General Question

chelle21689's avatar

Can someone critique my resume?

Asked by chelle21689 (5215 points ) September 3rd, 2012

I’m 23 and I’m graduating soon with a bachelor’s degree in business management. I have been applying to entry level jobs I seem to qualify for: minimum education of high school diploma, customer service experience, computer skills, etc. I have been applying to HR assistant and administrative assistant jobs. It’s been two weeks and I put in a lot of applications but no response for an interview at all.

I don’t know what’s wrong. The contact information is okay, no misspelled words, I apply for jobs I seem to match with, so what’s the issue? My resume is organized and plain. There is no bright fun colors, pictures, or anything like that but I don’t think that is the issue.

Here is my resume. I left out my name, contact information, and references because it’s personal.

Resume

EDUCATION

Bachelor of Applied Management

Franklin University, Columbus, OH In Progress

Relevant Coursework: Microsoft Office, Management and Organization, Human Resource, Marketing, Accounting, and Psychology

Associate of Interactive Media

Columbus State Community College, Columbus, OH March. 2010

Relevant Coursework: Adobe Creative Suite CS3, Branding, Essay and Research, and Project Management

High School Diploma

Canal Winchester High School, Canal Winchester, OH June 2007

EMPLOYMENT OVERVIEW

Cashier

Bangkok Grocery, Columbus, OH July 2005 – Present

Manage day-to-day operations of ethnic food store. Manage check cashing department, inventory cash flow, work schedule, overtime, and attendance report control. Greet customers and handle difficult customer complaints.

Substitute Childcare Worker

Little Scholars Learning Center, Columbus, OH December 2010 – July 2011

Managed preschooler, toddler, and school-age children schedules, planned unique activities for entertainment and academics. Tutored children and helped them with their homework.

Web Design Intern

Young University, Columbus, OH September 2009 – December 2009

Designed flyers and logos working with Adobe Creative Suites, built websites using CSS and word press. Helped create a marketing strategy to increase customer clientele. Also worked with social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter to help business exposure.

Thai Translator

Asian Festival, Columbus, OH May 2008

Volunteered at the Asian Festival’s health care department and translated English and Thai for patients. Directed patients to designated areas and helped them fill out forms.

Other Experience and Skills

Exceptionally fast typing skill at 110 wpm. Understandings in Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and CSS. Familiarity in dealing with sensitive customer issues, without limit to individuals of various ethnicities. Excellent communication skills with an ability to work well in teams. Often elected as team leader for school-work projects. Able to multi-task without compromise to work quality. Excellent time management skills. Conversational in Thai and Spanish. Independent self-starter. Highly motivated and always maintained a GPA of 3.0 or above.

I know it’s a little short for a resume (1 page) but that is why I am applying for entry level jobs that don’t require too much experience. I had a lot of customer service experience though.

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28 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

I think it is too wordy. Perhaps find a good editor to prune, remove redundancies and provide parallel construction.

You are very young and not quite yet through school. You are not expected to have a long resume.

For example; you can mention your skills in Thai and Spanish, but only once.

I found it heavy going. Keep it short and precise.

chelle21689's avatar

Which part? The other skills?

chyna's avatar

I just want to mention that the banks seem to want bilingual employees. Have you tried there?

wundayatta's avatar

I’m sorry, but this is a mess. Where’s the story?

A resume is not a list of things. You need to tell a story. It is the story of who you are and what you are good at and what would be the idea work you want to do.

I have no clue? What the hell do you want to do? I make up a story about a person who speaks Thai and English and who has some basic office skills who might be good for an import export firm, or possibly in the back office of a Thai restaurant, or maybe in a business school that is seeking to recruit Thai students.

But yeah. Thai jumps out at me first. Second basic computer skills jump out at me. Third… uh… I don’t know. Do you?

Also, a note about job hunting. It’s only two weeks. You are sending out unsolicited resumes. These tend to go into files until they think they might need something that you might be appropriate for. If this is how you are going to look, don’t expect anything very soon, unless you are lucky.

You need to figure out what you want to do. Identify companies that do that. Reach out to people in those companies. Talk to them on the phone. And then and only then do you give them a resume.

You need to target your search, not use a giant net with lots of holes in it. This is a much more effective and efficient approach to job hunting. You should read “What Color Is Your Parachute.” THey describe the job hunting method I have outlined in three sentences. They give you advice on how to do it.

If I may say, you seem to be displaying the approach I have seen amongst many Asian students. It is a brute force approach. It is very difficult, although it can get you a job. The problem is that it won’t get you a job you will be happy with. I have other Asian students who use the targeted approach, and the jobs they get are much better. Most of my American born students use the targeted approach and generally seem happier. These generalizations are based only on students I have personally worked with, and therefore may not apply on a larger scale, but you do seem to fit the model.

Stop it. Change. Your life will be much happier, I think.

I’m not going to apologize for being blunt about this. I believe this strongly. Being blunt is just a way to get your attention. I am not criticizing you or judging you here. Just trying to help.

PhiNotPi's avatar

I have heard that a person only takes about 30 seconds to come to a decision about whether your resume looks interesting. Because of this, brevity is important. Don’t list anything redundant, and don’t list information that is not important and/or distracts from your point.

Don’t include colorful graphics: this causes people to spend too much time looking at the pretty colors and not actually reading your qualifications.

Format it nicely on the page: The reader should find the format pleasing to the eye and easy to read. A person’s desire to keep reading is based not only on what the words are, but how they look. Although I cannot tell what the resume actually looks like, the formatting on Fluther makes it hard to read.

Organize the information and don’t be redundant: make sure that everything is easy to locate on the page. Make it so that similar skills are located right next to each other. Don’t mention the same exact information in two places, it tells them nothing and adds length. Don’t be afraid to ditch some irrelevant info to make the resume shorter.

Tell a story: nobody likes reading lists. Make complete sentences that flow into each other.

Don’t expect replies to resumes. If they aren’t actively hiring, they might not even notice your resume. If they are actively hiring, then expect them to have to sort through tons of other people’s resumes too.

gailcalled's avatar

For example;

EDUCATION

BA in Applied Management: Franklin University; Columbus, OH (date when you expect to graduate)

AA in Interactive Media: Columbus State Community College: Columbus, OH; 2010

Canal Winchester High School: Canal Winchester, OH: June 2007

chelle21689's avatar

You guys keep saying a story and I have no idea what you mean. I never wrote a resume before and it’s my first time. No example resumes?

gailcalled's avatar

@chelle21689: Find an editor.

I did not mention a story.

Education: I showed you how to present yourself. Short and to-the-point.

Work Experience

Skills

Use parallel construction for all three topics.

Jaxk's avatar

If you’re looking for a job as a translator, that comes through very clear. Customer service, not so much. I see no reason to say you worked at an Ethnic Food Store, why not just a Food Store. I get the impression you worked there because you spoke Thai rather than because you were good. You can add a single sentence, two at the most for your objective. I’m looking for a position in customer service where I can employ my excellent communication skills and computer knowledge to (so on and so forth).

Don’t be concerned about it being short, one page is all you want and need. A little work formatting it will also help to provide a more logical flow. I always like an outline or bullet format to help organize it.

chyna's avatar

Your school should have a guidance counselor to help you write one. There are so many resources available to you, you can go on line and google resume writing or even go buy a program that shows you how to write a resume, a cover page, a follow up thank you letter, etc.

chelle21689's avatar

I just want you guys to know that this is not how my format looks! I just copy and pasted and Fluther changed the formatting. Thanks everyone.

_Whitetigress's avatar

Photoshop has nothing to do with what you are applying for. Take out all the things that have nothing to do with what you are applying for. HR is all about communication, health regulations, hazard regulations, workers compensation knowledge and so forth. Really try and match your resume to the job applied for. If I were applying for a Graphic Design position, the firm wouldn’t want me to put down Burger King experience.

You wrote down Relevant Coursework twice. Adobe CS3 is old. And has absolutely nothing to do with HR.

Microsoft Office isn’t coursework. It can be listed under skills though. Wow for someone with a bachelors degree I have to hand it to you, you really weren’t exposed to “how to apply to the real world.” I’m sure there were plenty of opportunities for you to put together a resume while in school? There are workshops all over the place within a city and especially in colleges.

chelle21689's avatar

Okay. I just feel like my resume is sooo empty without my experience of work even though HR/Admin has nothing to do with graphic design and translating.

Yeah, they never taught us how to apply for jobs. I didn’t think it seemed hard…? I feel humiliated now as if I’m an idiot and you guys think I should know better. Like I said, this is my first time looking for a professional job.

gailcalled's avatar

Start by going to your career counseling office and finding someone to help you draft a resumé. That’s why they are there…to help students.

Don’t feel like an idiot…you are a neophyte, as we all were at one point.

Ooh, look what I just found. The link for the Franklin U Center for Career Development

And this Résume service for Students and Alumni

Trot yourself over there on Tues. morning and find a person to talk with.

A LInk for a Resume Services Review request for Students and Alumni form

There is also an entry level sample résumé.

chelle21689's avatar

What do you guys think about wundayatta’s advice on telling a story??

gailcalled's avatar

Look at the entry level sample forms from your school’s Center for Career Development. They will give you the best advice; see the links for entry-level résumé.

chelle21689's avatar

Thanks :) I knew we had a career development center but I didn’t think I’d truly need it until after I graduated. I never knew all this was on their site. Thank you again!

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
marinelife's avatar

Your resume is upside down. First list your skills and/or areas of expertise., Then your work experience. Last your education.

chelle21689's avatar

I actually copied the format from my sister. She seems to get interviews and jobs fine though. Hmm…

She works with finances.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I, for one, think it looks good. I think that it looks a little wordy just because it’s posted in the details section. I bet it looks very different when it’s properly formatted. They have a resume wizard in Word.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Re: empty of work experience…You’ve worked at the same place since 2005. That speaks highly of an excellent work ethic. It doesn’t matter where it was. Since you haven’t even graduated they won’t expect any thing grand or dramatic.

wundayatta's avatar

Sorry. I was being metaphorical.

First, you tell your story in words. FOrget the resume. Write down the story of yourself you want an employer to know.

Once you have that, then you can structure your resume so as to suggest this story. You might put a job objective in. There are other things you can do in terms of using a skills resume or a history resume in order to help the real story to show through.

You can’t write a story like you might see in a newspaper or a novel, although I wish you could. However, you must use all your tricks in order to make the resume tell the story, even though resumes make it really hard to tell stories.

My first question is what kind of job do you want?

My second question is what makes you think you might be qualified for that job?

My third question is who are you? What are your character traits that indicate you would be a good employee?

Once you know the answers to these questions, you can manipulate the resume to show these answers and to tell the story.

RIght now, your story is all jumbled and doesn’t make sense and doesn’t make anyone want to read it. You’ve got to make it hold together so it tells the story of you, and compells people to want to get to know you and maybe even hire you.

Although, you can also make the resume kind of pointless. The point of the resume is to get you an interview, but if you can tell your story without needing the resume—say, on the phone—you barely even need the resume except as something people show to HR (who are generally a bunch of idiots—and I say this as a person trained to work in HR).

Bellatrix's avatar

@chelle21689 keep in mind you don’t need just one resume. You should tailor your resume to the job you are applying for. So, if you are going for a job in an HR department with a very diverse workforce, where your translating skills will give you an edge, play that up. If you are going for a job where your admin or ability to work in a team is likely to be a strength, play that up.

Research the companies you are applying to and try to analyse what they are looking for – not just from the advert but also from the information you find out about them. If you know people who work for the organisation, ask their advice.

I think the advice about getting in touch with your university’s career section is very appropriate. They often have classes in how to write selection criteria and to produce a strong resume. Go and look on your university’s website and see what they have available.

Dutchess_III's avatar

When I was sending out resume after resume, I tailored each on to the job I was applying for. The main thing I changed was my “Objective” which was centered across the top of the page. I’d be sure to include what ever key-word were in the ad that applied to. The rest of my resume usually looked the same.

lynfromnm's avatar

Please don’t be discouraged. The last two people our agency hired were brand new college graduates with unrelated and limited work experience. I don’t agree that job experience should come before education in all cases. If you are applying for work in which your degree(s) will matter, start with your education. You don’t have much experience, so education should come first.

The idea of telling a story is just that you need to show a logical progression. This shows that you have purpose and direction, not just willy-nilly decisions. However, the story can be told in your cover letter (yes, this is necessary in addition to the resume for any professional position). As the person in my agency who makes the “first cut” on the resumes that come through, I assure you that I ignore those without a cover letter. I want to see how the person writes and organizes thinking, and resumes aren’t always the best format to display that.

A cover letter example:

“After seven years employed as a cash manager, I want to pursue a career in retail management. I will complete my degree in Applied Management in December 2012. My exceptional typing and computer skills, in addition to extensive customer service experience and tri-lingual ability make me the ideal candidate for (name of company).

I am excited to hear more about the opportunities in your organization, and I am confident I can contribute and excel. I look forward to discussing my qualifications and enthusiasm for the position.”

Three professional references are also helpful. In your case, a referral from a dean or professor would be great, as well as your current employer or a school counselor.

As so many have mentioned, you’ll need to tailor your resume to the type of work you are applying for. I hope your college’s career services will be helpful.

chelle21689's avatar

Thank you everyone. I submitted my resume to my school career center for a review. :)

Dutchess_III's avatar

Excellent choice, Chelle! Let us know what they say, please?

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