I actually wrote this blog post last summer on another blog and was re-reading it today and liked it! I agree with everything I posted originally, and realize just how important these skills/traits are now as I’m a year older. I added pictures I like for a little visual effect [the post is long, but good, I promise!] Enjoy queens!
July 21, 2009: I honestly feel like I have to redo, update, change, check or do SOMETHING to my resume all the time. I’ll see someone else’s, or another design and decide to format mine differently. I’ll think of a new verb to describe perfectly just what was done at each internship, each club, each class. I’ll try to find different ways to communicate all I did in one summer, or one school year into three bullet-point sentences. It’s kind of hard to describe twelve full weeks of opportunity and experience with three bullet points with three extremely important verbs. It is for me at least. How do I decide what is the absolutely most important thing to include on the 8 1/2 by 11″ piece of paper that says “Who I am” and “What I have done” and “How I have succeeded” ? I have absolutely no idea.
My thought is this…there are so many things people can bring to the table when applying for jobs, internships or doing anything really. There are more important aspects about a person than the three bullet-points they use to describe their time spent on a job. I’m not saying this to devalue work/internship experience or on-campus involvement, but there is more you can bring to any environment than just that. I want to highlight four traits and aspects you can additionally bring to a new environment.
1. ATTITUDE: It’s not like someone can just list “positive attitude” on a resume. But what you can do is make sure to display a positive attitude at all interviews, every day at work (helllooooo References?) and strive to maintain a “glass half full” mindset in all circumstances–work-related. I chose try to have that attitude at all time in life. How would it feel to apply for a job and when someone called your former boss (your reference) they found out you were negative almost all the time? Do you think you would get the job even if you did have the three or four “perfect sentences” to describe your “perfect internship” ? Even if you have experience, people want to work with you and be around you when you have a positive personality. Most people generally don’t want to work with or surround themselves with someone who is grumpy, pessimistic and always acting…dead. Do you? Be optimistic and cheerful. It’ll go a long way!
2. TEAMWORK: Again, I can’t just write “I play well with others” on my resume. It’s not exactly the type of sentence to include on the crucial bullet-point sentences. But working well with others is very important throughout the workforce and life. This means being a leader at times, but understanding when it’s time to be a listener. It’s taking the focus off of MY ideas and plans and channeling together with others for the common goals and success of a team, family or workplace.
3. HARD WORK: It’s so easy to be lazy and tired. Waking up at 6 a.m. is not exactly the best part of my day and it would definitely be easy to complain, especially when Starbucks is closed. It’s important to not sit around and act tired or bored. Not only does hard work mean not being lazy, but it means not doing jobs, tasks and activities half-ass. (Can I say that on this blog? I hope so?) A job or project that’s half finished or only partially correct or successful isn’t exactly what employers are striving for. Annnd…although hard work will by the end of the day make you MORE tired, it is refreshing to get the job done completely right and accurately. Again, I wouldn’t want my reference to say “Yeah, Andi had a great press release that she sent to a few media outlets. She just didn’t feel like sending it to more.” Do the job right, and do it completely…start to finish!
4. OPPORTUNITY CHASER: The last quality that wouldn’t exactly be listed on a resume, but should be played out in everyday interactions and life experiences would be to become an opportunity chaser. This completely relates to the work environment as well. Don’t settle for something you don’t want. I‘ve learned that there will be lots of doors opened for me, and I need to run toward them to get what I want! Although a lot of doors will close, and opportunities will not turn out successful, it’s important to go after what you, or a company, or a team wants. You will NEVER get your dream job if you don’t try. You usually won’t get someone to cover your event unless you contact them. DO SOMETHING about what you want to happen. Mark Batterson wrote in his book “In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day” that “A willingness to fail is a prerequisite for success.” It has literally been my favorite quote since.
Sorry for lots of rambling on, but I really do feel passionate about personality characteristics that matter and that won’t necessarily describe you on a piece of paper. You are more than what three or four bullet-point sentences describe your internships and jobs. Don’t you think you have more to offer? Live your life-everyday experiences and interactions-in a way that make you someone others want to not only work with, but be around and spend time with.
—-It’s amazing how much you change in a year and yet how some ideas and thoughts stay completely the same. I still value positivity, hard work, teamwork and chasing opportunities as much as I did last summer and hope I continue to feel that way in the future. Thanks for reading and recent blog posts I’ve wrote about internships/opportunities are here, here and here.