Regardless of the era we live in or the economy around us, the first step to finding the job you want isn’t always the education or experiences you have; rather, the first step is producing a good resume that exemplifies your strengths and shines a spotlight on why you would be a good choice for an employer.
Enter Bellevue College’s Center for Career Connections, which is currently running a late-start Winter Quarter class that will count for two credits, addressing both how to write a resume and how to handle the ever-stressful job interview. Under the tutelage of Jose Sampelayo and the wide variety of professionals he brings in as guests, the class provides an in-depth look into entering the job market. The class is composed of two virtual meetings on Fridays and two in-person meetings on the following Saturdays. On Feb. 17 and Feb. 24, expect to meet through Zoom from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. On Feb. 18 and Feb. 25, you will meet on campus from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
As someone who took the class last quarter, I have an intimate understanding of how it works. The first week is dedicated to the resume itself. You will learn what to include, what is considered frivolous and other neat tips. For example, when listing your responsibilities at a previous job, avoid implying through them that you were helping someone else do something, as you want the resume to tell the employer what you wanted to do. Mr. Sampelayo also brought in a pair of guest speakers for a forum-style questioning where students could ask about anything, from the specifics of entering the job market to swapping careers.
The second week is mainly composed of interview practice, with Mr. Sampelayo bringing in a group of professionals to interview people one-on-one, where they will have read your resume beforehand and made notes based on what they saw. Even for someone like me, who feared the idea of being questioned by a stranger, it was surprisingly simple and easy to get used to.
As students, it can be hard to make that transition from high school to the “real world,” where every decision matters, and having a well-built resume by your side can’t hurt. In fact, it could even give you a head start when compared to others trying to do the same thing.