Your resume creates a first impression of you with an employer so it’s important to make it a favorable one. First impressions last and most definitely can get an applicant to the next step – the interview. All the effort spent on writing a good resume is worth it; especially if it helps you land an interview for that exciting internship or job you are hoping to get. The tips below will help you write a resume that gets results.
The formatting of a resume is very important and provides the necessary information in a logical, easy to read sequence. The use of underlines, italics, bold, and all caps can guide the employer through the resume with ease. Consistency is key when developing a resume and helps make the information on the resume simple for employers to read.
What About You?
The employer wants to know your name, address, phone number, and email address on the top of the first page of your resume. Personal information such as marital status, age, religion, political affiliation are not included on a resume and are illegal questions for employers to ask.
Why are You Writing?
An objective (optional) can immediately help identify the position to which you are applying. A Summary of Qualifications (optional) can offer a list of your skills and accomplishments right at the very beginning of your resume. You can also include why you are writing in the cover letter if the employer asks for one.
Be sure to first list the most relevant experiences related to the internship or job to which you are applying. You may entitle this section Relevant Experience, Business Experience, Leadership Experience, etc.
Use Action Verbs to Describe Your Responsibilities & Accomplishments.
Begin each phrase or bullet with an action verb when describing responsibilities and accomplishments.
Use Clear, Concise Statements When Describing Experiences.
Remove all personal pronouns and articles (a, an, the) in your descriptions whenever possible.
Include All Relevant Education, Honors, Degrees, & Certifications.
When applying for internships this will usually go at the beginning of the resume and will move to the end once you are out in the workforce awhile.
Maintain White Space.
Try to keep margins to 1” all around the edges of the resume and include some spacing within the resume to give it a fresh, professional look.
Prepare Several Resumes.
Be prepared to change your resume based on position in which you are applying for. You may choose to change the information provided or you may just change the order in which you present the information.
Focus on the Qualifications of the Position and the Needs of the Employer.
Each resume should be the result of researching the employer and reviewing the position description if possible.
Try to Keep it to One Page.
For internships and entry level positions, one page is sufficient. One you have been in the workforce for ten years or more or if you have had extensive lab experiences or publications, two pages may be required. Be sure to put your name and page 2 at the top of the second page of the resume.
How Does it Look?
Once you have included all the information and have checked for consistency and formatting, take a good look at how the resume looks and if it is professional. The overall look and appeal of the resume will provide the employer with a lasting first impression of you as an applicant.
This is the time you will want to be a perfectionist. There is no room for grammatical and/or spelling errors in a resume.
Congratulations! You have prepared a resume you can be proud of. Every couple of years you will probably need to update the information on your resume; but the hard work is behind you.