Finalizing your résumé for that perfect job? That dream internship? That once-in-a-lifetime scholarship? It can be intimidating to try and capture the essence of all your years of experience on one page, but it’s certainly possible. All you need to know is how to structure your resumé and exactly what to include, but of course, that’s easier said than done.
Our team at Campus Philly has the tips, tricks, and advice to help you make your resume as polished as possible. Here are the 5 steps to building your best resumé!
1) Create a Master Document of Your Experience
It’s not unusual to completely blank when you’re trying to think of your experience and how it relates to the job you’re applying for. That’s why it’s best to write down any and all experience, relevant or not, in a résumé master document, and save it in a file you’ll be able to pull up easily when customizing your résumé for different job and internship applications. For this master document, don’t worry about condensing, don’t worry about consolidating, just let all the things that you’ve done – and all the things that you’re currently doing – have a place on this list.
In this same master document, be sure to include sections for accomplishments and special skills too! Having a handy list of all your experiences, accomplishments and special skills takes away a whole bunch of pressure and makes the writing experience a lot easier.
2) Pick a Professional-Looking, but Unique Resume Format
You want every part of your resumé to represent the best parts of you, even down to the structure of your page. Make it appealing to look at and match how you’d like to present yourself to a future employer. Consider adding a top border to the page with a subtle color that represents you. You don’t want the border to take attention away from the content, but because your resume is likely one of many, you want to stand out!
3) Put the Most Relevant and Recent Experience First, and Make it Personal!
What do you want the employer to see first? Think about it for a bit…
Under the experience column, put that important and relevant content first! According to a study by The Ladder, employers spend about six seconds looking at each individual’s resume, so you have to grab those reviewing your resume within those six seconds to keep them interested so they can learn more about you.
4) What’s Something Interesting that Separates You From the Crowd? Include It!
Once you have all the experience, skills, and background information that qualifies you for the job, make sure to include something that makes you stand out! Include an accomplishment from your hobby – something to grab their attention and make them say “wow, I’d love to ask this person about that.” Some examples include running a marathon or writing a novel – accomplishments that demonstrate that you’re a hard worker while revealing a little bit of information about your interests and hobbies, too!
Employers get a lot of resumes that fit the job, but what do you do outside of the workday? Give them a sense of the you that people love!
5) Be Honest!
Nothing is worse than lying on your resumé, and yet (for some reason) people still do it. We know it can be difficult to build a resume that you feel completely, 100% happy about, but all you need to remember is to dedicate the necessary time and effort, and employers will fall in love with you. Getting the job because you were honest and were able to talk about your real accomplishments in the interview is the best feeling because your hard work and experience helped you earn that job!
If you’re looking to apply for jobs or internships, check out the Campus Philly Careers page. Companies and organizations from all over the Greater Philadelphia region submit jobs to our Campus Philly Launch site for students like you to launch their careers right here in Philly! Looking for more chances to network with other student-professionals? Check out Campus Philly’s Launch Events!
Remember to make your resumé personal, make it appealing, and make sure it’s honest, and then start submitting. You never know what adventures will come out of it!