This past week at one of my jobs, I was sorting through resumes. The atrocity of said resumes has inspired me to do a few posts on the topic of resumes. This week I will focus on the basics, and next week’s post will include an interview with a Campus Relations Specialist from NBC Universal on how to make your resume stand out in a crowd.
If your are in college or high school, your resume should only be one page! It doesn’t matter how much experience you have or how many awards you’ve won. KEEP IT TO ONE PAGE AND ONE PAGE ONLY. And no, you do not get to use the back of the sheet. Your resume will look unprofessional if it is any longer than just one page. Include only the most important experiences you want to highlight, and save everything else for the interview.
At the top of your resume, you should include all of your basic information: name, current address, telephone number, e-mail address and a website if you have one.
Remember to put all of this basic information at the very top, typed in an easily readable font. Do not get too cutesy with fonts on your resume. People should be able to read it- you want them to know how to contact you if they want to hire you!
If you are applying to jobs in another city, you may want to have an address in that city on your resume. Why? Some HR managers will throw out a resume if it does not have an address from the city they are hiring for on it. Don’t put a fake address on your resume, but if you have a close friend or relative who lives in that region, ask if you could reference their address on your resume for that particular job.
There are two schools of thought on this one. In the U.K., education generally goes on the top of your resume. In the U.S., a lot of people put it at the bottom. On my resume, it’s at the top. As a graduating senior, my college degree is the most important thing. As I move through my career, I will move the information about my education down because my most recent experiences will be more relevant.
The education section of your resume should include the college you are attending, your date of expected (or actual) graduation, what kind of degree you are getting (B.A. or B.S.) and in what field (your major). In general, if your GPA is under 3.0, do not put it on your resume.
Put your most relevant experience first. That is what potential employers are interested in. After that, you should list your other relevant experiences. If the rest of your experiences aren’t relevant to the jobs or internships you are applying to, begin listing them in chronological order.
Keep it short and simple- I suggest bullet points. Use action verbs, and if you can, use numbers. That allows you to quantify your experiences, which HR people love. But, don’t go sticking numbers where they don’t belong.
This is very important in today’s techy world. Always include the basics, like Microsoft Office. And, if you know how to use any other computer programs or operating systems, be sure to list those as well.
Put your most relevant/prestigious awards first. This section should not be very long- keep the things that are most relevant and impressive, then get rid of the rest of it.
Next week I will have specific details about how to make your resume stand out. Good luck pulling all of your information together!
Shannon is a senior at Boston University majoring in Advertising in the College of Communication. She has experience working for NBC Universal in New York City as well as PJA Advertising and Marketing in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She loves clean functional digital design. Digital is the future of advertising and marketing and Shannon likes to stay involved and on trend. Visit her website or follow her on Twitter.