Resume and internship help available in CAT Center

By Klarissa Rodriguez, Pulse staff writer

KRodriguez
Photo courtesy of the San Antonio Business Journal
http://www.bizjournals.com/sanantonio/news/2012/12/24/palo-alto-college-awarded-contract-to.html

With summer right around the corner, many students are beginning to think about finding a job to bring in extra income. It’s important to build a strong resume, prepare yourself for potential interviews and use available campus resources to find the right job.

“Career Services [at Palo Alto College] offers current students and alumni with career counseling, career exploration assistance, job searching assistance, career workshops on resumes, cover letters, interviewing and job readiness,” said Micaela Sanchez, job placement specialist/adviser in Career Services in the Student Center.

Before looking for a job, it is vital to make sure your resume is up-to-date and complete. A resume shows a potential employer who you are and what skills you offer.

Elsa Anaya, a Business Management/Customer Relations professor, said, “[Having a strong resume] is very important because a resume is your first presentation to any company, organization or business. [It is] the first thing they see that represents you…A resume should make the person who reads it say, ‘I want to meet this person.’”

Sanchez said that Career Services offers Optimal Resume™, a web-based resume builder program that offers unlimited content and styling flexibility to help students and alumni build an effective resume.

“[We] also provide individual guidance to students in building their resume,” she said.

When creating your resume, it is important to keep a few things in mind:

  • Be honest.  Lying on your resume can have dire consequences.
  • Proofread your resume several times for grammar, spelling and punctuation errors. A simple typo could cost you the interview.
  • Use a simple, classic format and font.

According to pongoresume.com, the five skills employers are looking for in jobseekers are leadership, interpersonal, problem-solving, motivational and time management.

When you do land the interview, it is essential to do your homework to prepare. Make sure you research the company. It would reflect badly on you if you go into an interview without knowing a single thing about the company you are applying for. Also, be prepared to answer behavioral questions about yourself, such as, “Describe a time when you had to take on a leadership role.”

A mock interview is another great way to practice for an interview. Anaya does these with her students.

“They have to come dressed like for a genuine interview,” she said, “and they have already prepared a resume…I also ask them to research a job they would like to apply for…where an associate’s degree is required.”

Anaya said, “[During review] the students look at behavior. Maybe the students don’t know they’re repeating things like ‘um’ or playing with their hair or playing with the pencil. They get those behavioral tics [that] they don’t even know they are doing them.”

If you haven’t taken one of Anaya’s classes, then Career Services does mock interviews with students in the Center for Academic Transitions (CAT).

Landing a job that you want is the final and most exciting step in the job search process. It can be difficult to get there and, unfortunately, rejection can always be a part of the process.

Sanchez explained how important a good fit is. “It is important for students to find the right job for themselves so that the occupation feels like a career and not just a job. When individuals like what they are doing for a career, they will be more productive, more effective, happier and be more committed to the occupation,” said Sanchez.

For more information regarding internship/employment opportunities, email Micaela Sanchez (mbasaldua3@alamo.edu) or Nora Esparza (nesparza@alamo.edu).

Also, check out the Career Services Office job bank at www.myinterfase.com/pac/student/home.aspx, the job/internship board in the CAT Center, or the Career Services website at www.alamo.edu/pac/career-services/.