Hi all, Jaime from The Prepary here – thanks for letting me take over for a few days on Elana Lyn and giving me the opportunity to answer your career questions! We received so many good ones, so we’re going to break them up over a few days and try to group similar themes together. Here’s the first batch centered around applications and materials.
Your Job Search Questions, Answered
How creative can I get with my resume template? I’m applying to art director roles.
When it comes to resume formatting, the most important things for me is that the document is well-organized, easy to read, and aesthetically pleasing. Simple and minimalist resumes can still look great – and they’re easy for the reader to digest in a few seconds (and a few seconds is all you’re getting!)
That being said, if you have really strong graphic design skills or are working from a really amazing template and you want to get a little more creative, go for it. When done well, there is a big wow-factor. If it’s not, it will end up looking sloppy and have the opposite effect than you intended. If you’re going to go creative, make sure it’s flawless.
Should I put my sorority on my resume? I had a few leadership positions. I was treasurer and recruitment chair.
Absolutely! Especially if you’ve graduated somewhat recently (let’s say the last 5 years), then your campus activities and leadership roles can be a great addition to your resume. Also, you never know when a fellow sorority sister is going to be the one doing the screening!
I’m moving soon so I’ve been applying to jobs in another state, do you have any tips for out-of-state applicants?
Unfortunately, there is a bias towards local candidates in the job search. This is essentially because there are less logistics involved with getting them through the process. One thing you can do to ease that fear is make it clear that you are planning (or at least willing) to relocate on your own.
One tactic is to address this upfront in your resume header. Below your phone number, email, and current location, you can add a line that says “Relocating to [City] area in [season] [year]”. You can also address this in your cover letter. I don’t recommend lying about your address on an application or leaving it blank. It’s best to be upfront about your current location but also make it clear that you’re planning on making the move.
If you’re job searching in another city or state, you will need to go the extra mile with networking. One thing I recommend is to plan a trip to that city with the sole purpose of networking. Find your dream companies in that area, make as many connections as possible, and set up informational meetings while you’re in town. Then, when a job opens up, you’ll already have a contact ready to vouch for you.
I’m a blogger. My blog is about beauty and fashion but I’m applying to finance jobs because I majored in economics. Should I put my blog experience and social media handles on my resume?
Nope! It’s awesome that you have a blog and I know from having a site myself how much work goes into it. However, having worked in the finance field, I don’t think this will feel relevant for them and letting an employer in on too much personal information (often in blogs and on social channels) can end up hurting you. If your blog was about trends in the finance industry, my answer would probably be different!
I didn’t get my dream job at one of my favorite companies but now they have another opening that I think I’d be a good fit for. Should I apply?
Yes – go for it! After you apply, I would also suggest emailing the recruiter you worked with the last time you interviewed with the company and let him/her know that you applied to a new job and why you think it would be a great fit.
If you didn’t get the previous job because there was another candidate who had slightly more relevant experience (or if it was some other kind of close call) you could definitely still be considered for other jobs. I’ve personally turned candidates down for jobs who I then called back, interviewed, and gave an offer to for another job.
If you express interest in a few more jobs that you’re genuinely qualified for and get radio silence, then I’d say it’s time to move on.
Thanks again for sending such awesome questions in! Tomorrow we’ll tackle some more job search questions on networking, career switching, and more. See you then!
Image via The Everygirl