It doesn’t matter whether you’re approaching graduation or if you’re in your first year of undergraduate studies, building a resume has certainly crossed your mind. Most likely the first thing employers see when vetting potential candidates, it’s critical that a resume represents your very best.
With thousands of career-driven students surrounding it, the Lear Career Services Center located in the Broad College of Business’ Eppley Center offers Spartans an array of opportunities to help build, critique, and strengthen students’ resumes. Free of charge, Lear is open to all Spartans and staffed with a team ready to help. It offers resume-building workshops, walk-in appointments and drop-off services, as well as interview-prep services for when your resume gets you in the door. In short: it’s a great starting point for when you’re on the job-hunt.
All it takes to check-in to the Lear Center is the swipe of your “Spartan Card,” and the student advisors are ready to help create a crisp, yet robust resume as you begin searching for an internship or a career. Despite already having a resume, I walked away with lots of tips to get it placed at the top of an employer’s pile. I met with Akili Crews (BA Finance ’17), a student advisor who has been trained in building effective resumes.
Less than an hour with my Lear advisor, I walked away with five tips for you to consider when building a successful resume:
- Proper structure: Your name should be clearly stated at the top and your contact information just below it. The use of bullet points is important, but be sure to keep them to three lines or less when explaining your details.
- Info placement: Follow an outline to give sense and order to the resume – don’t try to get too creative. The standard order of information follows: education, professional experience, related experience, and honors/activities. Some employers request a cumulative GPA and the major GPA to be listed separately (note: if any experiences counted toward credits [even if paid] add it under education).
- Keep it concise: Think of the W.H.O. method (What, How, Outcome) when filling in the particulars on your bullet points. This is where you highlight your skills and abilities while describing your experience.
- What to cut: Many people include an objective statement, but if your resume is getting looked at, it’s implied you are seeking a job. Instead, use the space to pitch why you are the best fit, rather than “in search of a position.”
- The details: Pay close attention to small, yet impactful, details: have your most recent experiences listed first, then reverse order; always include dates of experiences so employers know how long you held each role.
And in response to the “one versus two page” debate: When in doubt, keep your resume to one page. Often, employers scan potential employees’ resumes for only 10-15 seconds.