Student Resources

The CBT Career Center offers the resources you need to achieve professional growth. Here you'll find a list of current job openings and learn about all the steps you need to take to land your dream job.

"The future depends on what you do today."

  • Mahatma Gandhi

 

Online Job Search Tools

Handshake - site connecting college students and employers nationally

InternNE.com - site connecting college students and employers across Nebraska

Job Site Reviews - site that reviews and ranks job search websites

indeed.com - finds job listings from other major job sites, company sites and associations

aftercollege.com - search for entry level jobs and internships

beyond.com - niche site, find a career in a certain field or in a certain part of the country

careerbuilder.com - one of the biggest online job sites

careerbum.com - job site focused on Central Nebraska

careerlink.com - a leader in career development resources

careersinfood.com - the #1 employment site for the food and beverage manufacturing industry

collegerecruiter.com - a leading job board for internships and entry level positions

jobinformationcenter.com - find job applications for every major U.S. company

jobserve.com - claims to be the world’s first Internet recruitment service

linkedin.com/studentjobs - entry level jobs that are posted on LinkedIn

linkup.com - finds jobs from a database of 22,000 company websites

monster.com - enter your qualifications and the site searches for compatible jobs

onedayonejob.com - every day the site looks at one employer and their entry level jobs

simplyhired.com - finds job listings from major sites and company sites, free resume listing

tweetmyjobs.com - access to jobs that match your profile

us.jobs/ - ideal if you’re looking for corporate job listings

usajobs.gov - the official job site for the U.S. government

warriorgateway.org - non-profit whose mission is to connect individuals in the military, veterans, and their families with federal, state, and local government programs as well as non-profit organizations in their local communities

glassdoor.com - an inside look at jobs and companies posted anonymously by employees

 

Resumés and Cover Letters

The following information has been adapted from Academic & Career Services' "Creating Your Resumé and Cover Letter." Follow the links to skip to desired section or scroll down for a comprehensive review.

We can help you define your career objective or create your resumé.
Send your completed resumé to unkcbtcareercenter@unk.edu

Resumés


Resumés

Resumé Tips - Types of Resumés - Parts of a Resumé - Transferable Skills

A resumé is a concise document - a snapshot - of your relevant education, experience, and skills. It is often the first item that a potential employer sees and is used to screen applicants competing for a position. Obviously, you want your resumé to screen you in, leading you to the next step in the process. With that in mind, construct your resumé so it presents evidence that you have the skills and knowledge necessary to perform the job.

Resumé Tips

  1. Your Resumé is Your Marketing Brochure – Too many resumés list basic employment history, focusing on tasks and duties rather than accomplishments and skills. An effective resumé entices employers to learn more about you … and to consider you as the next addition to their staff.
  2. Length - A resumé for a current college student or a recent graduate is generally 1 page; however 2 pages can be acceptable if you have a lot of work and/or leadership experience. If you are going into a research field or teaching in higher education, you will use a Curriculum Vitae (CV) rather than a resumé, and CVs are often longer than 2 pages.
  3. Keep Your Resumé Professional and Easy to Read – Employers typically scan a resumé in less than 10 seconds, and in that time, decide whether they want to read it more thoroughly. Do not give them a reason to reject yours before they even read the content. Organize efficiently and use consistent formatting so that your resumé is sleek and engaging. Use an easy-to-read font of 10-12 points, utilize bullets to highlight experience, bold text to bring attention to key words, and PROOFREAD CAREFULLY.
  4. Tailor Your Resumé for Each Position – Different jobs require different skills or experiences, so revise your resumé to reflect those needs. Information can be added, deleted, or rearranged according to the requirements of the position. The content categories you select should be determined by a number of factors, especially by your strongest “selling points” relative to the type of position you are seeking. You may end up with several versions of your resumé, especially if you are targeting different types of positions.

 

Types of Resumés

Chronological

An account of whom you've worked for and what you've accomplished in each position, listed in reverse chronological order. It is the style most commonly used by new college graduates and by individuals changing jobs within a given career field. See example.

Functional

Emphasizes what you've accomplished and de-emphasizes where you did it. This allows the candidate to organize experiences, gathered from a variety of arenas, according to specific functions or skills. See example.

Combination

Merges elements of the other two styles. It includes an overview or summary of qualifications at the beginning, stressing skills and characteristics appropriate for the position. The remainder of the document reverts to the reverse chronological style. See example.

 

Parts of a Resumé

There may be exceptions, but almost every resumé includes the following sections. Others are added as you analyze and select abilities and experiences that will present you in the best possible light.

Contact Information

You must include your name, address, phone number, email. You may also include a web page address if you have developed your own website or have an online portfolio of your work.

Education

Include your most recent educational information first, listed in reverse chronological order.

  • Name and location of institution, degree and graduation date (or anticipated graduation date), major/minor/endorsement/emphasis
  • GPA - if above 3.0; this could be cumulative GPA or major GPA, whichever is more impressive
  • Mention honors, awards, scholarships, elective offices, special training, special class projects, research, study abroad experience, etc. (Some of these could be separate sections, as well.)
Experience

Include not only full-time positions, but also part-time, seasonal, temporary, volunteer, field experience, observation, internship, etc. For each position, list your title, the organization for which you worked, the location (city and state), and dates (month/year). There is no single correct order for presenting this information as long as you are consistent throughout the resumé. List most recent and/or relevant experience first, and consider using different section headings to organize experiences (i.e., Relevant Experience, Teaching Experience, Additional Experience, Leadership Experience). Use the Experience Worksheet to begin cataloging your experience and accomplishments. Keep in mind:

  • Provide a bulleted description of experiences, with emphasis on skills and accomplishments
  • Avoid personal pronouns
  • Use the Winning Formula:
    • Action Verb + Subject + Outcome
      • Example: Tutored 5 fifth grade students in reading skills, resulting in an average 3-point improvement on district-wide standardized tests
      • Example: Coordinated fund-raising event for 3 rd floor of University North Residence Hall, raising $545 for the American Cancer Society

Optional Sections

Include the sections/headings that best reflect achievements that don’t fit clearly into the sections above. Avoid simply filling space, and ensure that everything you include on your resumé is relevant to the position and strengthens your candidacy.

Objective

This section, if used, indicates your immediate career goal. Most people state their objective in the cover letter, so it is not necessary to repeat it on the resumé. If you choose to include an objective, state it immediately after your heading, tailor it specifically to each employer, and focus on skills you bring to the organization, rather than what you want from them.

Relevant Coursework / Experiential Learning

For college students or recent graduates, your education might be your biggest selling point. You may have completed a special project or learned a particular skill that you would like to highlight on your résumé for potential employers.

Leadership

If you’ve held leadership roles on campus or in other organizations, you have two options: include that information in your Experience section, or create a separate section to highlight your leadership experiences.

Qualifications Summary

Since it is more powerful than an Objective, you may lead off with a strong summary of specific skills or experiences directly related to the position you are applying for. Be sure to use key words and phrases that reflect those in the job description and company information.

  • Example: Summary of Qualifications
    • Three years’ experience in providing NetWare Operating Systems support, file server installations, troubleshooting and technical consulting
    • Proficient in Novell NetWare 4x, NDS, DOS and client tools; familiar with NetWare DHCP and DNS administration
    • Demonstrated skill in training and supporting end users as well as developing technical staff to achieve performance objectives
Special Skills

A section that highlights expertise you may have in foreign languages, computer operation / programming, equipment you can use, or other areas of excellence that have not been mentioned elsewhere. Avoid stating ordinary skills, such as knowledge of Power Point, MS Word, Outlook, etc.

Research / Presentations

If you have done extensive research in your chosen field, you may wish to state the title or thesis of the paper and a brief description of your findings. This gives the employer insight into your professional expertise (and is especially useful for graduate school applications). If you have published your research, or presented it at a conference, include the name, location, and date of the publication and / or the conference.

Honors / Awards

Honors such as Dean’s List, membership in an academic honorary, or scholarships can be included in the “Education” section, or they may be listed in a separate section.

Professional Affiliations

If you have joined a professional association related to your chosen field, list it here. The first time you refer to it, write out the name rather than abbreviating. If applicable, include information about your involvement in the association: leadership positions held, conferences or workshops attended, special programs, projects, etc.

Additional Training

You may list any significant seminars, workshops, or other training that has enhanced your knowledge or will be helpful in your chosen career field.

Campus Involvement / Student Organizations

Sometimes it’s appropriate to label this type of experience as “Leadership,” but you may include it in its own section, if you choose.

Shows a level of selflessness and a willingness to be a “team player.” It can potentially open a door if the reader shares a similar interest.

Military Experience

This could be listed under its own heading, or as work or leadership experience. Be sure to reflect promotions you received in addition to describing your responsibilities. (Veterans - Learn more about utilizing your experience.

 

Transferable Skills

When developing your resumé, you will, of course, highlight all ‘technical’ experience and skills relevant to the position you are seeking. In addition, employers look for other qualities and skills in their employees. These Transferable Skills (also known as Soft Skills or Employability Skills) can help employees succeed in almost any workplace. Review the list – with the sample bullet points – below. Consider how you might integrate these skills into your resumé and other application materials.

Communication Skills

By far, the one skill mentioned most often by employers is the ability to listen, write, and speak effectively. Successful communication is critical in any business. Demonstrate exceptional oral and written communication skills to convey pertinent information to co-workers and customers.

Analytical / Research Skills

Deals with your ability to assess a situation, seek multiple perspectives, gather more information if necessary, and identify key issues that need to be addressed. Apply analytical thinking skills to identify, improve, and streamline complex work processes.

Computer / Technical Literacy

Almost all jobs now require some basic understanding of computer hardware and software. It is usually assumed that job seekers have a basic proficiency in word processing, spreadsheets, and email, so highlight specialized technological experience. Utilize a wide variety of technical applications, including: Photoshop Elements, Dreamweaver, iMovie, and others.

Flexibility / Adaptability / Managing Multiple Priorities

Refers to your ability to manage multiple assignments and tasks, set priorities, and adapt to changing conditions and work assignments. Prioritize and juggle multiple concurrent projects, while communicating progress and next steps with team members.

Interpersonal Abilities

The ability to relate to your co-workers, inspire others to participate, and mitigate conflict with co-workers is essential given the amount of time spent at work each day. Display exceptional interpersonal skills, to support positive and productive relationships with coworkers.

Leadership / Management Skills

While there is some debate about whether leadership is something people are born with, these skills deal with your ability to take charge and manage your co-workers. Maintain a positive climate and confidently motivate co-workers to meet and maintain high performance standards.

Multicultural Sensitivity / Awareness

There is possibly no bigger issue in the workplace than diversity, and job-seekers must demonstrate a sensitivity and awareness to other people and cultures. Demonstrate cultural sensitivity and an ability to build rapport with a diverse workforce in inclusive settings.

Planning / Organizing

Includes your ability to design, plan, organize, and implement projects and tasks within an allotted timeframe. Also involves goal-setting. Coordinate and implement projects within prescribed timelines, using exemplary planning and organizational skills.

Problem-Solving / Reasoning / Creativity

Involves the ability to find solutions to problems using your creativity, reasoning, and past experiences, along with the available information and resources. Generate innovative solutions and resolve customer complaints using creative problem-solving abilities.

Teamwork

Because so many jobs involve working in one or more work-groups, you must have the ability to work with others in a professional manner while attempting to achieve a common goal. Build cooperative relationships with customers and colleagues to enhance team orientation and outcomes.

Additional Resources

UNK has partnered with Resumés for America, an online resumé builder that helps you to create an effective and professional resume by providing expert tips, writing examples, and helpful suggestions. The software also comes with a cover letter builder, thank you letter builder, and more. Students who are registering for the first time or returning students who are logging in, visit the free resume builder now and sign in with your UNK email address.

Purdue Online Writing Lab's Resumé Workshop also provides detailed explanations and step-by-step processes for creating an effective resumé.

 


Cover Letters

Cover Letters

Format - Content

A cover letter is a one page written overview of your qualifications, addressed to the hiring agent, that should always accompany your resumé. It is the employer's first impression of you and if well written, will lead to reading your resumé. Employers use cover letters to screen applicants so taking time to write an impressive and effective cover letter is essential.

Before you write the cover letter, ask yourself these four questions:

  1. Who, specifically, should receive the cover letter? Target your recipients carefully.
  2. What is the best way to locate the right contacts? Research the industry/field/company.
  3. How can I motivate the reader to interview me? Address the employer's needs and your strengths.
  4. What points do I want to emphasize? Develop self-awareness and express confidence and enthusiasm.

The answers to these questions will focus your efforts and strengthen your case. You must next address the tone and presentation of the letter:

  • Use a positive and outgoing writing style
  • Project energy and confidence
  • Avoid negative and apologetic statements
  • Adopt a business-like, but cordial, tone

In general, picture the likely reader and adjust the style and tone of your letter accordingly. Become familiar with the prevalent style in your field. If the recipient is apt to be conservative, write a conservative cover letter. If your reader appreciates creativity, use a creative approach. Be cautious in making assumptions though.

 

Format

Your cover letter should follow standard business letter format. See sample cover letter.

  • One page, produced on word processor and laser printer
  • Use quality bond paper, 8 ½ x 11 inches, which matches your resumé
  • Use an easy-to-read font of 10-12 points, single space, left aligned
  • Write to the person who can hire you, with name, title, address correct and complete (call the company and find out who to address your letter to - if no name is available, choose a “non-sexist” term, i.e. “Dear Personnel Director” or “Dear Search Committee”)
  • Include four body paragraphs (see Content)
  • Include a formal sign-off (i.e. "Sincerely," "Regards," or "Respectfully") followed by your name signed and typed and the word, "Enclosure"
  • Sign your name with a blue or black pen (even for e-mail and online submission)
  • If mailing, avoid folding: mail in 9” x 12” envelope with resumé behind the letter
  • If mailing, choose a conservative stamp for your envelope

 

Content

Cover letters should be tailored to each position and/or employer to focus on the employer's needs, not your own. Its purpose is to encourage the reader to progress to your resumé so be sure to include content that is engaging and relevant to the hiring manager's needs. Express how you can benefit the employer by using key words from the job description and including examples of your accomplishments in those areas.

Write in your own words, demonstrating knowledge, enthusiasm, and focus. The words you use are important in conveying both message and tone. Accomplishments are best expressed through action verbs (communicated, clarified, facilitated). Select self-descriptive words to express personal characteristics (enthusiastic, creative, dependable). Use words sparingly, keep your message concise and to the point.

Remember, the letter also reveals how well you can communicate, so proof-read. Ensure there are no spelling, typing, grammar, punctuation, or syntax errors - not even one.

The body of your cover letter should include the following four paragraphs:

  1. Why are you writing?
    • The beginning of your letter should capture the reader’s attention, while avoiding clichés and gimmicks. Also, tell why you are writing (name the specific position or type of work you are applying for) and mention the resource used in finding out about the opening. Briefly introduce your credentials, professional experiences and personality traits.
  2. Qualifications
    • Explain why you are interested in working for this specific employer or in this field of work, and most importantly, what your qualifications are (academic background/training, work experience, personal skills). Point out accomplishments and skills that relate to the position without duplicating exactly what is included on your résumé. Then, connect those things to the company’s needs to show you have done your research and are aware of how you could be of benefit. This paragraph should essentially answer the employer’s question, “Why should I hire you?”
  3. Take Action
    • Refer the reader to your enclosed (or attached) résumé and point out that it provides further details of your qualifications. Indicate your desire for an interview and let them know how they can contact you (phone and email). Many applicants take a more active approach and give a timeframe in which they will contact the company. If you do this, be sure to follow up when you say you will.
  4. Thank You
    • Thank the reader for his/her time and consideration.

 

 


References

References are not part of a resumé, so they should be listed on a separate page. Enclose a reference sheet with your resumé and cover letter only if the employer specifically requests references. It’s possible that references may never be requested, however, it is always a good idea to bring extra copies of your resumé and reference sheet to an interview. This simplifies the reference-checking process for the interviewer, and makes you look well-prepared and confident!

Select as references, individuals (typically 3) who have worked with you and are able to talk about your skills and abilities with employers, and say why you would be a successful employee. Do not use friends or family members. Current or previous supervisors, college professors, advisors, or instructors are appropriate. Always contact references to obtain their permission prior to listing them on your reference sheet. Ask them, “Do you feel you know me well enough to be a positive reference for me?”

Format your reference sheet heading (your name and contact information) to match your resumé. Include the following information for each individual:

  • First and Last Name
  • Job Title
  • Organization
  • Mailing Address
  • City, State, Zip
  • Phone Number
  • E-mail Address
  • Relationship (if unclear)

Interviewing

big interview logo

Academic & Career Services is excited to present The Big Interview, an interactive site to help you ace your next job interview. The site includes 7 core learning modules, tips on how to answer difficult questions, and as long as you have Internet access and a webcam you're able to record practice interviews! It's easy to sign up, easy to use...and it's free!

 

Professional Protocol

Professional interview attire is usually required and always the "safest" choice. Wear business formal attire (i.e. a suit) to interviews in professional offices - especially for finance, accounting, banking, and insurance positions. Your suit does not have to be expensive, but it does need to look nice and fit well.

Remember the smaller details. Set your clothes out the night before and makes sure they are neatly pressed and free of stains - no scuffs on shoes.

Women

  • Suit: Neutral colors, such as navy blue, charcoal gray, or black. Solid-colored vs. patterned. Long sleeved jacket with knee-length straight or pleated skirt that covers knees when sitting down. A suit consisting of a jacket and a skirt is considered more professional than a pant suit or a dress. Pantyhose should be worn with skirts; trouser socks or knee highs with pant suits.
    • NOTE: A business suit is not a pair of slacks and a sweater type jacket or cropped pants and a short jacket.
  • Blouse: White or pastel shades. Cotton or matte silks are a good choice. Neckline hits no lower than two finger widths from collar bone - absolutely NO cleavage. Collared or scoop neck are good choices.
  • Shoes: Close-toed leather pumps, in black or a complimentary color that works with your suit. No more than a one or two-inch heel. Don't wear shoes you cannot walk in for most of the day.
  • Jewelry and Perfume: Simple post earrings or pearls. No more than one earring per ear, one ring per hand, or one bracelet. No nose, tongue, eyebrow or any other rings worn in facial piercings. Very light perfume.
  • Makeup and Nails: Simple, clean, and conservative. Wear natural looking makeup - no heavy eyeliner or "loud" eye shadow / lipstick. Have clean, well maintained nails. Smooth out bitten down nails. Avoid use of bright nail polish - NO chipping polish.
  • Hair: Pull back if normally covers face. Don’t overdo scented hairspray.

Men

  • Suit: Neutral colors, such as charcoal gray, navy blue, or black. Look for suits made of 100% "worsted" wool.
  • Shirt: Solid color. White is best for first interview. Well ironed, long sleeved with a point collar.
  • Tie: Simple. Solid, stripe, or repeating pattern of good quality silk. No "story ties".
  • Shoes: Leather, polished, and matched to clothing and belt (black shoes can be worn with navy blue or charcoal gray suit). Sock should be dark and mid-calf length so no shin is visible when sitting. Wear a leather belt matched to shoes.
  • Jewelry and Cologne: No nose, tongue, eyebrow or any other rings worn in facial piercings. Use cologne in moderation.
  • Hair: Get a haircut a week (not a day) before the interview. Either shave or neatly trim facial hair - NO days old stubble or unkempt beards, etc.
Business Casual Interview Attire

Sometimes, a suit is not necessary for an interview. In less formal environments, business casual interview attire may be appropriate. Determining if you fit with the company's culture is part of the interview. To a company that takes pride in its casual culture, wearing a suit to the interview may convey the wrong message. But remember, you are still making a first impression so you need to be more "business" and less "casual".

Women

  • Khaki, corduroy, twill or cotton pants or skirts
  • Sweaters, twinsets, cardigans
  • Solid colors work better than bright patterns

Men

  • Khaki or cotton pants, neatly pressed
  • Cotton long-sleeved button down shirts, pressed.
  • Sweaters
  • Leather shoes and belt.
  • Either a tie or jacket.