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Source: Joy Whitney, 785-532-6508, joyw@k-state.edu
News release prepared by: Rosie Hoefling, 785-532-2535, media@k-state.edu

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

NEW GRADUATE? UPDATING YOUR RESUME IS A MUST

MANHATTAN -- As new graduates make the transition from college students to alumni, so should their resumes and their use of social media to find a job, according to a Kansas State University expert.

Joy Whitney, assistant director of K-State's career and employment services, says it's important that new college graduates update their resumes to reflect their new status.

For example, a student's grade point average and relevant course work might not be as important to include on a resume postgraduation, depending on the particular industry they are going into, Whitney said.

Other standard resume tips also apply to recent graduates, including attention to editing, clarity, clean formatting and the presentation of a concise document that stands out to employers.

"What we know about job searching right now is that it's still challenging," Whitney said. "We know that you have to do what you can to make yourself stand apart. I think having a really well written cover letter, reference page and resume make three very strong documents."

Creating a resume and cover letter that fit the job description you are applying for is a detail many students often overlook, Whitney said. She recommends formatting application materials to reflect the specific position you are applying for each time you send an application to potential employers.

In addition to traditional application materials, social media are a resource students can use in their job search. Whitney says Web sites such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook can expose students to groups of potential employers.

"We know most employers make their hires based upon referrals, so finding some network connection to an individual can be very helpful," she said.

"With Facebook, though, I'd be very careful," Whitney said. "Facebook is very much a personal kind of venue. It's better to make sure your Facebook page is locked down and really secure. That's why I recommend you Google your name and see what comes up."

The Internet can be a great resource, Whitney said, but she advises soon-to-be graduates not to lose sight of the importance of connecting with employers in person. Employers tend to remember students with whom they've made a personal connection, she said.

Beginning a job search can be very intimidating, but perseverance is key to the process, according to Whitney.

"Job searching is a high stress time of life," she said. "I think students can feel a lot of pressure about what they are going to do after they graduate, 'who am I,' and all this stuff. The reality is that it does take perseverance. If you get discouraged, lose sight of what your goal is or give up on something that your really interested in, then it's going to impact you in the long run."