A resume is neither a really long business card nor a really short autobiography. It’s an advertisement that explains to a specific employer why they should interview you. A good resume will change all the time, depending on who you’re giving it to.
If you want a resume format to build on, download this recommended format.
- The Way You Say It (language for describing common student work experiences)
A few points to keep in mind:
- Keep it to a single page.
- Academic achievement looms large when you are in school, but matters less to many employers. Include your GPA if it’s high enough to be a selling point or if the employer has asked for it, but avoid long lists of awards, scholarships, and honors.
- Objective statements, summary statements, and the like are usually not an effective use of space in an entry-level resume. These are great on your LinkedIn or other profiles.
- Most resumes are glanced at, not read in detail, so make it easy to see the features of your experience that are most relevant for the job you want to fill. Different versions of your resume may look radically different. That’s okay.
- Look at the overall format: is it balanced and consistent? Are similar items formatted identically?
- Avoid eye-catching templates — aim for clarity and simplicity.
- Do not mention references unless they’ve been specifically asked for (in which case names, titles, and contact information — email and phone number — for your references can be added as the second page of your resume).
- Structure your resume in the way that will show your reader how you meet their needs — not by arbitrary ideas about the “right” way to do it.
Feedback from others ensures that your resume communicates in the way you want it to. It’s great to have a friend or family member check it for typos and errors, but go to the professionals for a more in-depth review.
- Drop-in resume reviews are available at LAS Career Services (105 Gregory Hall): Fridays, noon -1pm
- Resume reviews are also available at the Career Center (616 E. Green St., Suite 214), Monday – Friday, 2 – 4:30pm.
- “Could you give me some feedback on my resume?” is a great way to build a networking relationship. Follow up on an informational interview or reach out to people you know in professions that interest you by asking for help.