4 Tips for Resumes

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Val Every gives four key tips for creating and updating your resume.

With the semester quickly concluding, it’s time to start thinking about jobs and internships for the coming summer! How about using your winter break to create or update your resume?

Resumes and cover letters are extremely important when applying for a position. This is your first impression on your future employer and, just as you want a strong handshake during your first in-person meeting, you need a strong resume to make a positive impact.

Here are four tips to help you create the best resume you can:

1. Make it you

Your resume is a sales pitch for you. Therefore, you should put as much of your personality into the resume as you can. Style it your way! You do not have to have a black and white, Times New Roman resume – you can be creative. I like to show my creativity, but I am not overly artistic or a graphic designer. To show this, I use a color scheme that makes my resume stand out from others. I started with a template and made it my own by changing the color to shades of blue and modifying a few other things. For resume templates and design ideas, check out Microsoft Word options or visit free sites like Canva.com to start.


2. Quantify, quantify, quantify

Providing numerical data on your resume helps employers better understand the impact you’ve made in any former or current roles. Let’s pretend you worked at a day care. Instead of saying you supervised children, note that you supervised 30 to 40 children daily. If you have a volunteer position on your resume, add the number of hours volunteered in the past 12 months. Include this kind of data as much as you can to provide your potential employer more detail. A quantifiable unit is much more clear than a vague job description.


3. Make the most of the sequence

A common example of the order of information listed on a resume is:

  1. Name
  2. Contact Information
  3. Past Employment
  4. Experience
  5. Skills List

But does not always have to be this way! If you are applying for a position in which your experiences are more applicable than your past employment, switch the order. The most important information should appear higher on the page. If you are proud of a particular accomplishment, put it higher up on the resume.


4. Keep it simple

College student resumes should be one page and no more – two at the most if you are graduating soon. Employers and hiring managers want to see your most important information and no fluff – they don’t have time for it. With each bullet point you should provide an informative, yet concise description of what you did in that position and how it could be beneficial for the position you are applying for. There will be more time to expand on your experience in an interview (which you hopefully secure!).


If you want to receive more advice on resumes and other career-related topics, I recommend exploring your options on campus. For me, joining a student organization (related to my major) gave me the opportunity to have working professionals review my resume. You can also stop by the Academic and Career Advising Center in 320 Albertson Hall to meet with an adviser on campus who can provide resume tips and feedback.

Molding your resume to be the very best and making it stand out is a great way to get employers to notice you. With these tips, hopefully you’ll get a call for an interview soon. Good luck!


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