Somewhat discouraging to job applicants, as they see their polished resumes fall to the bottom of the garbage bin? According to Jamie Gore, former Corban alumna, you have 10 seconds to sell themselves to an employer, so they need to do it right.
Gore should know, since she is a former Nike senior recruiter, who has currently started her own career consulting business, specializing in career workshops and one-on-one career counseling. These include resume writing, interview preparation and networking skills.
Graduating nine years ago in the ’00 class, Gore came back to her college roots Tuesday, Oct. 13, to lead a seminar on, “The Five Cold Hard Truths About Finding a Job… And What You Can Do About It!”
Gore’s five truths include these: 1. Make competitive choices in academia, 2. Know what you want and have a plan of attack, 3. You have ten seconds – at best – to sell yourself on paper, 4. It’s not “who you know” but “who knows you,” and 5. You are competing against 100 other “You’s.”
Each of these truths comes with stories, advice, and words from the wise and experienced. When it comes to the resume, “truth 3” is essential. With 10 seconds to “sell yourself on paper” as job applicants, it must be right the first time.
Gore handed out a list of her “Resume Pet Peeves,” listing various things, such as, “spelling errors, typos, and poor grammar,” “inaccurate contact info and unprofessional e-mail addresses,” and “lack of customization.” Her biggest pet peeve and one she highlighted the most was “generic objectives or introductions.”
“Make them legit and focused, or don’t include one,” Gore stated. Her example objective was, “To contribute my skills and knowledge to a company which provides opportunities for growth.” Gore added that this is not a meaningful objective, because it nothing to do with the job. “Always ensure that your objective is specific to the job or don’t bother to include one.”
Pet peeves give reasons for the person looking at a resume to quickly dismiss it. “They are looking to disqualify you, not to find out why you’re awesome,” Gore told the audience. According to her, businesses and recruiters are looking for three things on resumes: what you did, whom you did it for, and when you did it. If these three characteristics are not obvious and easy to find within the first 10 seconds of looking at your resume, the applicants need to reexamine the resume.
The document should be able to stand alone and be able to “compete” without a portfolio and a cover letter, both of which should enhance the resume, not supplement it. This is why Gore strongly believes in “truth 5” in relation to both the resume and the interview – “You are competing against 100 other ‘You’s.’”
Gore calls it the “IT” factor. According to her, applicants have to ask thsemlves the question, “All things being equal, what is going to set me apart?” The “IT” factor caught Corban junior John Shaw’s attention. “[What] really stood out is how much every little thing can set you apart when competing for a job, whether it is how you treat the secretary at an interview or how you are dressed,” he said.
Shaw felt Gore had practical advice he would start putting to use. “It really got me motivated to start looking for internship opportunities, as well as thinking about how I will start putting my resume together.” (Shaw was the winner of a drawing for a free phone consultation with Gore, which he plans to use once he needs help with his resume or advice on jobs or an internship.)
The Business Department, who sponsored this event in the Psalm Center, felt the evening was an overall success. When asked if he thought the presentation went well, Don Leavitt, business professor said, “A big yes. The feedback I have received is that [the students] really learned something they could take away and apply in their career search.”
Dr. Bryce Bernard, business professor, agreed. “Students are talking about the advice Jamie gave, and not just the business students, but many people from the Salem community came out to hear her and were exposed to Corban, the Business Department and our students. That’s always a good thing.”
Leavitt said he was happy to see the community come to Corban for this event. “Those who came will now have a positive attitude about Corban. They have been on campus and see we are not too scary,” he said with a laugh.
John Meyers, another business professor and an essential member in putting together the presentation, hopes the students remember the most important message: “students need to take charge of their career planning. They need to begin taking action now to build resumes and explore career options. The good news is that this is possible, as long as students are willing to begin taking action. This was the presentation I wish I would have heard when I was a student at Corban.”
As Leavitt put it, “Stop worrying – get doing!”
Gore currently has special consultation rates for Corban students through the end of 2009. She can be contacted at (503) 352-7335 or firstname.lastname@example.org.