WRITTEN BY: SAMANTHA DENNIS
Resumés. No matter what your major is, you know you have to have one, whether for a career fair event, a formal interview, or to post online. A resumé is an employer’s first impression of you. Statistically, more people will see your resumé than you will interview with. That’s intimidating. So, naturally, we want to make sure to stand out. That one piece of paper introduces your qualifications. It needs to have just enough to leave them wanting to know more. However, just like with first-time meetings, we can sometimes try too hard. Here are three simple guidelines to follow when creating your resume that will put you on the right track:
It’s About the Experience
Unless you are a grad student, pursuing a doctoral degree, or have ten plus years of CAREER RELEVANT experience- your resume really shouldn’t exceed one page. Although I’m sure you were a superstar in high school- I mean you had to work hard to get into your awesome college- unfortunately most of those activities are no longer relevant. Trust me, I struggled with deleting student council e-board positions and community service hours as well, but in the end, employers want to see that you are active at your university. For many of you, this will also help reduce the length to one page. If you are still struggling to condense everything you want to include, I suggest playing with both font size and the margins. Stretch that baby out. As long as it is still easy to read, and you don’t have to squint at the page, you should be good.
Get in Formation
Whatever bullet point, italics, and indentation system you choose to use, make sure that it is consistent all the way through. Honestly, the order of information doesn’t matter too much – I suggest having “education” at the top, but that’s just my preference. Focus on making the key words stand out. Bold the name of the organization or establishment you worked with, and then bold ALL of them. Italicize the position you held. Then leave all bullet points below normal. If you use 12-point font for one heading, use 12 point for ALL of them. When you’re done, sit back and admire your work. If something looks off – fix it.
Mind the Details
Now, you have a clean, one-page document that has all relevant information, and the employer in question likes you. Good first impression = done. They’re obviously going to want to contact you to learn about what else you have to offer. But wait! At the top of the page where most candidates have their information easily accessible, you didn’t list your email address! Why?! As a recruiter, I can’t tell you how frustrating this is. Yes, usually the phone number is present if the email is not, but just like you, employers are very busy and may not take the time to call you. Rude, I know, but that’s just the way it is. You have to make reaching you as easy and convenient as possible. This means giving them ALL the options.
Obviously, there is a lot you can play with to spice up your resume. If you are scared of it looking too bland, play with the color of the headings, bold your name, add your own logo in the top left corner, etc. It is becoming more and more common to have a more artistic resumé. I suggest to keeping your potential employer in mind. You should know a little about the type of companies you want to work for, so you should know how far to push the envelope. The tips above, are universal. If you follow these three easy points when putting your resumé together, you will know that it will look nice and have all of the important information on it.