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College & Career Training in Alaska

23Jul

Resumes and Prior Learning: Creating the Best Possible Picture of YOU

Okay, so what would I share with a new graduate looking for work, someone looking to get into a program of study, or someone looking to go back to school? 

I’d start here:

  • What have you already completed – trainings, workshops, courses, and projects?
  • What work experience do you have? 
  • Have you been volunteering and providing community service? 

Goal = Create the Best Possible Picture of You!

Résumés are the perfect place to keep track of this information.  As a living, breathing document, your résumé should be kept current.  You never know when an awesome opportunity will present itself.  Be ready for it! 

Having prior experience could lead to starting a little farther along in your educational pursuits and help with the costs of attendance.  If you don’t have to take as many classes, you won’t be paying for credit hours, textbooks, or lab fees for those courses an institution may give you prior credit for.

An easy way to keep your training, employment, and volunteer experience up-to-date is to use the Résumé Creator in the Alaska Career Information System, www.AKCIS.org.  The Resume Creator is an excellent resource for warehousing your experiences and accomplishments.  You will be able to access the information and format a résumé any time you have internet access.  Your entries will be waiting for you.

Recording your education history is important to demonstrate that you have the formal preparation necessary for the jobs you want to pursue.  Include any short-term workshops and training programs, as well as, any licenses or certificates you have earned. Some occupations require a specific license while certificates indicate knowledge and expertise you have acquired. 

Maintaining current records should include answers to these questions:

  • When did I take that course? 
  • What was the official name of that training I attended? 
  • When does my certification expire?
  • What did I accomplish? What did I learn?

By describing your activities and accomplishments you can show specific skills gained or demonstrated through athletics, clubs, and community service.  Don’t limit yourself to school-related activities. Be sure to record all kinds of activities including those connected with school, religious, or community organizations, or something you started or initiated.  Achievement, recognitions, and professional memberships can also steer relationships you are trying to build with the decision makers for those jobs and highly selective programs of study.

Don’t forget to include languages, software products, and equipment you have used to demonstrate your skills. These make you more marketable to postsecondary programs, companies, and communities.  Even when you might think those skills are easy, the hiring or admissions committees may not have realized those skills are just what they are needing.

Work history – military experience, projects, and longevity in a career/field – is used to document the years of experience and can be a way to acquire credit for prior learning, too.  This is a growing trend among educational institutions and employers. Be sure to include summer, temporary, volunteer, and part-time work; don’t limit yourself to paid or full-time employment.

When describing your work experience, emphasize those duties that are the same or similar to duties of the jobs, scholarships, and programs of study for which you will be applying.  You can use the Occupations > Skills & Abilities and the Interests & Values pages for occupations you are interested in under the Occupations tab to create appropriate lists.

Your AKCIS portfolio is a great place to keep track of your important, supporting documents. Letters of reference, prior performance evaluations, certifications, syllabi, transcripts, samples of work, and much more can be saved to your Stored Files & Links under the My Portfolio tab.

Give regular attention to the details in your Résumé Creator entries when you start/end a job, start/end a course or training program, and start/end an activity.  This may sound time consuming, but the amount of time you will save and the ease with which you will be able to apply for programs of study and schools, scholarships, and employment opportunities will be well worth the time you invest.  Formatting your résumé is quick and easy using the résumé styles in the AKCIS Résumé Creator.

 “The beautiful thing about learning is that nobody can take it away from you.”

― B.B. King

To create your AKCIS portfolio and start recording your Résumé Creator entries, use the step-by-step instructions here

For more information and AKCIS resources to help you prepare for applications, interviews, and résumés, use the Employment Tools & Resources video here.

About the Author

Julia Renfro

Julia Renfro

AKCIS Partnership Coordinator

 

A military BRAT turned military spouse, Julia likes traveling and meeting new people. Using Personal Learning & Career Plans (PLCPs), she works with students and families to plan futures that will help them enjoy life and their communities.

 

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