Building Your Experience: One Bullet Point at A Time

“Please attach your resume to the application.”

These words appear on every job application. Everyone always tells you to make sure that your resume stands out against the other candidates. How am I supposed to make sure that mine is different from all the rest? What are the important things that I need to include on it? These are all questions that come to mind when writing a resume.

I have read plenty of articles giving me all sorts of resume tips. I have been in classes where creating a resume was an assignment. How was I going to make sure that mine stood out?

I start from the top. Name, contact information, and education. Your name is important, so I make mine a little bit of a bigger font than the rest of my resume. I include my address, phone number, and email so that when the employer reads my amazing resume they knew how to get ahold of me. I put my school name, my major, expected graduation date, so the employer knows that I have the education background for the job that I want. This section wasn’t too bad.

In the related work section I make sure that I bold all of my position titles, places of employment, and the dates that I was there. This way, when the employer is scanning my resume they can quickly see the titles and then read on if they are interested. In the sub-points for each job, I describe what I did, always starting with a verb (this website has a great list of verbs that make your resume more powerful https://www.themuse.com/advice/185-powerful-verbs-that-will-make-your-resume-awesome.) If I currently hold the position, the verb is in the present tense, if it was a past position, the verb was in the past tense. I put my experience in chronological order. You can choose to do it this way or you can order the positions by relevancy.

2Throughout college I have been involved in many different student organizations. My resume was a perfect place to show all of the relevant skills and experiences I have gained through those. This section is formatted just like the related experience section except instead of them being employment related, they are leadership and professional organization related.

The final step in my journey to make my resume one that would stand out to employers and land me that job is to get feedback. My family is happy to help, my friends are almost as happy, but I will have to read a couple of their resumes too. I will also take it to one of Career & Leaderships Resume Doctors so that I could get a more professional opinion on it as well.

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After talking with these different people I also got some advice on what not to put on my resume. The two most important pieces of advice I received was to make sure that I did not have any spelling, grammatical or punctuation errors on my resume and that my resume was not more than one page long. These mistakes could take me one step back in my goal to look professional. Another piece of advice was to make sure that I am using an easy to read format so that the employer could easily follow my experience and skills and relate them back to the job. Finally, they told me to make sure that I am highlighting that I have the required skills and experience for the job. I can do this by taking out experiences that aren’t as relevant and elaborating a little bit more on what was.

A resume is never completed. With every new job and every new experience there is something to add. As time goes on there will be things that are no longer relevant. However, now after going through my resume and making sure that the basic layout is good, I feel a lot better about attaching my resume to the job application and sending it out to future employers.

5Note: It is not recommended to send out massive quantities of your resume unless it is tailored to each specific position.

Career & Leadership Development is a great place to get your resume reviewed no matter what field you are in! Call (262) 472-1471 to make an appointment today!

Jump Start Your Resume

We all have to start somewhere…with our resumes, that is. Resumes don’t just happen. They are built over time as you start and complete experiences that move you forward in your career. Once you enter college, it’s time to get cracking on that resume.

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Here are some tips for starting your resume from scratch. Keep in mind that some of these tips might help you with a resume you’ve already started.

  • Start with a blank Word document. As many students discover, Word comes with resume templates. In fact, I wrote my first resume using one of them. DON’T DO IT! Word resume templates can be spotted a mile away, and they will not make a good impression. Create your resume truly from scratch – You’ll thank me later.
  • Outline the basic resume sections. Starting with an outline of sections will help in two ways. First, it’s much easier to remember your experiences when you have “blanks” to fill in. Second, if you haven’t had much or any experience, you will have an idea of where to start gaining some. Basic sections for a resume include:
    • Education
    • Experience (for jobs, internships, long-term volunteer positions, etc.)
    • Computer Skills
    • Activities (for organizations, sports, short-term community service, etc.)
    • Honors & Awards
  • Begin writing down your experiences for each section. Fill in what you can on your resume. When you run out of information, stop. Now that you’ve started your resume and have an idea of what goes on it, your memory might produce more content when you least expect it. Whenever you remember something else that should be on your resume, write it down as soon as you can, either as a note to yourself or right into your document.
  • Give your resume draft a face lift. At this point, your resume is in a skeleton form. It’s just a document with a bunch of information listed. Eventually, you need to polish it and make it look pretty. One of the best ways to start is to meet with a career advisor. In Career & Leadership Development, career advisors can steer you towards good sample resumes for ideas. If you really love the look of a friend’s resume, mimic the formatting on your resume. Everyone’s resume will (and should) look a little different, so there are a lot of formats out there. You just want to make sure you use or develop a good one.
  • Go over your resume with a career advisor. If you haven’t already done so, meet with a career advisor to go over your resume. This step will start taking your resume from the minor leagues to the majors in a hurry.

This week, Career & Leadership Development will be hosting our first Resume Doctor events for the semester. Drop by for a quick resume review. No appointment is necessary. We see students on a first come, first served basis.

All you need to bring with you is your resume and any questions you might have. Don’t have a resume yet? Stop by and pick up one of our sample resumes to help get you started!

Photo by Justin Cook.

Friday Favorites – 5 Articles about Polishing Your Resume

Every Friday will mark a new lineup on the Career Spotlight Blog. We will show five favorite links, articles, blogs, infographics, or pictures that connect with our theme of the month.

September is the month of resumes and career fairs, and here are five great articles about how to polish your resume:

How To Get Your Resume Noticed

Give Your Resume A Face Lift

10 Tips For Writing A Remarkable Resume in Today’s Creative World

6 Action Words That Make Your Resume Rock

3 Things That Make Your Resume Less Effective

Use these tips on your resume, and don’t forget to visit the Resume Doctor on September 18, 19 and 20 in the Andersen Library from 1-4pm!

Green Resume CV & Business Card