Whether you are working on the final touches of your resume (or still have the one from high school), you probably are pretty familiar with what a resume is…But, here’s a refresher: A resume is a useful tool highlighting your professional and educational background, along with the skills you gained from those experiences. This is your first impression to employers; your sales pitch, your commercial…it has to be GOOD! So, keep reading for tips and tricks…
1. When starting a resume, we recommended you start with a blank word document (and don’t use templates!)…trust us! Templates limit your creativity and your ability to personally format.
2. Remember there is no wrong or right way to format a resume, as long as the content is organized and clear to the reader.
3. Try to keep your resume on 1 page. Customize margins, utilize white space, move stuff around…a page is usually enough space!
4. General sections of a resume include: Objective, Education, Highlights of Qualifications (optional) Related Experience, Other Experience, Activities and Skills. Remember, each resume is unique and a reflection of your experiences, so you may not have one of these sections or you may include a different one such as Related Courses or Languages. In each of the sections you are able to easily organize your past and current experiences (organize in reverse chronological order or most recent first).
5. Keep the objective concise, but tailor it to the specific company/position you are applying to. Focus on the skills/qualifications you BRING to the employer (not the other way around).
6. Reference the job description whenever possible. Pick out those keywords and use them in your resume! This will make it easy for the employer to scan your resume and see you are a good fit!
7. Keep consistent! Make it easy for the employer to read your resume by keeping the format consistent (e.g. you may want to list all of your experiences like this “Title, Company, City, State, Dates”).
8. Proofread! Don’t let your resume get thrown in the “NO” pile because of a typo or misspelling. This may seem obvious…but triple check your work!! The competition is tough…don’t let grammatical errors be the deal breaker!
Hopefully these resume tips get you started…don’t forget to visit us at the Career Development Center (CDC)! Check out the Job Search Handbook (filled with resume examples and more advice) or click hereto download it. Also, check out the CDC website for more info!
The CDC can help guide you in the right direction with individual appointments and a variety of career resources. Or, stop by during QUICKSTOP hours (11am to 2pm Mon-Fri.) and get your questions answered quickly!
-Tana Lamm, Sophomore & Transfer Success Coordinator, New Student and Family Programs
-Antonio Moore, Graduate Assistant, Career Development Center