Everyone wants a job at some point. Many college students get one while they are going to class, if not to pay tuition, just for a little extra pocket money. Check out these tips on writing your resume to help you nab that prized position. remember, you can always get help from the University Advising and Career Center, its what they’re there for.
Before you start, make a list of your experiences:
Your resume descriptions will require precise language that should sound professional, but represent your personality at the same time. Achieving that tone is the most challenging aspect of writing resumes – anyone could take inventory of their experience, but not everyone can make them sound in a way that will make the employer think “That’s exactly what I need!”
The best approach is to start with small steps and make a list of the most significant experiences you have gone through up to this point. You can list any achievements from the fields of academics, internships, jobs, athletics, community service, and school activities. Distinguish the experiences of the list that helped you learn the most or motivated you the most.
Highlight the most relevant experiences and skills:
Take a look at that list you just brainstormed – what are the most relevant experiences and skills for the job you’re applying for? The most effective applicant resumes are those that are aimed towards the requirements for a specific job.
Don’t be One Size Fits All
Whenever you try to develop a one-size-fits-all resume to send to all employers, you almost always end up with something employers will toss in the recycle bin. Employers want you to write a resume specifically for them. They expect you to clearly show how and why you fit the position in a specific organization.
Show yourself as a dynamic person:
When you describe your experiences relevant for a specific job, you should present yourself as an active persona. Add powerful impressions to your statements with action verbs that will represent your skills, such as trained, learned, organized, wrote, interviewed, oriented, researched, led, evaluated, calculated etc.
The mundane aspects of your individual experiences should be left out if you want your resume to present you as a responsible person who acts as a real professional. Focus on accomplishments rather than just duties.
It’s easy to slip into a mode where you simply start listing job duties on your resume. For example:
Employers, however, don’t care so much about what you’ve done as what you’ve accomplished in your various activities. They’re looking for statements more like these:
Developed three daily activities for preschool-age children and prepared them for a 10-minute holiday program performance.
Reorganized 10 years worth of unwieldy files, making them easily accessible to department members.
Appreciate yourself as an engaged learner:
That’s your most important role as a student in college, so make sure to include the successes you have achieved while studying. If you have high GPA, make sure to include that information in the resume. Describe the serious academic projects you took part in, such as independent studies or senior theses. This will present you as an active learner with skills in presentation, research, and writing.
Showcase leadership skills:
Your potential employers will value leadership skills, so make sure to include information about motivating, training, leading, recruiting, and organizing your peers while taking part in a certain co-curricular activity. Not all students can have leadership skills, so you should be proud of such accomplishments and make sure to include them in your resume.
Don’t Go on Too Long or Cut Things Too Short
Despite what you may read or hear, there are no real rules governing resume length. Why? Because human beings, who have different preferences and expectations where resumes are concerned, will be reading it.
That doesn’t mean you should start sending out five-page resumes, of course. Generally speaking, you usually need to limit yourself to a maximum of two pages. But don’t feel you have to use two pages if one will do. Conversely, don’t cut the meat out of your resume simply to make it conform to an arbitrary one-page standard.
If you want your resume to end up being perfect, you will have to review it obsessively. You cannot allow any grammar or spelling mistakes to go by unnoticed under your radar. If it isn’t perfect, employers will read between the lines and draw not-so-flattering conclusions about you, like: “This person can’t write,” or “This person obviously doesn’t care.”
Don’t be afraid to ask for constructive criticism from your friends, parents, advisors, and career services staff.
Also double and triple check contact information. Your resume can be incredibly strong, but if potential employers don’t have a way to get a hold of you, it won’t do you any good. Double-check even the most minute, taken-for-granted details — sooner rather than later.