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!

5 Career Lessons from Mean Girls

Today marks the tenth anniversary of the iconic movie, Mean Girls. In addition to having the most quotable script of all time, Mean Girls also offers a lot of career takeaways! This list is “so fetch” so you better keep reading.

1. Don’t get an ego

Cady’s ultimate downfall is that she starts thinking she is all that and a bag of Regina’s low cal chips. She gets caught up on getting to the top of the social pyramid, which ultimately causes her to flunk calculus, lose her BFFs, and get grounded.

Whether you’re on the job hunt, interviewing, or just starting out your career, don’t let your ego get to your head. Humility is key; no one likes a conceited employee who thinks they’re better than everyone else.

2. Nothing good comes from cliques

Cady’s school is full of cliques: the plastics, the JV jocks, desperate wannabes, burnouts, etc., and it’s the presence of these cliques that turns everyone against each other in the end.

When you’re at your job, avoid joining the office clique. It’s important to create an inclusive, not exclusive, work environment where everyone feels comfortable being themselves. If you work your way into an office clique, people may be afraid to approach you and you can miss out on some awesome opportunities.

3. Accept help

Cady, Janis, and Damian all work together to take down Regina George, and it works! *Spoiler alert* Regina ends up getting hit by a bus, loses her position as queen bee, and becomes an athlete instead. There’s no way Cady, Janis, or Damian could have stripped Regina from her power without one another.

Similarly, there’s no way you’ll get an interview, job, or promoted without people’s help. Whether it’s using your connections, or asking a friend to proofread your resume, put your pride aside and accept their help.

4. Brains are an asset

Cady is introduced as a super smart calculus wizard, but she dumbs herself down to get a guy *ew.* By playing dumb, Cady eventually loses her crush’s affection, and fails her calc test. It isn’t until she accepts her math abilities, and joins the mathletes that she realizes all of mistakes she’s made that year.

Realize and capitalize on your strengths. Never dumb yourself down to spare your supervisor’s or coworker’s feelings, instead take the opportunity to teach them what you know!

5. Take responsibility for your actions

At the end of the movie, Cady takes responsibility for writing the Burn Book (a book that has a bunch of mean things about all the girls in her class). Even though Cady only wrote one page of the lengthy book, she still took the blame for all of it.

We will all make mistakes at work, but it’s important that you make sure to take responsibility for them. Admitting you did something something wrong on your own (rather than your supervisor finding out) shows really good character and will help you in the long run.