Tips and Tricks for Building a Great Resume or Cover Letter

by laura craig, associate director of career development, temple university career center

If you’re working on a resume or cover letter, there can be a lot happening on your screen.  Most importantly, you’re working hard to create great content that describes your experiences, and then trying to organize that content in a way that makes sense to your audience.  That’s a tough job! If you’re using Microsoft Word, it’s easy to miss several features that make managing your document, and how it looks, much easier.

The easiest way to learn about these features is to make use of your access to Lynda.com and catch up on some short training videos. 

You can access Lynda.com through TUPortal.  Look for the link in the TUApplications menu on the left side of the page.  Once you are in Lynda.com, search for the following courses:

  • Word Quick Tips
  • Word Essential Training

Each course is made up of a number of videos.  Based on our experiences with students, the following videos are the most helpful for common issues.  These videos are only accessible to Temple University users.

Word Quick Tips Course:

Word Essential Training (Office 365) Course:

Beyond Lynda.com, Temple ITS Office 365 Support is another great resource to help you.

How much does resume formatting actually matter?

The way your format your professional documents does not guarantee that you’ll get the interview, or the job. Improving your document formatting can:

  • Make relevant content easier for recruiters to find and read.
  • Create an aesthetically pleasing look to your document, which can boost your own confidence in the document.
  • Help you effectively communicate relevant content in one page, which is the most widely used and appropriate length for a college student’s resume or cover letter.
  • Make it less stressful to update your professional documents, so it is more likely you’ll update them regularly.

Now that you have a great looking professional document, what should you do with it?  You can always bring a resume, cover letter, or personal statement to the Career Center to be reviewed in a coaching appointment.  Once you have some feedback, and you’ve implemented it, why not upload your document to Handshake to apply for a job or internship?  The opportunities are waiting!

The First Time Was The Charm For This Temple Senior!

Temple senior computer science major Byron Jenkins landed an internship with TD Bank last summer after attending his first (!!) career fair in the spring! That’s not all he’s been up to during his time at Temple…read on to learn more about Byron’s story…

TD Bank recently featured Byron in promoting its internship program.

Major/Graduation year:

Computer Science / 2019

What organization was your internship with?

TD Bank

What semester did you do this internship?

2018 Summer

What is/was your job function, and what does a typical day entail?

My job as a Technology Intern was to redesign TD’s online credit card platform as a Proof of Concept. Each day during the summer internship, I worked not only with my peers, but with leaders of the organization.

How did you find out about this opportunity, and what was the interview process like?

I discovered this opportunity during the CST Job Fair last Spring. It was the first job fair I have ever attended. I spoke with the recruiter, expressing my passion in technology and he suggested that I apply. There was an on-campus interview then a super-day interview hosted at the office (in my case, Wilmington Delaware). You are there with other potential interns and there are three rounds of interviews. It sound intimidating, but as long as you are able to talk about your experience, those three rounds will be completed before you know it. Many people, including myself, sometimes overthink the interview process. You know what kind of questions you may face, and you have an idea of what kind of answers they are looking for. The critical part about it is HOW you present those answers.

How has your internship related to your course work?

This internship involved Web/Mobile Development and it touched the surface of Software Architecture. I had the privilege to work with an Architect. I also received college credits for this experience.

What is the most important thing you’ve learned during your internship/job experience?

The most important thing I have learned from the internship was how to manage being uncomfortable. I was exposed to tools and technologies I had no experience using. This uncomfortableness urged me to learn and adapt.

Have you used the Temple University Career Center’s services and resources, or attended events?

I have attended multiple events and I had my resume reviewed several times.

Did the Career Center assist you in any way in finding this internship, applying, interviewing, etc.?

When I had multiple offers, I consulted with the Career Center staff to review my options.

What piece of advice would you give to current students embarking on an internship/job search?

Research the company you are interviewing for, understand their mission statement and/or slogan and question how do your skills apply. Look up current events that catches your interest and mention it during the interview. For example, if you are interested in Cybersecurity, look up the company’s current events that mentions cybersecurity. At that point, not only are you presenting your skills, but you are displaying your knowledge about the company.

Have you learned any valuable lessons about obtaining jobs/internships during your time at Temple?

It is a competitive field in my major. We all are dashing towards opportunities. I learned how to differentiate myself from others. I have my own interests, preferences, experiences, and my passion is unique. I constantly remind myself that and showcase that to recruiters/employers.

Do you have a profile on Twitter and/or Instagram? If so, what are your usernames? Is there anything else you’d like to mention?

My username on Twitter and Instagram is @codeherk

Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn: Byron Jenkins

Also, I just released my game, Huelo, for iOS devices that focuses on color coordination. It is free to download and play.

Check out Byron’s new game in the app store!

This Owl Networked Her Way to Capitol Hill

Kimberly Burton scored an internship with the National Journalism Center that combined both her majors in Political Science and Journalism. This internship fueled both of her passions and allowed her to hone in her writing skills.  Read more to learn about Kimberly’s experience…

Kimberly Burton

Major/Graduation year: Journalism and Political Science, 2020

What organization is your internship with? National Journalism Center (placement at Newsmax)

What semester did you do this internship? Summer 2018

What is/was your job function, and what does a typical day entail?

As a National Journalism Center intern, I am placed at Newsmax under the Chief Political and White House Correspondent John Gizzi. I work with him four days a week, and I could be doing anything from interviewing individuals on Capitol Hill, attending meetings, writing articles, or even going to the White House. One day a week I attend special programming at the National Journalism Center offices where they bring in industry professionals to teach us about different aspects of journalism and communications.

How did you find out about this opportunity, and what was the interview process like?

I found out about this opportunity through an organization called Young America’s Foundation (YAF) which is the parent organization for NJC. I was attending a YAF conference last summer and I was able to speak with representatives from the organization.

After I applied, I was contacted about conducting an interview. I completed a phone interview and then heard back later on in the spring semester.

How has your internship related to your course work?

As a journalism and political science double major, it’s been really great to work in political journalism. I’ve been able to apply not only my research and writing skills from my journalism classes but also knowledge from my political science classes. I’m extremely interested in US government and also foreign relations so I’ve been able to cover both and meet individuals involved in both areas.

What is the most important thing you’ve learned during your internship/job experience?

I’ve learned a lot through course work, but the most important thing I’ve learned is how to improve my writing skills, network, etc. At my internship program, I participate in Friday seminar days at the headquarters, but I also took an optional long-form/investigative writing night class! All these things have definitely improved my skills in order to be a better journalist!

What piece of advice would you give to current students embarking on an internship/job search?

It can sometimes be hard to find an internship that fits your needs or career goals, but really searching and speaking with other people or attending events can help you find that dream internship.

Have you learned any valuable lessons about obtaining jobs/internships during your time at Temple?

I think the main things I’ve learned is the importance of internships since internships and real-life experience really make the difference between you and another student’s application/resume.

 Do you have a profile on Twitter and/or Instagram? If so, what are your usernames?

Twitter: @KimberlyBurton_

Have You Considered National Service After Graduation?

by holly logan, outreach specialist, temple university career center

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

Have you considered a year (or two) of national or international service after you graduate from Temple University?

There are many organizations that offer unique opportunities to gain professional development and experience while also offering the flexibility of a short-term experience.

Ten months with AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) involves direct service, where you get to work with a team of 18-24 year olds on 4-6 projects throughout a designated region in the country. And there’s FEMA Corps for AmeriCorps NCCC teams who are selected to primarily respond to natural and man-made disasters.

AmeriCorps VISTA, Teach for America, Peace Corps, Quaker Voluntary Service – the list goes on. With some of these, you’re serving as an individual Corps member with a non-profit, school, or faith-based organization. Some have direct service opportunities to do the “on-the-ground” work that the organization leads, whether related to education, public health, homelessness, environment, and more; others have capacity building work which allows you to be more “behind-the-scenes”, developing programs, connecting with resources, etc.

For some service-minded individuals, there’s also the option of applying to a fellowship program, which usually have 1-2-year roles with non-profits or government entities, domestic and overseas. There’s more info about those options on the Office of Scholar Development and Fellowships Advising website: http://www.temple.edu/vpus/fellowships/undergrad-opportunities/social-political.htm.

As with any phase in your professional life, there are some financial factors to consider for these options. Most programs offer a stipend and education award to re-pay student loans or put towards further higher education. Some also offer food, healthcare and housing as part of the benefits package. You have to do your research and decide what works best for your lifestyle!

If you ever want to talk about any of the national service opportunities, feel free to email me at holly@temple.edu and we can set up some time to talk.

Spotting Fraudulent Employers and Job Postings

by shannon conklin, interim director of the temple university career center

The recent phishing scam/spam email messages that were posing as a non-existing “Job Placement and Student Services” office at Temple is an excellent reminder of why to exercise caution when an opportunity seems too good to be true.

Here at the Temple University Career Center (note, this is the legitimate, university-wide career services office on campus), we want to share a few important reminders and tips.

First, keep in mind that Handshake is the university-wide internship and professional job database. The Career Center’s Employer Partnerships team thoroughly vets both employers and career opportunities within the Handshake system. There are other platforms on campus, as well.  These include FoxNet, KleinConnect, and STHM’s Passport.  We highly encourage you to conduct your own research on the opportunities you apply for on Handshake, and other university systems.  In the Career Center, our online approval does not indicate endorsement of an employer, product, or service.

Second, there are a few red flags of a potentially fraudulent job or internship:

  • The hourly pay seems “too good to be true” ($20.00+/hour or $200 quick).
  • The employer contacts you via text message, with no in-person contact.
  • The employer claims to be “out of town/out of the country” and needs you to run errands for them.
  • The employer asks you to send them money or offers to send you a check in advance of completing any work.
  • There is language that generally seems off and not properly formatted.

Other precautions you can take:

  • Do not click links that are found in these questionable messages.
  • Research company websites thoroughly.
  • Use social media to research each employer, and websites such as Glassdoor.com for feedback and complaints.
  • Be cognizant of unsolicited emails that are not specifically directed to you. For example, they may simply say “hello”.
  • Do not share personal information (social security numbers, banking information, credit card numbers, passwords, birthday, mother’s maiden name, etc).

Click here to view a complete list of red flags to consider. If you have any questions or are concerned about any opportunities on Handshake, please contact the Career Center before applying.

Temple Intern Wins Case Competition During His First Internship

College of Science and Technology student, Alankato Cobb Jr., is planning to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience in 2021.  This past summer he interned on the medical and scientific affairs team at Novo Nordisk.  Read more to learn about Alankato’s experience…

Alankato after the case competition

What is/was your job function and what does a typical day entail?

I was an intern for the medical and scientific affairs team in the clinical, medical and regulatory department at Novo Nordisk. More specifically in this department, I worked with medical directors on our insulin portfolio. Every day varied. However, for the most part, I attended meetings with different departments in the organization; shadowing different areas. I also attended employee resource groups meetings and worked on several projects throughout the summer. A large project included a clinical experience forum, for which I gathered several health care prescribers that prescribed one of our products, and set up a conference in Nebraska to which I also got to attend and chair. The second biggest project was Novo Nordisk’s Innovation in Action Case Competition. We worked on developing an innovative solution throughout the last ten weeks on an issue facing Novo Nordisk.  There were eight groups of eight interns, and my team placed first.

How did you find out about this opportunity, and what was the interview process like?

I am connected to an employee that works at Novo Nordisk. She told me that I should apply for the internship program and I did, and thankfully got in. The interview process was split into two rounds. The first round I met with a hiring team member to answer some questions, over the phone. We were selected from this round into the next, where I then interviewed with my manager and her manager as well to again answer questions. This was done via Skype. The interview process was a little difficult for me since this was my first internship but by the second round, I believe I did pretty well.

How has your internship related to your course work?

So far I have taken science and math classes, and those have helped me to understand the products that Novo Nordisk creates. For instance, when studying up on the insulin products, I was able to understand the chemical knowledge that I was reading up on. Also, I was able to see the insides of an actual pharmaceutical company and how all the components of Novo work. More specifically I worked with physicians on different medical matters within the industry. I have met people with backgrounds I am seeking to pursue and it very much made me even more excited about the classes I am taking and the career path I am pursuing.

 

What is the most important thing you’ve learned during your internship/job experience?

During my internship, I have definitely learned how pharma can directly impact the patients for which they create products for. Novo Nordisk was not just a business but an organization that wants to truly help all of their patients through many resources. I also learned the different business paths that physicians can take, and it really broadened my horizon on career paths that I can pursue. Finally, the most important thing I learned was how to contribute and be a team player for group tasks. Many of my projects included group work and it was very eye-opening on the different challenges and benefits of group projects. Seeing and being a part of the processes where groups interconnected to reach a common goal was very cool.

What piece of advice would you give to current students embarking on an internship/job search?

I believe establishing connections with people can go a long way. I was able to apply and thankfully get this internship at Novo Nordisk because of the connections I had previously. So definitely put yourself out there and try to create networks with different people, not just in your desired field but all over.

Do you have a profile on Twitter and/or Instagram? If so, what are your usernames?

Instagram : aj.cxx

Complete Your Handshake Profile and Boost Your Employment Chances!

Did you know that you can make your Handshake profile viewable to employers? Many employers are using the platform to reach out directly to Temple students about internships and full-time job opportunities. The more complete your profile, the more likely you are to get the attention of an employer! Temple junior Franky Acosta, a mechanical engineering major, provides a great example of a robust Handshake profile that employers will notice: https://app.joinhandshake.com/users/10420208

Even just adding a profile picture makes an employer 7x more likely to notice your profile. Note that Franky also includes information about his past internships, education, and involvement with student organizations…

Franky has successfully utilized his public profile to land two different internships in his college career. Completing a robust Handshake profile takes less than an hour (most information is automatically pulled into the system when you upload a resume), and can pay significant dividends in your job or internship search!

Interning at the Franklin Institute

Last year, the Career Center visited with three outstanding Temple students who interned at the Franklin Institute. As we enter the spring semester, let’s revisit the advice and experiences that current Temple senior Colleen Byrne (pictured left) shared with us towards the end of her Spring 2018 internship…

What is your Major?

Strategic Communications with a concentration in Public Relations

What company did you intern with and what is your position?

I am the Marketing Intern for the Franklin Institute

What is/was your job function, and what does a typical day entail?

My job function is to work with and help the Marketing Coordinator with various day to day tasks. No two days are exactly the same, but some of the typical things I do are use Excel to create email analysis document, help design and write copy for various types of marketing emails, do research on marketing best practices and create strategies for how to improve the institute’s current practices, and create marketing email lists.

How did you find out about this opportunity, and what was the interview process like?

I found this opportunity on Klein Connect, which is Klein College’s career portal. To apply you must fill out an application (very old school) and then email that application and your resume to the email listed. I then had an initial phone interview with the Volunteer Coordinator, and then an in-person interview with the Marketing Coordinator who would become my supervisor.

What is the most important thing you’ve learned during your internship/job experience?

This is a tough one because I’ve learned a lot during this experience, but I would say my main takeaway is that hard work does not go unnoticed even when it seems like it might. Being an intern can seem like you’re not valued and you’re just there to do the work no one else wants to do, but someone will be watching you so if you’re working hard doing the mindless tasks that you have to do, it shows that you care and it could lead to working on an actual important project in the future.

What piece of advice would you give to current students embarking on an internship/job search?

Please do not get discouraged by rejections!! So much of the internship application process is simply networking and luck, so do not get down on yourself if you’re not hearing back from places – there’s nothing wrong with you! And going off of that, capitalize on your connections, because knowing someone in a company really helps.

Have you learned any valuable lessons about obtaining jobs/internships during your time at Temple?

Utilize the resources available to you!! I visit the career center in Klein and go to the different workshops offered all the time and it’s really helpful, and the Career Center is especially helpful for those students whose colleges do not have their own career center.

 Do you have a profile on Twitter and/or Instagram? If so, what are your usernames?

Yes I do! Both of my handles are @colleenbyrne7

Student Internship Spotlight – Davis Gray, STHM ’19

This past summer, the Career Center met Temple senior Davis Gray to discuss his internship with Visit Philly. Davis shared some valuable insights on how he prepares and customizes his resume during the job/internship application process. Read more to learn about his experience with Visit Philly and his advice for fellow Temple students…

What Company and department are you working with?

I am interning at Visit Philadelphia in the Research Department.

What is your major?

I am a Tourism and Hospitality Management major at the school of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management.

How did you find out about this opportunity, and what was the interview process like?

I was forwarded the job listing by Brandon Mayer from the STHM CSPD office and then I applied for it.

What is/was your job function, and what does a typical day entail?

I am a research analyst. My job consists primarily of tracking and analyzing data from paid secondary

sources such as VisaVue, AirDNA, and others which helps our company to forecast trends in visitor spending and behavior. Using these analyses, I can then write summary reports which help inform the larger strategic decisions made within the organization.

How has your internship related to your course work?

I feel that STHM has done an excellent job preparing me for the work I am currently doing. Dr. Wes Roehl’s Strategic Decision-Making class has been especially helpful in the data analysis portion of my job. Additionally, material I learned in Dr. Ben Altschuler’s Global Issues class and Dr. Yang Yang’s Tourism Planning class has benefited me immensely in my current role.

What is the most important thing you’ve learned during your internship/job experience?

The ability to independently prioritize projects and tasks I need to accomplish, while also being able to alter deadlines based on unforeseen circumstances.

What piece of advice would you give to current students embarking on an internship/job search?

Keep your LinkedIn up-to-date at all times. Also, always have a long-form copy of your resume with every single work experience you have ever completed. Then when applying to jobs, reduce it down one page with only the most relevant experiences.

Have you learned any valuable lessons about obtaining jobs/internships during your time at Temple?

Networking is key, it’s all about who you know.

As a Tourism and Hospitality Management major, did you ever think you would be working here?

I could definitely picture myself working at Visit Philadelphia but if you told me two years ago that I would be working in the research field I would probably be kind of surprised.

Career Wisdom For Winter Break

by mark kaloko, senior career coach, temple university career center

Hello Temple students,

Congratulations on making it through another semester!  As you get ready to take final exams and rest from your studies, here are some tips from the Career Center on how to maximize your winter break:

  1. Update Your Documents:  If you had an internship or served on a student organization this semester, update your resume and LinkedIn with your achievements.  Employers always want to see what you’ve done recently and it’s best to add those new accomplishments before you forget.  Feel free to setup an appointment with a career coach over break to talk about your resume or LinkedIn profile.
  2. Follow-up with Contacts:  Did you meet any interesting faculty or professionals this semester?  Stay in touch with them over the break to maintain those valuable relationships.  Send them a compelling article or wish them season’s greetings.  Nurturing your professional contacts is a part of growing as a professional.  Make sure to follow-up over break.
  3. Start Searching Early:  Perhaps you are thinking about getting an internship or job for the summer.  No need to wait until the spring semester begins.  Login to Handshake over break and start getting familiar with the job search function.  Favorite some jobs for which you might be interested in applying.  Update your Handshake profile.  The more familiar you become with the Handshake system, the easier it will be to locate opportunities when the time is right.

 

I hope these tips will give you some ways to stay proactive in your professional development over break.  And, don’t forget the most important tip of all: make sure to rest and spend time with the people you love.  Wishing you a successful close to the semester and wonderful winter break!