Although writing a resume is intimidating at first glance, following these hints will get you started in the right direction.
Pick the right length. The hard-and-fast rule of a 1 page resume leads many college students to leave off qualifications. Your resume should give the employer an idea of who you are and what you have accomplished. For some students, this may extend to two pages. Definitely don’t try to add ‘fluff’ to your resume to add to its length.
Leave your high school accomplishments out. Unless you received a truly distinguishing award in high school, it’s probably better to focus on your college accomplishments. One exception to this would be work experience you gained in high school that is relevant to the position you’re applying for.
Craft a new resume for each position. Although many students spend hours working on their resume, fewer are willing to revisit that resume and tailor it to the specific position to which they are applying. This is a time-consuming step but it will pay dividends for the conscientious candidate. HR personnel see so many resumes that it is obvious to them when they are receiving a generalized template that the candidate has mailed to dozens of jobs. Take the time to highlight your skills that are relevant for the position and make sure your cover letter is personal and relevant.
Take the opportunity to sell yourself with your resume, rather than reciting a list of your achievements and organizations.
After your resume is completed
- Remember to proofread! Even a small spelling error conveys carelessness or lack of intelligence and will put your resume into the NO pile. .
- Complete the Resume Critiquing Guideline (pdf) sheet. The resume guideline sheet provides a list for checking your resume to make sure all essential elements are present.
- Make an appointment to have your resume reviewed by a Career Services staff member.