GARY — When Sherri Martin went job hunting recently, the interviewer was very direct when she was handed the college student’s resume.
Martin had never applied for a position before and hadn’t done much research on how to sell herself through a resume.
“After we started to talk, the lady told me my resume wasn’t organized enough,” the Hammond student said. “I didn’t get the job, and I always wondered how much that resume was to blame.”
This experience motivated Martin into action. She went to her local library, online and asked friends and acquaintances for advice on writing a winning resume.
She also came across local events and other venues that would help her. She even found resume-writing coaches and classes.
Although she wasn’t able to attend, one such recent event at Aspire Charter Academy in Gary that offered advice to those seeking employment would have benefitted her.
Certified resume writer Robin Howard, of Gary, was invited to offer her expertise as part of the school’s Community Workshop Series. The resume-writing workshop also included cover letters, interview skills, interview questions and helpful job-hunting tips.
In attendance at the workshop was LaTrice Bell, of Gary. The young mother of three children is looking to again find employment in the culinary arts field. Although she has a degree from Le Cordon Bleu in Chicago, she hasn’t worked in her field for some time and needed advice.
“I’ve been self-employed and worked at the schools,” Bell said. “But now I want to get more involved with my career.”
She was looking to fill in gaps in her work experience, as well as use the right words to highlight what she has accomplished.
“When listing your career objective, you can mention wanting to start at an entry level,” Howard told her. “This will explain your not having a lot of recent experience.”
She added that “buzz words” (action verbs) are very important when applying for a job.
Corporations have digital bases, and when they scan resumes, they look for these words, she said.
Keeping more than one specific current resume is a good idea, as an applicant may find themselves applying for various positions.
“You never know where your job hunting may take you,” she said. “It’s a good idea to be prepared.”
Francine Birgans is the school’s community relations coordinator who puts together the community workshops. She invited Howard to the school because she thought her background in banking and her many years in the corporate world would be beneficial for the resume-writing class.
“Robin is truly a professional. In the past, she has helped both my husband and myself with our resumes,” she said. “Everyone I know that has worked with her has gotten the positions they applied for, when they applied what she taught them.”
Aspire Charter Academy Principal Rasheda Green was ecstatic when she heard Birgans booked Howard for the resume-writing workshop.
“This is a much-needed skill, since having confidence in selling yourself is the most important thing when searching for a position, ” Green said, in regard to job seekers. “A well-written resume gives an edge to not only the interview, but gives confidence to the applicant as well.”
For more information on the free workshops offered at Aspire Charter Academy in April and May, contact Francine Birgans at (219) 944-7400.