Help Writing Resumes
About the Resume
One of the most helpful instruments in seeking a job to your satisfaction can be your own personal resume. A well-written resume is an individual, unique summary of personal, educational, and experiential qualifications for employment. Your resume must be able to compete with possibly hundreds of other resumes the employer will receive. Your goal should be to make your resume better than average. Before preparing your resume, take some time to evaluate your skills and think about those skills you will want to highlight.
Polishing It Up
After you get all your information down on paper, go through and decide which experiences are directly related to your objective, which are definitely not related, and which are questionable. The questionable information can be used only if there is room, otherwise stick with the directly related experiences.
The Center can provide advice as well as many detailed guidebooks on resume creation. Following are some basic points to consider as you are creating your resume:
- Is your resume limited to one page? Most employers expect this of someone just graduating. (Some recruiters will immediately toss any entry-level resume of more than one page.) If you are having difficulty with this one, consider taking the header, footer, and margins down to a lower size; play around with smaller font sizes.
- Have you followed the journalist style of resume formatting? That is, the most relevant information is presented first? When describing work or internship experiences, don't put filing and answering phones as the first bullet under the job title. Instead, note the system you overhauled, the research you performed, etc. Try to illustrate examples of your initiative, problem-solving, and creativity on the job.
- Is the format reverse chronological? The most recent experiences should be represented first.
- For students about to graduate, you should generally leave high school information off, unless it is particularly relevant.
- Other information to avoid: personal information such as height, weight, marital status, and religious affiliations (unless you are applying for a position where this would be helpful).
- Have a career counselor and others review it.
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