Perfecting Your Resume

Job and Internship season is just around the corner as the calendar approaches April, so things can get chaotic in a jiffy. Now is the time to get your stuff in check and putting some finishing touches on your resume can go a long way in helping yourself come job season.
A few details you should note regarding a resume:

  • It is a snapshot of your experiences, accomplishments and accolades
  • Highlight what matters – prospective employers look at your resume for mere seconds
  • Typos and grammatical errors are the death of your employment aspirations; employers are reading hundreds to thousands of resumes at times, so you must ensure its perfection

Wondering how you should organize all this information? These tips can help you present your experience in a concise, compelling way:

  1. Set up your resume in an organized fashion: headlining categories and/or subcategories is key in this, so try breaking down your resume into education, experience, followed by the specific type of experience you had (writing experience, customer service experience, etc.), followed by a short list of your activities, extracurriculars and accolades.
  2. If you have a log or calendar book, check out which experiences would set you apart from other students, and be sure to note in somewhere on your resume. Sometimes universities have service learning projects that you may not even realize is resume material, so track your steps and try to diversify your C.V. with such experiences.
  3. Be sure to briefly explain what you did on a day to day basis in each job or activity; are there metrics or concrete facts/data to support what you did? If so, be sure to include them in here with bullet points.
  4.  Avoid long sentences and be crisp and to the point—resumes are just a snapshot, a cover letter can go into greater detail.
  5. Be sure to balance your resume and its spacing; be consistent with indents or paragraph spaces and be sure titles are bolded, underlined or highlighted in some fashion
  6. Get some fine paper. Something beyond the typical white printer paper will be aesthetically pleasant and give you a professional touch
  7. Do not embellish you experience because most employers will have background checks and if you are exaggerating to epic proportions on your resume, you will eventually trick up yourself in what you have/have not done come interview time
  8. Remember that your resume is just the “in” to get an interview, so once you do get the interview, it’s more about YOU than your resume—it simply serves as the intermediary between you and your potential job!>

After you have completed the necessary steps to build a respectable resume, check in with mentors, professors and advisors on what they like or dislike about your resume. There are a multitude of different ways to compose your resume, so there is no fundamentally right or wrong way; however, there is a general trend to follow, and advisors can often help ensure yours is within that realm. Moreover, a campus career center can do a thorough review of your resume to assure it is appropriate for the job. Assembling various forms of your resume can be very important: if you’re applying for a job with the NFL, it will likely look much different than your resume you send off to Google or Facebook. Tailoring your resume to the employer is important, so be sure to align it with the qualities and tasks of the job. Remember to double and triple check your resume for errors and seek out a mentor to review it—their voice and advice can really help you sharpen your resume’s appearance, readability and potential for landing an interview!