The end of summer for students can mean a lot of different things, as some students have interned at new companies or worked part-time jobs, some have taken classes or completed research, and many have occupied their time with other activities. The best thing to do after unlocking a new professional accomplishment is to update your resume! Your resume is the #1 thing that employers use to get a quick look at you as a candidate and even ask you questions about after you proceed to the interview process. If you need some inspiration on how to spruce up your resume, check out the following do’s and don’ts.
DO – Include work experience that is not an internship or even related to your major. This is crucial for students because so many skills that employers look for (such as your work-ethic, timeliness, ability to work with others) are found in part-time experiences. If you had a job as a server in high school, for example, and you have space to put that on your resume without removing important information, definitely do it! Bonus points if you use some of the awesome words found here.
DON’T – Ever go over one page. This is pretty standard advice, but when you begin to have more and more experiences and accomplishments, it becomes harder to follow. A lot of students know that their resume should not be more than one page but also feel bad about deleting items off of their resume. It’s never easy to remove achievements off a resume, but it is really the most accepted format. Another option to use more of your achievements is to tailor your experiences based on the job you are applying for, just make sure you’re still under one page.
DO – Diversify! By diversifying your resume and experiences (with jobs/internships, especially difficult or relevant classes, clubs that you are passionate about, volunteering, study abroad education, etc.), you are helping employers get a better sense of you in a one-page summary before they have the chance to meet you in person. Also, seeing candidates have different roles on and off-campus shows employers that you are spending time meaningfully and that you have several interests.
DON’T – Include anything that you cannot thoroughly discuss. Because employers often use your resume to later ask you questions or follow-up on experiences you have had, make sure that you can answer questions, in detail, about everything on your resume. Also be ready for more broad questions, such as bringing an interviewer through your entire resume.
DO – Triple-check format and get help if needed. After knowing that your resume has the content, make sure that it is aesthetically correct. You usually have a little bit of wiggle-room with what kind of format you would like your resume to have, as there are many professional formats for them. However, whichever one you choose should be free from any grammatical errors or spacing issues. If you are in doubt, make sure to use a software like VMock (right here) to check it for you. If still in doubt, get help through the Pulsifer Career Development Center!
These five explained tips are very important for students who have not yet held a full-time position.