You Only Get ONE Chance

To Make a First Impression -- Make It Count!

What Is a Resume?

Many people believe that a resume is a summary of your skills, work history, and educational background. Wrong! A resume is an advertisement -- and YOU are the product.

When you send out a resume, you're really applying for a chance to interview for a job. Nobody gets a job because of their resume; however, a good resume and cover letter can make the difference between whether or not you get an interview.

How do you make a prospective employer want to interview you? Be provocative. Show how you're unique from the other applicants. Tell the essentials, but don't provide too much information. The person reading your resume should think, "Wow! I want to meet this person. I want to work with this person."

Why Do I Want a First Impression Resume?

The truth is simple -- you only get one chance to make a first impression -- and it should be a good one.

But how do you spark a prospective employer's interest? At First Impression, we'll work together to create a resume that's an accurate and interesting portrait of you -- your experiences, your interests, your strong points, and your personality.

Recent graduates often feel constrained due to their lack of professional experience. However, everyone has skills, abilities, and achievements. A First Impression resume focuses on these, highlighting your positives and minimizing any negatives.

At First Impression, I'll take the time to get to know you. Using words you use to describe yourself, I'll create a resume that's as unique as you are. A prospective employer is going to get a sense of YOU -- you'll be an individual, not just another sheet from the stack on his desk.

What Now?

For more information, Email First Impression at kdkaplan@ufl.edu.


Preparing For Your First Impression Resume

When gearing up to prepare your resume, you'll want to give yourself at least three or four days to answer the following questions. It is virtually impossible to remember the details of everything you've ever done if you only give yourself 20 minutes to write it all down. The more complete the information you provide to me, the better your resume will be.

When answering these questions, keep in mind that you never want to lie on a resume. It may seem like a good idea at the time, especially to recent graduates with limited experience, but don't do it! Anyone considering hiring you knows that you just graduated. If they're hiring recent graduates, they expect your professional experience to be limited.

Don't worry about furnishing too much information -- at this stage, that's just not possible. Provide every bit of detail you can and let me do the editing -- it's much easier to edit than it is to pad -- and most prospective employers can spot a padded resume from a mile away.

The Questions

  1. Write a description of your top two dream jobs. Include the industry you want to work in, specific job title(s), types of tasks, duties, and responsibilities you like to do, the type of environment you prefer, and anything else that's important to YOU.

    This job description is probably the most important part of the resume-writing process. The more specific you can be, the better your resume will be at getting you the job you want.

  2. List every job you've ever had: paid employment, internships, volunteer. Include job title, company name, location, dates employed, every duty/task you were responsible for, any skills you learned on the job, and any specific job-related projects, achievements or accomplishments.

    The key word here is EVERYTHING.

  3. List all the schools you've attended, high school and up. Provide all classes taken in your major and your minor (if you have one). Get a copy of your transcript.

    You should include your cumulative average if it's over a 3.2/4.0. However, it may be a good idea to include the G.P.A. for just your major courses if your overall cum is 2.8, but your major cum is 3.4.

  4. List any organizations you are/were involved in, any offices you may have held, any projects you were involved in, any awards you won, any letters of recognition you received, and anything else that you can think of.

    Organizations/affiliations can be professional, recreational, academic or extracurricular.

  5. List all the things you can do, all the skills and abilities you have. You cannot be too specific.

    Most people find this the most difficult question to answer. The easiest way to begin is by first listing all your computer skills, including every software program you know. Review your transcript class by class: include skills learned in a particular class.

  6. List anything you've ever done that you're proud of.

    If you're proud of it, they you probably want to talk about it. The kinds of things you want a prospective employer to ask you about are the things you are proud of.


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