Career coach shares resources for students, advice for resumes

Academic Success and Career Center offers drop-in hours, tips to personalize application materials



It is important for students to ask someone to review their resume because one of the first things an employer looks for is a professional document, said ASCC career coach Judy Hopkins.


Graduation is just weeks away, and most graduates are looking to update their resumes to land a job as soon as possible. 

One thing students can do when working on resumes is take advantage of the Academic Success and Career Center drop-in hours, said ASCC career coach Judy Hopkins. The drop-in hours are from 1:30-4:30 p.m. on weekdays, either in person or over Zoom. The office is located in Lighty Student Services room 180, and the Zoom link can be found on the ASCC website.

“We have our ASCC professionals, who are career coaches, and other graduate assistants who are here to help give excellent resume reviews and to give individual personal feedback,” Hopkins said. 

ASCC utilizes Handshake as well, which allows students to access a large number of internships and jobs, she said. 

On Handshake, students can create a personal profile where they can include their resume, she said. Students can include more than one resume type so they can reach multiple jobs in different categories, and employers will have immediate access to their resumes. 

WSU alumna Kyla Mallory said she applied for multiple jobs a week when she was a senior in 2019. 

When Mallory was applying for jobs, she said the hardest thing she came across was updating her resume consistently and keeping it current for the job she was applying for, even though most of the jobs she found had similar requirements. 

“It’s important to keep tweaking your resume so that it’s as relevant as possible for the company you’re applying to or the specific role you’re applying to,” she said. “It’s pretty time-consuming, just making all of those tweaks.”

Hopkins said a common mistake students make when working on a resume is not having an extra set of eyes to look over it before submitting it to an employer. 

Students can find someone to help look over their resume, whether it be a career coach, someone in the industry they are interested in, a professor or even someone with editing skills, she said. 

It is important for students to ask someone to review their resume because one of the first things an employer looks for is a professional document, Hopkins said. Another person can help check for grammar, spelling and word usage mistakes.

Mallory said resumes should have a simple and cohesive format and do not need a lot of colors or fonts to stand out. 

“People who are reviewing resumes are looking at many different resumes for one single position,” she said. “Making sure that yours stands out in the way that it visually looks is something that would apply to all students.”

When students write a cover letter, Hopkins said they need to address the recipient in the most personal way possible. 

Instead of writing “to whom it may concern,” address the employer either by name, role or title, she said. 

Hopkins said the first paragraph should be used to set a student apart from other applicants. A student should clarify their interest in the role they are applying to and why they are interested.

When Mallory was writing cover letters, she was told not to repeat the same information on her resume. 

An employer can look at someone’s resume and find a breakdown of relevant coursework, skills and experience, she said. A cover letter can be used to expand and explain each of those categories so employers can get a better picture of what is not reflected on the resume.

“You don’t want your cover letter to be just your resume with additional sentences to add length,” she said. “You want to utilize that cover letter space to expand on stories from your time and academia and work that is different from your resume.”

Hopkins said it is highly recommended to only have one page for a cover letter and a resume because employers need to read them quickly. 

“LinkedIn is where you can expand and showcase research projects [and] professional engagements,” she said.