Putting the Sting in Your Resume: Tips & Samples
10 Tips for Your DSU Resume
The resume is an extremely important document in the job search process. Students often under estimate the value of the document and the time it takes to fine tune it. The process of learning to develop a strong resume is a skill professionals will use well into their careers. The purpose of the resume is to get an interview! The purpose of the interview is to get the job! A resume should be updated annually. Here are some tips that might help you craft a winning resume and that will reflect your career interests, experience, knowledge and ability to learn.
Keep your resume to one page!
Unless you are a graduate with extensive research, conference presentations and publications, your resume should be one page. Employers prefer a one page resume because it is easier to keep up with and easier to read. Employers can have hundreds of applications for one job. Therefore, the more organized and condensed your information, the more likely you are to be noticed in the stack. Reduce the margins to .5, the font from the standard 12 to as small as 9.5 and single space your document to get it to one page.
Show you are an involved student
Employers like to see students have gained experience through things like internships, part-time jobs, volunteerism, job shadowing, student teaching or clinical rotations. Additionally, employers like to see students involved in extracurricular activities like sports, bands, travel abroad, clubs and organizations and leadership roles.
Have appropriate sections of the resume
Resumes might have different forms and styles, depending on your major and audience. For fonts you should use a traditional type, like Times New Roman, Calibri or Arial. Section headings may vary as well. However, there are some common headings such as Objective or Profile Summary, Education, Major Courses, Skills, Job Experience, Extracurricular Activities, Leadership, Honors and/or Volunteerism. If you have never worked, you might emphasize your leadership, extracurricular activities and/or volunteerism.
Decide if you would like to add an objective
An objective is sometimes called the profile summary. However, an objective is optional. If you insert an objective on your resume, you may need to modify it for each job you apply. The objective should state who you are and types of jobs or internships you are seeking. Also, in the objective you should state what you bring to the table through skills, experience, interests and knowledge.
Include important information in your education section
As a college student, your education section should be at the top of your resume. Employers are interested in seeing your university name, location (city, state), graduation date (month, year), major, minor, cumulative GPA (if 3.0 or higher)or your major GPA. In this section you can list academic achievements such as scholarships, honor societies, dean’s list, president’s list, etc. The name of your high school should not be listed under the education sections. Employers are only concerned with your collegiate experience.
Carefully craft your job description
It is very important to take the time to develop the bullets for your job experience whether it is derived from an internship or from a part-time job at the mall. Each bullet should begin with an action verb (present or past tense depends on whether you are still employed). Always quantify your bullets when possible. For instance, add numbers like “supervised 36 3rd graders at a summer sports camp”. Add bullets for any recognition you received. Please make sure each bullet is written clearly, concisely and is not redundant. If you have having trouble crafting your descriptions, you can Google job descriptions for examples.
Never use “I” in the resume
A resume is a series of sentence fragments. Complete sentences are rarely used. Therefore, you never use the first person “I” in the resume. For instance “I maintained cleanliness of all work areas”. Instead, use “maintained cleanliness of all work areas”.
Make skills section relevant to your career interests
If you choose to add a skills section, make sure you list skills relevant to your major. For instance, if you are a computer science major, list your knowledge of hardware, specific software, programming languages or operational systems. If you are a communication major, list your knowledge of camera, television or recording equipment.
Proof, proof and reproof your resume
A resume requires writing and re-writing. Once you complete your resume, please proof it. The initial resume may take several days to complete and proof. Have someone else provide you feedback on your resume as well.
Develop a cover letter for your resume
A cover letter is needed only if you mail or email your resume to someone. A cover letter is not needed if you hand someone your resume. The cover letter should include at least three paragraphs. The first paragraph states what position you are applying and how you learned about the opening. The second paragraph summarizes your skills, experience and knowledge needed for the position. The last paragraph is to thank the reader and ask for the interview.