The Career Library
The Career Library is a career and graduate school resource for all majors and alumni. Job Search engines as well as templates for resumes, cover letters, personal statements, and curriculum vitae can be found here as well as information on graduate school preparation such as practice tests, entrance exams, and prominent graduate programs in Texas. Advice regarding interviewing and personal branding is also available.
Check out HCU’s Library resource on “Careers and changes after the pandemic: life after COVID”
Back-to-School Workshop Presentations
Back to School: Resume Tips
Resumes and Cover Letters
The resume and cover letter are the cornerstone of any successful job search. There are many resources online that can help you construct a resume. Moreover, your Career Counselors have been working with students, alumni, and employers for many years, so utilizing the resources in The Office of Career and Calling can help you get you noticed by employers. Make an appointment or drop-in today!
HCU Chronological Resume Template II one page (HBU-Resume-Template-Word)
A résumé is a living document; it is always changing and updating. As you gain more skills, training, and experience you’ll want to update it to maximize your job search, it is an ever-changing, living document.
- Rank Order – Most résumés have several categories: experience, skills, training, education, volunteering, etc. The most relevant and often most recent experiences need to be mentioned before others.
- Targeting – When sending out a cover letter, or cover email these days, you target your best qualities and experiences before you send. The résumé is no different. Look over the job description to tailor it to that specific situation.
- Summary – By listing an overview (summary, profile, qualifications), you have succinctly stated the best qualities! List your top five, or so, things that you bring to the table. Be specific.
- Length – When a manager looks at a résumé that is 3/4 of a page or one page + a few lines, they ask themselves, “Is that it?” One full, power-packed page is optimal, or if you have a second page-fill it.
- Call-worthy? – Step into the shoes of the person you intend on sending your résumé to, and ask yourself: would I call this candidate? Also, have mentor look over it…more tips and advice – the better.
Here are some online resources that can help with your resume creation/editing:
HCU Resume Guidelines
Career & Calling Resume Guidelines
HCU Chronological Resume Template II one page
- The font on all resumes should be either Times New Roman, Arial, or Calibri. The size of your font should be no larger than 12 with exception to your name. It is okay to have your section titles at 12 font while the information in each section can be at 10-11 font. This helps with fitting more information on one page.
- The length of a resume depends on the years of experience job candidate’s possess. If you have less than five years of direct experience in
your field of interest then the resume should be only on one page.
- Candidates with more than five years of experience have the option of keeping their resume on one page or going to two pages.
- Candidates with 10+ years’ experience should have a 2-3 page resume.
- If you are close to one page, but keep spilling over to the second page then we suggest that you go to PAGE LAYOUT and then MARGINS and choose the NARROW option so you can fit more text on one page.
- Resume Templates found on Microsoft Office are forbidden as they are difficult for Career Counselors to adjust, amend, and critique,
because of the formatting associated with these templates. The accepted resume template for all HCU Huskies is how your resume should be formatted.
- The text/font on your resume should be black. Any colors outside of black will result in your resume not being approved.
- Your Education section should reflect your most current degree you are pursuing at the top of the section.
- If you have transferred from a community college, you should add the current degree you are pursuing at the top. Your high school should never be above the current degree you are pursuing at HCU.
- If your resume is missing the degree you are pursuing at HCU, it will be rejected.
- The Sections on your resume should be in a certain order depending on the years of experience you possess.
- If you have less than five years of experience then your sections should be in the following order: 1. Professional Summary 2. Education 3. Skills 4. Clinical Rotations/Internship Experience 5. Professional Experience 6. Volunteer Experience 7. Awards & Activities 8. Achievements
- Keep in mind that sections 1 & 6-8 are optional, but highly encouraged as it gives you additional opportunities to sell your well-rounded experience to potential employers.
- If you have more than five years of experience then the sections should be in the following order: 1. Professional Summary 2. Skills/Summary of Qualifications 3. Professional Experience 4. Organizations/Affiliations 5. Education; Keep in mind that the fourth section is optional.
- This is a section where you add bullets regarding any software you are familiar with such as QuickBooks, Cool Edit Pro, Photoshop, Illustrator, etc. If you are interested in the medical field then you should also add any lab instruments you are familiar with as well as medical theories, concepts, and medical procedures that are relevant to the field.
- The skills section is also where you add any additional languages you are familiar with besides English. Please do not list that you can speak English.
- Please do not add Microsoft Office unless you have advanced knowledge of the suite. It is expected that you should be familiar with Microsoft Office entering college.
- The key to a great skills section is being specific regarding your knowledge and expertise. Adding general skills like “Great Communicator”, “Attention to Detail”, etc… is not specific and will not cause an employer to contact you.
- The Office of Career and Calling suggests that all internship/job descriptions have a minimum of three-five bullets/lines explaining each internship or job on your resume.
- If your job descriptions are in paragraphs then your resume will be rejected. This makes your resume much easier to read as employers spend less than 10 seconds reading a resume.
- If your job descriptions have less than three bullets/lines then your resume will be rejected.
- If you do not remember what you exactly did in a previous/current job then we suggest you follow this link to a great resource that houses job descriptions: https://www.onetonline.org
- Every sentence on your resume should begin with an Action Verb. Your bullets/lines/sentences on your resume should not begin with I, My, You, or Me.
- Action Verbs bring your resume to life as they convey the action you took to complete the job or internship. Here is a great article by the Muse that we believe you will find very helpful in finding the right Action Verbs for your resume and experience.
- The heading on the resume should be centralized on the resume and contain the following: Your Name, Address, Phone Number, Email,
LinkedIn URL, or any other link that conveys your experience/portfolio.
- We also highly suggest that you attend our Drop-In Hours to meet with a Career Counselor about your resume/job search.
- Drop-In Hours do not require an appointment as during this period a student may meet with a Career Counselor for 10-15 minutes regarding their preferred topic of choice including resumes, job search, choosing a major, etc. Students attending Drop-In Hours or appointments usually walk out of the session with a finished resume.
- Scheduled appointments typically last 15-30 minutes. In these longer appointments, Career Counselors go more in depth regarding your topic of choice including mock interviews, career assessments, LinkedIn Profile creation, etc.
- We also critique cover letters, personal statements, and
Curriculum Vitae during Scheduled Appointments.
- References? We recommend a separate sheet see this example: Reference examples
Tips from ResumeLab
- How To Write a Resume (according to pros) – We’ve surveyed 500+ professional recruiters to get authoritative answers to the most burning questions everyone has about proper resume writing
- Top Skills (on a Resume) – The most in-demand capabilities employers seek in candidates today with explanations on how to highlight this key section of the resume
- Resume Templates – A convenient compilation of free templates to download, edit and customize as needed
- How To Perfect a Cover Letter – An in-depth in-depth look into how to craft an attention-grabbing cover letter
The Cover Letter
In most cases, a resume should be accompanied by a cover letter. Even if a candidate is applying online for a job, often there is room to type, or copy/paste, a cover letter – letting the employer know why.
- THE most important tip regarding cover letters…make sure it is specific. It’s never a good idea to start out a letter, “To Whom it May Concern” — nobody likes to get mail that’s addressed in that way. So, even if you don’t know exactly to whom the letter/email should be address, at least use: Dear Hiring Manager.
- It is also important to know that managers are very busy. If you can condense your letter to 2-3 short paragraphs, that is preferred. Remember, the purpose of a cover letter is to get them to look at your resume and to get that initial phone call.
The Basic Elements of a Cover Letter
- Greeting: Address your cover letter to the proper person.
- Opening: Write a personable, inviting opening paragraph that highlights how your skills are a perfect fit to the job.
- Hook: Highlight your past achievements as they relate to the job you’re applying for.
- Skills: Highlight additional relevant skills, such as computer languages or certifications.
- Close: Briefly recap your strengths as a candidate, and include your contact information.
CV (Curriculum Vitae)
Not quite as well-known as the resume, the CV (curriculum vitae) is used more often in Academia OR for jobs abroad. The CV is more thorough than the resume, and will include projects, publications, conferences, and other academic-related content.
Assisting Huskies with their Internship & Job Search
Career and Calling would like to meet with you to talk about your job search, internship search, or anything career-related. Please email us OR drop in to see us during our “drop-in” hours. We are always looking for ways to connect Huskies with employers!
O*Net Online (researching jobs)
O*Net Online is a very powerful research tool that provides job seekers with an ability to source jobs in every occupational family or Career Cluster recognized by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. If you want to learn about the various industries in the United States, then we suggest using O*Net.
Salary Negotiation Tips
Career and Calling believes it is important for students and alumni to know the worth of their experience in the competitive job market. This resource allows for browsing jobs and average salaries in various industries by city and state. For example, if you are attempting to determine what an accountant makes in Houston, this resource will provide you the answer.
If you happen to find the position in Handshake, you can enter the information from the posting as Pay-scale will ask for pertinent details regarding the position in order to provide you with an accurate salary figure.
Other resources to utilize are: Salary.com, O-Net, CollegeGrad and Glassdoor.
Research Majors and Industries
Discover Your Calling
Discovering Your Calling (or Major) is a monumental decision-point in Career Development. We recognize that many students are not ready to choose a specific academic program of study when first entering HCU, and we can help if you need us. Below are some resources that are available through Career and Calling.
Keep in mind that the information sheets and websites are representative of typical career paths associated with each major and not a comprehensive list. You may want to explore information and websites from multiple majors to help you learn about a wide range of career opportunities.
BestColleges.com curated great resources on compensation, job search, job raises, job acceptance, and even burn out. Check them out:
Road Map and Career Assessments
Career and Calling has designed a thorough Road Map designed to help students while matriculating at HBU.
In addition, we have made available to Students, Alumni, and staff some tools that can help in the decision-making process. All are more than welcome to read a brief description regarding our Career Assessments.
Please feel free to make an appointment with Career and Calling to discuss this as well!
“The research of a University of Toledo psychology professor has shown that the interview outcome is determined in the first 30 seconds. “What makes the lasting impression are the silent signals, the facial expressions, the cut of the suit, and the beauty of the speaker,” writes Jenni Laidman in describing the research.
"Tell me about yourself."
Tell me about yourself Elevator Speech
This opening question really sets the pace and success rate of the entire interview. The goal of this question is to get the candidate to open up about their professional accomplishments, experience, skills, and goals. Answering this question strongly and succinctly sets up the candidate for a great interview! Online resource, job-hunt, has some sound advice on how to prepare.
Career and Calling can help you with this question and other interview questions in a Professional Mock Interview. Email us with questions!
Top Ten list for interview prep (come up with example):
My top ten list for interview prep
Forbes has complied a list of Common Interview Questions for candidates to use in preparation. In addition, here are two good resources to help with Interview Preparation and Interview Tips.
It’s not only important to prepare for interview questions, but it’s also key to be prepared to discuss your knowledge, skills, and abilities as it pertains to the job and organization.
Don’t overlook the non-verbal preparation checklist:
- Professional appearance (clothing, accessories, and hygiene)
- Several copies of your resume, as well as a pad of paper and pen
- Debit/credit card and some cash, in case you have to pay to park
- Plan to arrive plenty early at the site, but don’t be TOO EARLY in the office area (15 minutes is good)
Common Interview Q&A (from TheBestSchools.org)
Interview tips from ireviews.com
Psychology tells us that the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. Behavior-based interview questions, often starting with “Tell me a time when…” OR “Give me an example of…,” allow the interviewer to asses the candidate’s past successes and challenges.
These set of questions are typically asked in every industry. Behavioral Interviews are common, because the employer can get a better idea, depending on your answers, of how you would react or conduct yourself in a given situation.
Example behavioral questions to prepare for your interview
The SOAR or STAR methods have been proven to help better understand how to answer behavioral interview questions.
Personal Branding & Professionalism
- Who are you?
- What makes you special or unique?
- How does your faith drive your decisions in life?
- What are the skills you possess that not many others can say they have?
- What is YOUR definition of Professionalism?
- Can I learn more about YOU online?
If you are able to answer these questions coherently and in complete sentences then you are on your way to identifying your Personal Brand!
The Complete Guide to Building your Personal Brand
In a competitive job market, knowing your Personal Brand and actively using it can open doors to competitive internships at Fortune 500 companies and full-time jobs in high performing organizations in the future. Knowing Your Personal Brand can also assist you with articulating what you bring to the table when in an Interview, Job Fair, Networking Function, etc. Learn More…
Building your Professional Presence online
Once you have identified your Personal Brand, you probably want others to know about you and what you could potentially bring to a role with a prospective employer. LinkedIn is a great way to manage your Personal Brand and professional image online. As you go through college and attend Job Fairs, meet professionals, get business cards, you might want to keep in touch with them for the long haul as they might be helpful to you as your career unfolds. Creating a LinkedIn page is worthwhile and will truly open doors for you!
Graduate School Resources
TIPS for Academic Success
Deciding on whether to continue your education is a decision not to be taken lightly. We want to ensure you have all the resources to make an informed decision regarding your education and career path.
Interviewing Tips and Resources for Graduate School
Study and practice these top interview questions that are typically asked during the Graduate Admissions process. Also, learn more about the GRE and ways to pay for Graduate School. Learn More…
Does your career path align with the right Graduate School program?
It is important to identify specific jobs that can be performed with your experience and education. Why choose a particular graduate program that either you don’t need or is not the right program for your field of interest? By clicking the link, O*net Online will help you identify jobs by software knowledge, business concepts, majors, occupation groups, etc…
HCU Graduate School programs
A master’s degree enables you to add depth and breadth to your knowledge in a field, and often to bring together several different fields in one program. Houston Christian University offers several master’s degree programs designed to provide you with the knowledge and experiences you seek.
Free Practice GRE Test
Here are important tips to keep in mind when preparing for the GRE;
- It is four hours in length and each section is timed.
- It focuses on three competencies: Analytical Writing, Verbal Reasoning, and Quantitative Reasoning.
- You will be able to use a Calculator on certain parts of the exam.
- The GRE General is administered by computer throughout the year.
Register to take the GRE at a test center close to you.
- On Test Day arrive at least 30 minutes early to complete any paperwork before the exam. If you arrive late, you may not be admitted and might not be refunded.
- Bring your identification to the test center.
- Unofficial scores will appear on the computer screen following your test.
- Official scores are mailed to you and the institutions you choose 10-14 days afterward.
- Plan to take the GRE well in advance of application due dates. Try to take it the spring or summer before you apply to grad school. You can always retake the GRE, but remember that you’re allowed to take it only once per calendar month.
Click here to take a Free Practice GRE Test
If you’re thinking about Graduate School for business, you may want to check out the GMAT!
The Office of Career and Calling is happy to assist you with your Personal Statements. The first step is making an outline of your accomplishments in order to determine a theme for your essay.
Example personal statements (by category)
Career and Calling can meet with you regarding choosing the right area or filed to focus upon. Our Career Assessments assist students with connecting their interests with specific career paths. Contact us today to make an appointment! We take this decision just as serious as you do!
What is your area of Focus?