Career Columns: Do's and Dont's

Have you been agonizing over applications for jobs or internships? Trying to spice up that ol’ resume or cover letter? Or simply wondering what your niche is? Fret not: your friendly, neighborhood Peer Career Advisors (PCAs) are here to help. We will kick off this first article of our new, biweekly column by introducing the new job database Quest, the hiring cycle for jobs, and the do’s/do not’s of resume writing!

This year, we are using a new Internship/Job database called Quest. Opportunities in Quest have been posted by companies that specifically want Amherst students. We want all applicants to represent Amherst College well! For this reason, we are requiring that in order to apply to opportunities through Quest, all students must have their resumes read and approved by a Dean in the Career Center or a PCA.

Seniors: Don’t wait, get your resume approved soon, many hiring cycles are already rolling or are approaching quickly!
Underclassmen: You have a little more time but start familiarizing yourself with the resume format so that you can be ready to start applying for internships right after winter break! Look out for Amherst Select, a program that will connect you to Amherst targeted internships (Deadline: 11/2).

You only have to get your resume approved once, and then you are free to tweak it however you would like to target a specific opportunity. Once your resume is approved, a “Documents” tab will pop up in Quest and you will be able to upload resumes, cover letters, transcripts, writing samples, etc. Here’s a little information about the upcoming hiring cycles:

EARLY FALL: finance and consulting
LATE FALL: educational and sales & marketing opportunities, and a few non-profits
WINTER: more non-profits
LATE WINTER/EARLY SPRING: paralegals, medical research assistants, advertising

Other organizations will be hiring throughout these seasons so it is very important to keep an eye out and regularly check what is new in Quest. We want to finish our first column with a few helpful resume tips:

DO include your cumulative GPA or major GPA if they are above 3.0. Format should be 3.0/4.0
DO include relevant courses tßhat would be applicable to the job you are targeting.
DO include study abroad information –this says a lot about your ability to adapt and communicate effectively with diverse audiences.
DO include a few unique interests of yours that might catch an interviewer’s eye and provide a good way to break the ice.
DON’T include high school information if you are a senior, unless specified by the employer.
DON’T exceed 1 page, unless you are asked for a CV.
DON’T describe the organizations you worked for. Instead, describe what you did for that organization.
DON’T forget to include computer and language ability and level of mastery in the “skills” section.
Stay tuned for next week’s column! If you have any questions or concerns, please, do not hesitate to come and meet with a PCA. Our drop-in hours are available on the Career Center website.

Best of luck with your resumes and applications!