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Internship/Resume advice

GrundlterrorGrundlterror Registered User regular
edited April 2008 in Help / Advice Forum
So today at my school AFLAC is going to be doing a presentation for CSE students and is looking for SWE, CS or IT (I'm a CS junior, about to be a senior after the Summer Semester) students for immediate openings for internships, co-ops and full time positions. They are specifically (according to my Data Structures Professor) looking for summer internships and she believes that in general I am in a perfect position for an internship because I am just finishing Data Structures.

However, I am still worried about the opportunity. What should I do to make sure I have the best possible chance at an internship there? I've dressed up nice. Should I have a resume on hand? Any questions I should be prepared to answer? Any other advice?

Regarding the resume I'm actually pretty lucky because in my Technical Communication class we are having an optional workshop (non-graded) to improve our resumes. What kind of information should I put on my resume to impress AFLAC? My T-Com teacher suggests that we craft individual resumes aimed at each position we are applying for. And finally, does anyone have an example of a well done resume (either found on the net or your own) and wouldn't mind sharing it with me? My T-Com teacher specifically said that if we find a good resume we should steal it for our own.

TL;DR - I have an internship op at AFLAC through my school. Any advice? Can I have your resume? :lol:

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    ArdorArdor Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    If you already have a job description, then craft your resume and your past jobs/experiences to show how you would be a good fit for the job. Even if you only did something once, list it as experience because you have done it.

    Also, don't put all your eggs in one basket. Look around for other opportunities whether it be internships, part time jobs or contract positions. This should help you increase your chances of finding something to do this summer that you can use as good experience towards a job in the future.

    When you make your resume, I'm not entirely sure I make good ones for myself else I would share, but make it no longer than 1 page. I'd suggest putting something like "references available upon request" to save some space near the end as well. Plus, they probably don't care about your references unless they want to interview you.

    A tip that may or may not be helpful. Upkeep your resume. While I currently hold a job I enjoy and do not plan to look for other employment opportunities right now, I typically update my resume every 4-6 months. That way, it's much easier to craft my resume when needed since it isn't too old at any given time.

    Good luck.

    Ardor on
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    VeritasVRVeritasVR Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Ardor wrote: »
    If you already have a job description, then craft your resume and your past jobs/experiences to show how you would be a good fit for the job.

    Look around for other opportunities whether it be internships, part time jobs or contract positions.

    When you make your resume, I'm not entirely sure I make good ones for myself else I would share, but make it no longer than 1 page.

    Upkeep your resume.

    Good luck.

    All these. Make sure you customize your resume to appeal to that place in particular. I put down my biology experience for a metallurgy job because it was experience, but that actually hurt me because it wasn't relevant to their business. Mention the most relevant coursework to the company in your "Skills" section. Your objective is particularly important to customize based on who you're applying with. Don't just go for a generic "I want an internship in CS." They want you get something specific out of you as much as you want to get something general out of them.

    VeritasVR on
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    GrundlterrorGrundlterror Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    The only pitfall here is all I know is what that they will be here and they are looking for CS, IT or SWE majors.... so specifically crafting my resume towards them could be difficult.

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    GrundlterrorGrundlterror Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Imagine this has better formatting, but heres what I got. Any suggestions? Much appreciated!!!

    123 made up address
    somewhere, Georgia 3xxxx
    (123)345-2345
    myemail@myschool.edu

    April 28, 2008

    Dear Sir or Madam:

    I am writing to apply for the AFLAC internship position recently announced to SPSU students.

    I am a Computer Science student in the SPSU Computer Science program and am currently wrapping up my junior year here. I am very involved in my education here at SPSU, including many extra curricular activities involving Computer Science. Please see my attached resume for specific information.

    I would appreciate an opportunity to discuss my qualifications with you. AFLAC is a word leader in insurance, and I am excited by the possibility of being a part of your team. Thank you for your consideration; I look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Sincerely yours,

    Grundlterror
    Grundlterror
    Madeupaddress ◊ somewhere, GA 3xxxx ◊ (123)345-2341 ◊ myemail@myschool.edu
    
    Previous Work Experience
    
    Hewlett Packard	
    
    Help Desk for Technical Engineers	
    
    2005-2007
    
    
    Education	Computer Science
    
    Southern Polytechnic State University
    Complete coursework:
    •	Data Structures
    •	Discrete Mathematics
    •	Technical Writing
    
    Georgia Perimeter College
    Completed coursework:
    •	Core Curriculum University System of Georgia
    
    Kennesaw State University
    •	Programming Principles II	
    
    Degree 
    Expected 2009
    
    
    
    
    
    2004-2007
    
    
    
    
    2003-2004
    
    
    Technical Skills		
    Platforms
    
    •	Microsoft Windows
    •	MS-DOS
    •	Linux
    •	Mac-OS	Languages
    
    •	C/C#/C++
    •	Java
    •	HTML
    •	PHP	Tools
    
    •	Adobe Creative Suite
    •	Microsoft Visual Studio
    •	Microsoft XNA
    
    
    Awards and Recognition	•	Hope Scholarship
    •	Hewlett Packard Employee of the Month
    •	Hewlett Packard top performer for several months
    
    
    Affiliations	•	Extra Curricular programming group at SPSU using .Net and XNA Frameworks creating applications and Xbox 360 projects
    

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    Steel AngelSteel Angel Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    The only pitfall here is all I know is what that they will be here and they are looking for CS, IT or SWE majors.... so specifically crafting my resume towards them could be difficult.

    If it's anything like my school, there should be a list of companies that will be there that they send out in announcements and the like. That's more important when you're preparing for an interview though, so you can give a reason you're interested in the company.

    For your purposes, something along the lines of "Objective: To obtain an intern position where my programming/communications/technical/whatever skills can be applied and challenged" would work and should be placed under your contact information.

    Instead of "Education: Computer Science" and sticking your expected graduation date at the bottom, something like "Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, Expected date of graduation xxxx" is more descriptive.

    Specify what you did as a help desk slave, listing duties and anything notable you did. Two lines would be good for that.

    List your coursework and skills/languages in two columns to have less empty space, and then use the extra lines you have to describe some of the projects you've done and what classes you did them in. Admittedly, you may not have much to put here yet with your current coursework, but this is how you make up for a lack of work experience as a CS major. This should go below work experience for a good transition.

    For formatting, I'd put contact info up top, object below that, skills/languages under that, coursework below that (it'll transition better and it's more of interest for a college internship), followed by job/project experience, then awards and affiliations at the bottom like you have now with a "references available upon request" blurb at the very bottom. That format worked for me in terms of landing an internship last year.

    Steel Angel on
    Big Dookie wrote: »
    I found that tilting it doesn't work very well, and once I started jerking it, I got much better results.

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    falsedeffalsedef Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    PM me if you want to look at my resume. I change it depending on the job, but it largely stays the same.

    I'd go against the suggestion for using objectives. They're pretty useless. Save it for a cover letter. If anything, your cover letter should get just as much work as your resume.

    You should also have a resume in txt format, along with your doc/pdf.


    edit:
    Wait.... you're a junior but you've only just recently taken datastructs? That's like the second class you're suppose to take. What kinda datastructs are these?

    falsedef on
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    Steel AngelSteel Angel Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    falsedef wrote: »
    I'd go against the suggestion for using objectives. They're pretty useless. Save it for a cover letter. If anything, your cover letter should get just as much work as your resume.

    This is something that depends on the company/organization. I've had recruiters flat out tell me to make sure I spend time on an objective section if I want to stand out from the rest of the bunch they get swamped with. Mind you that not every place uses a format for applications that lets you send a cover letter. My university has an online system set up with companies that generally just leaves room for a resume, coding sample, and writing sample.
    Wait.... you're a junior but you've only just recently taken datastructs? That's like the second class you're suppose to take. What kinda datastructs are these?

    "Data Structures" can mean very different things at different schools apparently. It's the fourth CS course at mine at earliest and regarded as one of the tougher courses in our curriculum in terms of sheer workload.

    Steel Angel on
    Big Dookie wrote: »
    I found that tilting it doesn't work very well, and once I started jerking it, I got much better results.

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    falsedeffalsedef Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    This is something that depends on the company/organization. I've had recruiters flat out tell me to make sure I spend time on an objective section if I want to stand out from the rest of the bunch they get swamped with. Mind you that not every place uses a format for applications that lets you send a cover letter. My university has an online system set up with companies that generally just leaves room for a resume, coding sample, and writing sample.
    Are you sure you're talking about an objective and not an executive summary? Because objectives are wastes of resume space. I'd be wary of any recruiter who told me to spend time on an objective section.
    "Data Structures" can mean very different things at different schools apparently. It's the fourth CS course at mine at earliest and regarded as one of the tougher courses in our curriculum in terms of sheer workload.

    That's pretty ridiculous if they're not teaching about a fundamental part of CS as early as possible. I've taken more advanced courses in data structures, but they're usually focused on algorithmic part. I certainly wouldn't be impressed to hear that someone's latest and best CS achievement was learning datastructs, even if in actuality the course was "hard".

    falsedef on
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    VeritasVRVeritasVR Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    falsedef wrote: »
    Are you sure you're talking about an objective and not an executive summary? Because objectives are wastes of resume space. I'd be wary of any recruiter who told me to spend time on an objective section.

    No offense, but the objective is probably as important as your experience. It shows what YOU want from the company. As in "So, Grundlterror, why do you want to work for us?" I was denied as position because my objective was too broad and they wanted someone interested in a specific industry. When you're customizing individual resumes, go for depth in the objective.

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    DrFrylockDrFrylock Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    No offense, but the whole package seems a little generic. You've had a single introductory job in the field where you appear to have distinguished yourself. You don't even put duties or what you accomplished at that job. You claim technical skill in 5 programming language, but provide no evidence that you've actually used any of these to do anything useful.

    Why isn't your GPA on the resume? The cover letter is generic, too. Replace "AFLAC" with "Papa John's" and "insurance" with "pizza" and you could keep the entire thing identical. Why are you special? What have you done to distinguish yourself from your peers?

    DrFrylock on
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    falsedeffalsedef Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    VeritasVR wrote: »
    falsedef wrote: »
    Are you sure you're talking about an objective and not an executive summary? Because objectives are wastes of resume space. I'd be wary of any recruiter who told me to spend time on an objective section.

    No offense, but the objective is probably as important as your experience. It shows what YOU want from the company. As in "So, Grundlterror, why do you want to work for us?" I was denied as position because my objective was too broad and they wanted someone interested in a specific industry. When you're customizing individual resumes, go for depth in the objective.

    No offense, but anyone who writes a traditional objective is just doing themselves a disservice. Sounds like it burned you, yet you're going back for more fire. Good luck with that.

    Objectives lack depth in of themselves. They're just plain pointless. This what a traditional objective looks like:
    Objective: To obtain an intern position where my programming/communications/technical/whatever skills can be applied and challenged
    This is something that says nothing. They're outdated.

    Nowadays people who think they're writing good "objectives" are really ending up with an executive summary. Seriously, just read up on executive summaries. There's dozens of articles on top job sites that agree with me.

    edit:

    Well, let me actually show you:
    Bob Grundlterror
    (position)

    (contact info)

    Executive Summary:
    I have a wide breadth of knowledge in software and hardware, gained from hands on work and education. I'm highly motivated and passionate in computers, earning awards in my previous job and also doing extra curricular work in my spare time. I possess excellent communication skills, both oral and written, utilized throughout my previous work. My skills will allow me to learn quickly and put into action the instructions from the AFLAC (insert dept. here) department during my internship.
    It doesn't have to be called an executive summary, and doesn't need to be as long, but you get the idea. Say what you can do for the company, by summarizing your own knowledge, experience, and attitude. Don't be the dude that says "I want job."

    falsedef on
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    nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    For a student resume you should really put your skills first as your experience is very thin.

    nexuscrawler on
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    truck-a-saurastruck-a-sauras Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Going to interview a candidate today at my workplace and the resume I'm looking at reminds me of the one episode of "The Office" where Dwight has a separate resume detailing his martial arts skills, so funny. Well the resume I'm looking at right now has a Hobbies section .

    Hobbies: Renaissance Faires, Writing Poetry, Working Out

    Just made me think of that episode of The Office. I so want to hire this guy for listing funny shit like that on the resume. But, it is a team decision.

    The point here is have something on your resume that stands out and draws attention for the interviewee to want to look more deeply at it. Sure not everyone will receive the above example as good, but hopefully you get the idea. My wife has listed in hers Zamboni driver as she did it one season working at an ice rink. That always grabs attention and gets her in the door for interviews. Who knew....people are freaking curious about zambonis even though it in no way applies to the job.

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    GrundlterrorGrundlterror Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    DrFrylock wrote: »
    No offense, but the whole package seems a little generic. You've had a single introductory job in the field where you appear to have distinguished yourself. You don't even put duties or what you accomplished at that job. You claim technical skill in 5 programming language, but provide no evidence that you've actually used any of these to do anything useful.

    Why isn't your GPA on the resume? The cover letter is generic, too. Replace "AFLAC" with "Papa John's" and "insurance" with "pizza" and you could keep the entire thing identical. Why are you special? What have you done to distinguish yourself from your peers?

    Well beyond classes and certain extracurricular things I haven't had experience with those languages. The only evidence is that I listed the courses as completed. The job I had was a resource coordinator, basically a dispatch agent. Not very impressive, but other than that I have papa johns and other various pizza places. I did work with Microsoft Access for a very short period of time as an intern in High School, but that was over 5 years ago and was an extremely short period of time.

    My GPA.... it's not that great. 5 years ago I just decided to stop going to school, and I'm still paying for it. However, my Major GPA is fine (and thats what Aflac said they were interested in). Should I be putting that on there? I suppose that would be much better than no GPA at all.

    The cover letter was courtesy of my tcom teacher who said make them all exactly the same and just make the second paragraph why you would be perfect for the job. Unfortunately, like I said, I had very VERY little to go off on as far as what they were looking for... so I just tried to show that I am an ambitious student looking for challenges and work experience.

    edit - Falsedef I like that executive summary because, yeah, I really don't have much to put on a resume except that I want to learn and get experience.

    Grundlterror on
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    RawrBearRawrBear Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    I've found it can be helpful to list what you've done with programming languages/technical skills even if its just experience from class or personal projects or whatever.

    So instead of just saying "Experienced with C#" you could say something like "Experienced with C# from developing a such and such, with such and such features".

    RawrBear on
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    Steel AngelSteel Angel Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    falsedef wrote: »
    That's pretty ridiculous if they're not teaching about a fundamental part of CS as early as possible. I've taken more advanced courses in data structures, but they're usually focused on algorithmic part. I certainly wouldn't be impressed to hear that someone's latest and best CS achievement was learning datastructs, even if in actuality the course was "hard".

    My school's data structures class spends a fair amount of time with the algorithmic part. The actual concept of abstract data types and common data structures gets covered in the "intro to CS" courses, they just don't throw things like Red Black trees at you and expect you to analyze them in those. I suspect that the OP's school's "Data Structures" class falls somewhere between the ones we went through.

    This is a good example of why the OP wants to try to list off projects he's done and the classes they were done with btw. There's a wide range of depth that schools will go into in its version of a course even if it shares names with a class in another school. Having a project associated with an important class listed clarifies that it was an important class.

    Steel Angel on
    Big Dookie wrote: »
    I found that tilting it doesn't work very well, and once I started jerking it, I got much better results.

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    falsedeffalsedef Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    they just don't throw things like Red Black trees at you and expect you to analyze them in those.

    They were covered in my first year course. I haven't seen them since. This was at a community college.

    Well, actually, it was theoretical analysis, no actual empirical stuff (which is way more difficult). Datastructs still sounds rather unimpressive. There's gotta be something more to put on a resume.

    falsedef on
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    Steel AngelSteel Angel Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    falsedef wrote: »
    Well, actually, it was theoretical analysis, no actual empirical stuff (which is way more difficult).

    During some semesters, the professors had the class modify the implementation to improve performance under some situations instead of just having us just analyze them in-depth. Even with that, I still don't think all that much of the class but all the professors in the department heavily disagree, including the ones that teach the really hard classes. I suspect there may be some disconnect between student and faculty perceptions of the subject matter.
    Datastructs still sounds rather unimpressive. There's gotta be something more to put on a resume.

    Padding it out with descriptions of projects done is going to be critical, even more so when the applicant is roughly finishing what a sophomore that was dedicated CS did from first semester. There's simply not much one can put on the resume before reaching a point in the major where you can have 3 comp sci classes per semester but people at that level still do get taken for internships.

    Steel Angel on
    Big Dookie wrote: »
    I found that tilting it doesn't work very well, and once I started jerking it, I got much better results.

    Steam Profile
    3DS: 3454-0268-5595 Battle.net: SteelAngel#1772
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    falsedeffalsedef Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Padding it out with descriptions of projects done is going to be critical, even more so when the applicant is roughly finishing what a sophomore that was dedicated CS did from first semester. There's simply not much one can put on the resume before reaching a point in the major where you can have 3 comp sci classes per semester but people at that level still do get taken for internships.
    I just think his resume looks like a first year student. I wasn't actually asking for general stuff to put on there.

    Even a second year student should be able to fill out half a page with some personal projects.

    falsedef on
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    DrFrylockDrFrylock Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Well beyond classes and certain extracurricular things I haven't had experience with those languages. The only evidence is that I listed the courses as completed.

    Listing languages on a resume is a tricky thing. Everybody lies about it, and I assume that most hiring managers know this. Just because you once wrote Hello, World or implemented a stack in a language for a class doesn't mean you have any proficiency in the language. My resume has three categories of languages: extensive experience (that is, multiple years of professional development), occasional use, and passing exposure.
    My GPA.... it's not that great. 5 years ago I just decided to stop going to school, and I'm still paying for it. However, my Major GPA is fine

    If your major GPA is good, list it.
    The cover letter was courtesy of my tcom teacher who said make them all exactly the same and just make the second paragraph why you would be perfect for the job. Unfortunately, like I said, I had very VERY little to go off on as far as what they were looking for... so I just tried to show that I am an ambitious student looking for challenges and work experience.

    But not ambitious enough to find out about the job and the company so you can write something insightful?

    DrFrylock on
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