Tag Archives: resume

How Important Is Your GPA?

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[hidepost]Most employers and graduate schools use a 3.0 GPA as a cut-off point for applicants. Once it’s above that, the exact number usually becomes less important. If your GPA is below the 3.0 threshold, you may wonder about the negative effects your GPA can have on your career or graduate school applications. However, there are ways to overcome a low GPA and minimize its possible damage to your future employment prospects or graduate education opportunities.

Do I Have to Tell Employers My GPA?

Yes, and you should be honest with them. If you don’t put your GPA on your resume, particularly for your first job after graduation, you can expect to be asked about it during the interview.

The trick is where you put the emphasis. If your GPA within your major is higher than your overall GPA, tell them: 2.9/4.0 major GPA, 2.2/4.0 overall GPA. Likewise, if your GPA has improved you can emphasize that: 3.3/4.0 since fall 2008, 2.5/4.0 overall. Finally, if you had to work while studying, employers may take that into account, so it’s worth mentioning: 2.5/4.0 GPA, worked 20 hours per week throughout school year.

How Low Can My GPA Go?

While many employers may 3.0 as their cut-off point, some may be more flexible than others depending on your skill set.

Yet, when asked to rate the qualities employers find most important in a candidate, in the 2007 Job Outlook Survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), GPA was ranked number 17 of the top 20. This means a low GPA isn’t necessarily insurmountable–you have 16 other qualities you can enhance to overcome it.

The top 5 most important skills to employers are, in order:

1. Communication skills 2. Honesty/integrity 3. Interpersonal skills (relates well to others) 4. Motivation/initiative 5. Strong work ethic

Best Way to Overcome a Low GPA

Written and verbal communication skills have consistently been ranked as the number one quality employers seek since 1999. However, they have trouble finding candidates with those skills, as they also ranked good communication the hardest quality to find in job applicants.

Graduates who can express themselves clearly, both orally and on paper, may have a significant advantage over the competition. You can prove your communication abilities both on your resume and in the interview, giving you two chances to shine.

GPA and Graduate School

Graduate schools do put significant weight on your undergraduate GPA, but again it’s not the only factor they consider. First of all, not all graduate schools look at your overall GPA. Many only look at your GPA from your junior and senior years, while others only look at your GPA in your major.

The weight each graduate school puts on your GPA also depends on several variables, including:

* The competitiveness of the graduate school * Whether the school places greater value on work experience, internships, or a portfolio of work * The undergraduate school’s reputation: a student with a lower GPA from a highly ranked university may get accepted over a student with a high GPA from a lower quality school * Strong test scores. * Excellent letters of recommendation

The bottom line is that while employers and graduate schools traditionally look at your grades, mitigating circumstances and strong skills in other areas can certainly help you overcome a low GPA. So put your energy into the other areas they find important.

Author’s URL: http://www.Edu411.org
Edu411.org is a career education directory for finding colleges and universities, training schools, and technical institutes. For more information about careers, online and campus based career programs, please visit us at http://www.edu411.org.
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Graduating With a Plan of Action

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You spend a lot of energy making graduation plans, but do you have a plan of action for after graduation to jumpstart your career? Many people struggle with career choices before making that important life-changing decision that will define who they are for years to come. It is hard to imagine that a new graduate would still struggle with what they want to do with their new college degree. Even if they know, they might not know the next step to take. This article will give a few pointers on how to get started with a plan of action. Continue reading Graduating With a Plan of Action

Free Money!!!

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You gotta like that!  Fastweb (owned by Monster, as in Monster.com job search) has been featured in many national and international magazines and is an excellent site for finding college scholarships, grants, and internships for students at any age. It also has great resources on finding colleges, getting loans, writing resumes, and much more.

Initially, you must enter a lot of information (for example; age, address, preferred colleges, GPA, extracurricular activities, etc.) so the site can determine which scholarships are a likely match.  I took about ten minutes to do so and the site returned 55 matching scholarships, essays, and internships. Most were around $1000, but many were much higher!  What a fantastic resource.  Take a look!

FastWeb: Search for Scholarships: Start Now!

Can You Afford to Write Your Own Resume?

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[hidepost]In today’s economy, if you can save a buck or two, you are ahead of the game! However, as the saying goes, “penny wise, pound foolish,” there are times when scrimping to save can be more costly in the end. This article will provide you with a quick overview of what skills you need to write your own resume and a case scenario to demonstrate the difference between spending and making a wise investment in having your resume professionally prepared.


Why would someone pay a professional resume writer to write their resume when they have a computer, can use resume templates, and can find resume samples online and in books to get ideas on setting up and composing their own resume?  The answer lies in what type of position they are targeting and their level of resume writing skills. Whether basic or complex, a resume must be attractive, focused, and interesting to read. Failing to achieve these objectives means failing to make a good first impression. Many things need to be taken into consideration in order to accomplish these goals. Here are five things to consider:


1. You must understand the technical aspects of resume development. This includes resume design (what fonts to use and spacing), use of industry specific key words, career synopsis and company profiles, appropriate resume style and formats (reverse chronological, functional and combination), and page length.


2. You must have good word processing skills!


3.  You must understand what the hiring manager is looking for and what you’ve done so you can make a match between their needs and your qualifications.


4. You must have grammatically correct, creative writing skills to communicate what you have done in the positions you have held using a reasonable amount of detail.


5. You must avoid wasting the reader’s time by listing too much irrelevant information or going back too far if the position does not warrant it.


Some positions such as waitress, car wash attendant, and cashier might not require a resume. If they do, it would be a general resume with a traditional objective statement and chronological listing of jobs held with a sentence or two under each to indicate responsibilities, along with job-specific skills, and education. In a word: simple. However, sometimes a resume needs to be strategically developed to emphasize the value you offer a company, especially if the position is very competitive and you need to stand out from the rest of the potential candidates.


Often, a job seeker finds himself or herself in a pickle because they have held many different positions over the years and do not know how to keep the resume focused for a particular position. Maybe you are returning to the workplace after raising your children and are concerned the gap will put you at a disadvantage. Maybe you are just starting out in your career and do not think you have enough to offer a company. Or, maybe you are ready for a career change and do not know how to create a presentation that will position you for a new field.


If you have done your homework (which we believe you have since you are reading this article!), you know that a resume is often referred to as a “marketing tool.” No different than a commercial advertisement, your resume needs to entice the reader to buy the product (you) by grabbing their attention, listing the product’s benefits (your qualifications), and compel the reader to make a move – in this case, to invite you to an interview. As you know, time is money. The more time that passes after sending your resume out, the more money you lose if it is not generating responses. If you cannot afford to be out of work for several months, you should make the decision to have your resume professionally prepared. Here is a quick quiz to help you put things into perspective:


Client A: wanted to save money, so she prepared her own resume. She faxed and mailed her resume to over 50 companies over a period of six weeks, but nothing happened. While she kept her fingers crossed, she depleted half of her savings. She eventually landed an interview in the seventh week through someone she knew.


Client B: understood that having her resume professionally developed was a good investment. Without one, she knew she could not launch her career in the right direction. She faxed and mailed her professionally prepared resume out to ten companies over a two-week period. By the end of week two, she landed a great interview that resulted in a fabulous job.


Quick Quiz: who came out financially ahead in the long run?

If you answered the job seeker that invested wisely in consulting with a professional resume writer, you are 100% correct! So, in summary, the question is not whether or not you can afford to write your own resume. The question is whether or not you can afford not to have it done properly.

About The Author:

Ann Baehr is a CPRW and President of Best Resumes of New York. Notable credentials include her former role as Second Vice President of NRWA and contribution to 25+ resume and cover letter sample books. To learn more visit http://www.e-bestresumes.com

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