During your college experience, you will be required to submit a number of papers and class assignments, but the resume is the most important paper that you will ever submit. It is the first phase of the job search process. The main purpose of a resume is to generate an interview and therefore it must be picture perfect. It is your marketing tool designed to arouse the reader to invite you in for an interview.
The heading should be listed at the top of the resume and it should consist of your name, address, telephone number, and an appropriate email address in the center in bold font, with your name slightly larger.
The summary of qualifications section should only be included by those with significant career-related experience. It allows you to highlight your talents and accomplishments. Target these bullet statements to the job you are seeking and include your specific achievements, certifications, licenses, computer skills, or other job related skills. Keep in mind, the summary of qualification is your marketing pitch.
The education section should include the name of your college or university, the city and state, degree granted, and the month and year it was or will be received. Include your GPA if it is 3.0 or higher. If you have attended more than one college, list them in reverse chronological order starting with your most recent college and include dates attended and/or the degree/certificate received.
List a related experience section, which should include internships, cooperative education experience, student teaching or practicum experience, and use action words to describe your duties in the proper tense. If you do not have related experience, simply list the section as work experience. Also, list your jobs in reverse chronological order starting with your most recent place of employment.
Next, have an activities section, which can provide a personal account of your interests and character through your involvement in both community and campus activities. Also, this section of the resume allows you to demonstrate how broad your educational background is beyond the classroom. More importantly, it provides an opportunity to demonstrate specific transferable skills that may be applicable to the job, such as leaderships positions in clubs and organizations, volunteer work, and coaching.
Refrain from listing high school information. Employers are interested in your educational training and activities that took place while in college.
When describing job duties in the first person and refrain from using the words I, My or We. It is the golden rule for constructing a resume to avoid using those pronouns. Also, it leaves an impression on the employer that you did not have your resume critiqued before you sent it to them. Remember, your resume is your marketing tool that highlights your good qualities in a specific format with the purpose of generating an interview.
Avoid including personal information such as height, weight, age, sex, marital status, your supervisor’s name and phone number, or your social security number. Personal information is irrelevant to employers and therefore you should focus more on your skills, capabilities and experience.
Do not use font size that is smaller than 10 points and avoid using italic, script, underlining, shading or graphics. Your resume should be reader friendly for the employer with a professional look and appropriate verbiage that will warrant you an interview.
Avoid the use of unnecessary punctuation, vertical lines, symbols or pictures. A number of employers utilize technical programs for scanning and storing job applicant’s resumes into a database systems that are not receptive to symbols, vertical and horizontal lines when they are retrieved.
Finding employment in today’s job market can be challenging and therefore it is important that your resume communicates to an employer within a few moments that it warrants further consideration. It is your marketing tool that should portray your skills, capabilities, and educational training along with other related information. Failure to produce a picture perfect resume that conveys to an employer why you are the ideal person for the position will diminish your chances of generating an interview. The best way to ensure that your resume is excellent and will result in interview is to have someone at your college career center critique along with your cover letter.
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