Christian Malone | The Poly Post

Library workshop showcases Career Center’s resume writing services

By Christian Malone, March 7, 2023

The Career Center hosted a resume and cover letter workshop on Feb. 22 to teach Cal Poly Pomona students how to craft a strong, unique and professional resume. This workshop, however, was just the latest step in the center’s mission of preparing CPP students for their future careers.

The workshop took place on Feb. 22 at the request of biotechnology club president Ricardo Cordova Alvarez, who described the skills the workshop helped build as “super important.”

During the workshop, Cherrie Peters, a career counselor at the Career Center and the center’s liaison to the College of Business Administration, presented the basic elements of a resume and methods on how to refine existing resumes. For Peters, the workshops, which are available upon request from any club, department or organization on campus, are an opportunity to connect with a wide array of students. However, they’re far from the only way students can get help from the center.

“When a club requests a workshop, that allows us to get in front of a lot of students at once,” Peters said. “But one-on-one appointments, those range from career exploration, grad school, mock interviews, job search, to ‘What do I do when I get my degree?’”

Alongside the 50-minute-long career counseling appointments, students can also visit for shorter drop-in advising sessions from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. every weekday.

“During drop-in hours, we primarily help with resume and cover letters,” said career services specialist at the Career Center Alexis Lopez. “We help both with editing and getting started on them.”

The Career Center’s services are available regardless of what stage of writing students are in. Lopez, however, encourages students to refine their resume and prepare for their careers as early as possible.

“It’s very important to take advantage of this while you can,” said Lopez. “We do help alumni as well, we don’t stop once you graduate, but take advantage of it while you’re a student.”

While many staff members at the center are liaisons to specific colleges, all staff are generalists who are able to offer advice to students from all majors and point out ways to improve their resume or cover letter. One of the most common problems, they say, is students’ reluctance to tout their accomplishments on their resumes.

Christian Malone | The Poly Post

“Students undersell themselves on resumes, and that’s a problem for everyone,” said Peters. “We’re very critical of ourselves, and that can make it difficult to put on paper all of our accomplishments.”

Many students also misunderstand what can go on a resume.

“A lot of students that come in, freshmen specifically, think that if they haven’t had a formal job before, they don’t have anything to put on their resume,” Lopez said. During workshops and advising hours, the counselors often remind students that things like volunteering, multilingualism, and club memberships are among the many additional experiences that employers may find valuable.

Through this advice, and additional guidance on organizing and refining resumes, Peters says the Career Center helps thousands of students and alumni build strong resumes that can be hugely influential on students’ prospects in the job market.

During the recent workshop, Peters also offered to look at individual attendee’s resumes. Soroush Azizi, a freshman biotechnology major, was among the students to meet with Peters and said that the experience would be extremely helpful for improving his resume.

Azizi, who was aware of the services the Career Center offered but had never visited them prior to the workshop, was surprised by how few people took advantage of the services the center provided.

“Not a lot of people even know where it is exactly, and not a lot of people have gone to it before” Azizi said.

In Peters’ eyes, more students should be taking advantage of the Career Center’s services, which are available at the center’s offices in building 97, while they can.

“With a number of the alumni I meet with, many of them always say to me ‘I wish I would’ve used it before I graduate; I didn’t realize how useful and how important these resources are,’” Peters said.

In addition to their advising services and workshops, Peters encourages students to attend Career Center events like the Spring Career Fair, which will welcome hundreds of employers to the quad to meet with students from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on March 3.

Feature image by Christian Malone

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