is $2.00 for the initial copy and $1.00 for each additional copy. Only three Placement Files may be mailed in a single envelope.