In my newest YouTube video, titled 5 Tips For Sophomore Year, I mention the importance of building an impressive resume in college. Trust me, it’s best to be proactive when it comes to resumes. Start working on it way before you actually need it.
When you do need your resume, it is much less stressful to have it on hand, rather than rush to put one together. This way, you are also way less likely to make errors or leave things out.
That being said, here’s my 5 step guide to an impressive resume.
Download the template I created, and have been using for my resume for over a year now. It’s clean, well formatted, and – most importantly – it WORKS.
As you can see, the resume is broken into sections: Education, Employment, Leadership, and Additional Information.
Put your most impressive section FIRST. (This will usually be education.) If you haven’t had any employment, consider changing this section to Accomplishments or Achievements, and use it as a space to list any achievements/awards you have received. List the organization in BOLD, your position in ITALICS, and details in BULLET POINTS.
You really want this to be a one page, easy-to-understand explanation of what you can bring to the table. Don’t make it too complicated. Most employers don’t have the time to sort through jargon, wordy sentences, or excess information.
Make the Additional Information section meaningful.
This is a place to highlight your interests, additional skills, certifications, or exceptional qualifications. Remember to use typography to your advantage. Bolded words will stick out; italics will be less prominent.
Make yourself stand out. Your name should be in a large size and prominently listed at the top of your resume. As mentioned before, try to keep your entire resume to ONE page.
If your permanent address is different from your school address (such as a dorm or apartment) be sure to list both. This is important for I-9, tax, and direct deposit purposes. Most employers and organizations will use the address you provide on your resume throughout your employment or involvement.
Put your best foot forward. Triple check for spelling and content errors. Make sure you are updating your resume regularly (ideally, whenever you start or end a position, so you get the dates and details right.)
- Don’t include your GPA if it won’t work to your benefit.
- Use action verbs and powerful words to describe your roles, responsibilities, and achievements.
- Keep your grammar consistent. (Don’t switch tenses throughout your resume!)
- Save it in PDF form if you are sending it via email or other digital routes. This looks much cleaner compared to sending an editable Word Doc.