Each year participants of Schuylkill Leadership are asked to complete a class project.

After much discussion, class members of the Schuylkill Leadership Class of 2019 shared their passion for helping our youth prepare for the early stages of their journey in securing their first jobs.

Together, the class collaborated to prepare a resource on the Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce's website that kids can utilize as they embark on their job-seeking journey.

Below you will find the dos and don’ts of resume writing and interviewing. In addition, you will find suggestions on key elements to focus on regarding communication and helpful information to use after you are hired. 

Resume Writing 

The Dos

  1. Highlight your most relevant experience first
    • The number one rule of resume writing is to tailor your resume to different positions. In other words, your resume should look   like it will be a good fit for the job description.
    • If you do not have relevant experience yet, you can list relevant coursework, skills, volunteer work or related side projects.
  2. Include the vital information
    • For past or current jobs or volunteer work, this includes the following:
      • The name of the organization
      • The dates you were employed (the month and year you started and the month and year you ended)
      • The main job duties/responsibilities
  3. ALWAYS tell the truth.
    • If you don’t, it will come back to bite you. In fact, most employers will fire an employee when it’s revealed they lied on a resume. Keep it truthful, especially dates and education.
  4. Build a strong work history
    • This is vitally important. If an employer is going to invest time on a new hire, they want to know the person has the work ethic to stick around for a while.
    • A consistent work history is at least one to two years with the same organization.
      • If you have no current job experience, you can showcase your work ethic by highlighting years of service with volunteer organizations, sports teams, club organizations, etc.
  5. Check, double check, and triple check for spelling mistakes and grammar errors
    • Spelling mistakes and obvious grammatical errors are the best way to not be selected for an interview. Have someone you trust check your resume for mistakes.
  6. Keep it SIMPLE
    • Refrain from using fancy fonts, neon colors, or brochure-style resumes. The only exception to this might be positions for highly creative and skilled employees. In which case, do your research first.
  7. Include personal accomplishments
    • These can help an employer see how your accomplishments will be transferred into the work place. Whether that be running marathons (which showcases work ethic and desire to challenge oneself) or chess club president (which showcases leadership and critical and strategic thinking).
  8. Always include a cover letter with an application
    • Keep it brief and to the point
    • Tailor it like you tailored your resume                                                                                                                                             Example: Use the organization name to which you are applying

Find additional information by clicking here

The Don'ts

  1. Don't get too personal or provide confidential information
    • Keep it professional - other than your name and contact information, there should be nothing on your resume that is personal.
  2. Don't include unrelated or off-putting hobbies or skills 
    • Unless they add value and can be transferable to work-related skills, keep it off of your resume.
  3. Don't use cliches or jargon.
    • Use real language. Keep it simple, concise and easy to understand and read. 
  4. Don't use family as work experience unless it's for a legitimately owned business 
    • A consistent work history is at least one to two years with the same organization
  5. Don't use fancy fonts, multiple colors, etc. Keep it simple. 
  6. Don't forget to keep your resume up-to-date. 
    • One of the fastest ways to have a resume go into a discard pile is it not being up-to-date.
    • Keep your resume up-to-date on job search sites such as Indeed, Monster, LinkedIn, etc. 
  7. Don't frequently contact the recruiter who interviewed you
    • Be respectful of the recruiter's time. Don't call, email or text several times to check on the status of your resume or application. If you do reach out to them, do so once and only once. 


THE INTERVIEW

The Dos

  1. Be on time or a few minutes early for the interview
    • If it’s a phone interview be sure your phone is fully charged and answer the call timely
  2. Dress appropriately for the type of position you are applying for
    • dress shirt, tie, dress pants or suit, blouse or sweater, dress, flat or low heeled shoes
  3. Give a firm handshake
  4. Maintain good eye contact
  5. Speak clearly during the interview
  6. Research the company and the position you are applying for
  7. Speak to your interest with the position, your strengths, goals and opportunities
  8. Be honest with your responses, still being respectful
  9. Be able to describe the situation that happened, the action you took and the result
  10. Ask at least one question at the end of the interview and thank the interviewer for their time

The Don’ts

  1. Don’t dress inappropriately
    • No jeans, hoodies, baseball hats, revealing clothing, clothing too tight, flip flops, sneakers
  2. Don’t take a phone interview less seriously than an in-person interview
    • Keep distractions minimized
  3. Don’t bring someone with you to the interview
  4. Don’t forget your work history
  5. Don’t forget to take time to research the company before the interview
    • Know what position you applied for
  6. Don’t bring your cell phone with you
  7. Don’t interrupt the interviewer
  8. Don’t wear too much perfume or cologne
  9. Don’t chew gum
  10. Don’t talk negatively about your past employer or manager


COMMUNICATION

Role Play

  1. Rehearse possible work-related scenarios with parents or friends.
  2. Research interview questions. Come prepared for any sort of question the interviewer might ask. Also, be prepared with questions of your own.
  3. Relate your experiences to the company you are applying for. Research the company to better understand their mission. Learn the name of the person giving the interview.

Body Language

  1. Shake hands and make eye contact
  2. Use formal nouns and think before you speak
  3. Practice proper posture. Do not look slouched and lazy, sit up straight and maintain a positive demeanor.
  4. Always remember your manners – yes, please, thank you, etc.

Post-Interview Communication

  1. Maintain professionalism and continue proper communication
  2. Thank people accordingly and send out thank you letters to partnering businesses you work with
  3. Always follow-up! Don’t allow poor communication to hinder your work

POST-HIRE

Positive Energy

  1. Have a positive, professional attitude in the workplace
  2. Leave your personal problems at the door.
  3. Understand what should and should not be discussed in a workplace setting. 

Possess Passion

  1. Take pride in your work.
  2. Do your job and do it well.
  3. There are a ton of resources today. Stay up-to-date on your respected field of interest. Podcasts and audiobooks are great resources!
  4. Find and build a relationship with a mentor.

Understand Expectations

  1. Request a meeting with the human resources director before your first official day to discuss first day expectations, policies and procedures. Be sure to get answers to any unanswered questions you may have.
  2. Understand scheduling. It is essential to know what is acceptable and what isn’t, how vacation time works and sick time works
  3. Be conscious of your online presence, keep your social media clean even post-hire - remember you are a representative of a team

Know Your Objectives 

  1. Review your job description and ask questions.
  2. Help yourself to stay organized by making to-do lists.
  3. Utilize a calendar and/or an organizer to assure deadlines are met and meetings aren’t missed.
  4. Be prepared to accept constructive criticism.
  5. Find a positive in every negative.