No experience? No problem



Students looking to land an interview for their dream internship or job should pop in to see the employment consultants at the college’s Career Centre.

They are offering résumé evaluations for students looking to gain the edge in their search for employment.

As a Print Journalism student who’s actively seeking placements in my field, I decided to give it a shot.

I arrived at my appointment armed with my résumé, classically formatted, which went through the following, in order: objective statement, educational background, work experience and “other information,” which included skills, awards won and hobbies.

After reviewing my résumé for mere seconds, Employment Consultant Gail Collins already saw room for improvement.

“Don’t just put a general objective statement, because there’s about 4,000 other people who have done that,” said Collins, who has more than 20 years of experience as a Certified Human Resource professional and has been with the employment consultant team at Trafalgar Campus for two years.

She advised me to “make sure it’s directed toward the company” that I was applying to, and the title of the job I was applying for, to get the point across as fast as possible.

“When someone looks at a résumé, they usually spend five to 10 seconds looking at it,” said Collins.

This means employers scan roughly the top three-quarters of the page, which is where all of the most important information should be, by her estimation.

She encouraged me to consider changing the set up of my résumé to a combination-style rather than a chronological one, due to my lack of related work experience.

“Usually right after the objective statement, we put in ‘highlights of qualifications,’ ” which should consist of six to eight points that focus on transferrable skills that are applicable to the job, said Collins.

“People have transferrable skills,” said Collins. “Every job you’ve done you can take something you learned from that job and apply it to the new job.”

Next in line comes “Education.”

“If you’re trying to get an internship, then you want the education to be high in your résumé because you want them to see that quickly,” said Collins. She specified that a brief but detailed description of learned technical skills should accompany your educational credentials.

After completing her recommendations, I noticed that the page length of my résumé was three-quarters full: right on target.

To fill the white space and complete my résumé, I had options of different sections to choose from: community service/involvement, interests/activities, non-related work experience and a reference list.

But I wasn’t done yet.

“Cover letters are still important. It’s your introduction to the reader, it tells them why you’re applying and why they should even look at your résumé. Plus it’s more professional,“ said Collins.

She handed me an outline that specified the details to include in my cover letter, from what should be included in each paragraph accompanied by examples that will guide me through the writing process.

The best part is the employment consultants help with all forms of employment. Whether I’m looking for an internship, summer employment, or a career after graduation, they can help.

Appointments can be made at D103 at Trafalgar Campus, A163A at HMC and B230 at Davis Campus.

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