Crafting an excellent resume
Although we strive to always be positive, we'll start our resume-writing tips with a quick list of what NOT to do with your resume. Behold, 10 common resume mistakes:
|Too long/wordy||Poor grammar||Vague||Hard to read||Misleading|
|No "punch"||Misspellings||Too short||Poor design||Poorly focused|
So, what is the best way to stand out among hundreds of other resumes? Keep your resume to one page, use short phrases rather than complete sentences and paragraphs, and be specific. The following information should be included in your resume. We've also provided sample resumes for you to consider. Also remember you never need an appointment to walk in and ask for resume help in the Career Services Office.
What employers want and need to know
Let employers know how to reach you. Include your full name, complete mailing address, phone number and e-mail address.
Explain what kind of career you are looking for in one short phrase.
They need to know your degree(s), discipline, date of graduation, GPA (if 2.9 or better) and name and location of college(s).
List all your skills that could relate to the job you're seeking, including any pertinent accomplishments with those skills such as awards or internships.
Include your work and project experience, detailing your duties as well as any specific accomplishments.
Honors & Activities
Employers want to know you're a well-rounded person who can relate to others. Include both academic and other honors and activities.
These may be provided on a separate page if your resume has already filled a page. Provide three or four references, with a combination of employers and professors who are familiar with your work habits.
The scannable resume
It's possible that your prospective employer will request a scannable resume. This means that it will be read with an optical character recognition (OCR) scanner and stored as a text image. Then when a position becomes available, the employer does a keyword search to find stored resumes that fit the bill. Here are tips to make sure your resume is selected:
- Use keywords that apply to the job you want. Include them in your objective, course descriptions or skills listings, for example.
- Use capital letters to emphasize important points. Bullets and italics won't help.
- Use lots of white space.
- Keep it simple - use standard fonts like Times New Roman, Courier, Arial or Universal.
- Use 10 to 14 point font size.
- Spill over onto a second or third page if you need to.
- Use white or light-colored paper.
- Send it in ASCII text format if you apply on the Internet.
Remember those English teachers who didn't want you to be passive? Here's one reason why! Your resume should include active verbs so you can accentuate the positive outcomes of all your activities and accomplishments. Here are some suggested words to make your resume more interesting and meaningful.