Resume Writing Tips
Resume Tips for the New Graduate
Writing a resume can be a daunting experience. Following is a list of tips compiled from the advice of employers, career counselors, and recent graduates whose resumes helped them find meaningful employment.
- Pay careful attention to spelling, punctuation, grammar, and style.
- Proofread your resume carefully, using a dictionary and style book, and have several others proofread it as well.
- Organize information in a logical fashion.
- Keep descriptions clear and to the point.
- Confine your information to one page.
- Use a simple, easy to read font.
- Use good-quality white or off-white bond paper.
- Tailor your information to the job you’re seeking.
- Come to the Sullivan Career Development for help.
Resume Tips for the Experienced Candidate
Whereas a new graduate's resume is often more general in nature, your resume should be a showcase of your track record, demonstrating to a potential employer what you can “bring to the table.” Here are some tips to keep in mind:
Give a summary, not an objective. Specify three or four skills that match the employer’s needs. These highlights can appear in a short paragraph or quick “bullet” format.
Lead with experience, not education (the exact opposite of what a new graduate should do).
List accomplishments, not just responsibilities. Don’t just tell employers what you did; tell them the outcome. For example: “Proposed and tracked $500,000 annual department budget. Only division to meet deadlines and operate within budget during past three years.” Such a statement reveals your problem-solving skills.
List activities that relate directly to your self-improvement efforts, e.g., continuing education, and the position you’re seeking. Don’t include hobbies.
Determine your resume’s length based on accomplishments. Experienced candidates often have enough relevant accomplishments to expand his or her resume to a second page. That does not, however, give you license to spell out every award, membership, or accomplishment in your resume. You don’t want to dilute the focus.
Consider listing and describing all of your accomplishments when developing the resume. Put the core of your resume on a word processor, then tailor each resume to include the accomplishments that relate to a particular employer’s needs.
Special skills, such as fluency in a foreign language or proficiency in specific computer programs, can be placed beneath the experience category as well, as can a listing of honors and awards.
Lawrence and Feit say they don’t mind seeing a list of activities—as long as the student can relate them to the job.
“Having an office in a fraternity or a volunteer organization is good,” he says. “It shows an ability to balance. Sports are nice, too.”
Add Lawrence. “We’re looking for well-rounded people. Participating in sports shows you can work on a team in a completely different fashion and are competitive. I want people who want to win.”
Putting it on paper…or in cyberspace
Once you’ve organized your information into categories, you’ll need to make sure it can be read easily, can withstand the scrutiny of an electronic scanning system, and, in some cases, can travel through cyberspace.
National Association of Colleges and Employers www.jobweb.com