Employers share preparation tips for Kent State’s Job and Internship Fair

Megan Wilkinson

Summer 2013 may be months away, but employers begin scouting potential interns and hires as early as this month. Ryan McNaughton, a Career Services counselor, said if students have an idea of where they want to work, they should apply ahead of the crowd.

“If there’s an opportunity you want to pursue, don’t wait,” he said. “Rarely is a student penalized for turning something in early.”

McNaughton helps students write and organize their resumes on weekdays at Career Services in the Michael Schwartz Center. About 20 students visit each day in addition to scheduled appointments, he said.

“We’re at the mercy of the calendar because different students have needs at different times during the school year,” he said.

McNaughton gives the following advice to students for perfecting resumes:

  • Avoid template programs. Certain templates won’t show up on different computer systems. Instead of using a pre-made resume, use a PDF or Word document.
  • Design and structure matter. Depending on a student’s major, the design and aesthetic of his or her resume can be critical. Visual communication design, architecture and fashion design resumes, for example, have to “pop out”. Still, resumes shouldn’t be too flashy, and for many students, design should remain basic. The content should bring out a student’s unique skills, talents and abilities.
  • Be pro-objective — though an employer below disagrees. Resumes can be dull, McNaughton said, but the objective statement is a place that can help students stand out. Students should make the statement personable, specific and realistic.
  • Delete: clip art, your pastor or mom as a reference, and grammatical errors and punctuation mistakes.

Kent State’s Job and Internship Fair is just around the corner. Be prepared and read the following tips from local employers:

Evan Bailey, operations manager at The Tannery in Kent

  • Hires: Open to all majors, but usually focuses on communications, labor information, English, journalism, marketing, visual communications design and computer science
  • Resume turn-ons: Specificity, action verbs, call-backs, clean appearance
  • Resume turn-offs: Bad design, lack of relevant experience, too general

“I think one of the things that’s challenging for a lot of Millennials right now is the ability to pick up the phone,” Bailey said. “Don’t be afraid to call people and establish yourself outside of the paper resume. There’s value in using the telephone to find out if a company is hiring, to introduce, to follow-up and to develop a personality. There’s still value in the old-school handshake.”

Neil Everett, vice president of human resources at Robinson Memorial Hospital in Ravenna

  • Hires:Nursing and radiology majors
  • Resume turn-ons: Practical experience listed, past internships, cover letters
  • Resume turn-offs: Clip art, generic resumes from Monster.com, lack of knowledge about Robinson Memorial Hospital, generic objective statement

“(A resume) should have relevant information,” Everett said. “The more relevant, the more likely they’ll get a phone call. Some people cram everything in, but you get halfway through and realize they’re just listing stuff. If they take the time to take information, make it presentable and relevant, it makes all the difference in the world.”

Nicole Burton, human resources coordinator for Atrium Corporation in Columbus

  • Hires:Computer science, software development, project managers and business analysts
  • Resume turn-ons: List of technical skills, personality profiles, internship experience, hands-on IT experience
  • Resume turn-offs: Grammatical errors, objective statements, subjective content, list of hobbies and high school information

“Objective statements are outdated with us,” Burton said. “We prefer a profile of a person; just a little snapshot about ‘here are my technical skills,’ especially in our line of work. We like to see things that are quantifiable, not subjective; we want it to be proven.”

Contact Megan Wilkinson at [email protected].