Our Career Expo is Wednesday, February 8, from 11:00 a.m to 3:00 p.m. in Schine’s Goldstein Auditorium. In this blog post, Career Services’ Associate Director Chuck Reutlinger shares his advice on making your resume stand out from the crowd.
First impressions count!
Creating a positive impression at a career expo starts with a good visual impression and is frequently followed by your presentation of your resume to an employer. Most employer representatives will likely skim the document quickly and then either ask you some questions or wait for you to carry the conversation further. Naturally, the easier they grasp your qualifications and selling points, the more they will focus on your specific interests and their specific opportunities.
5 tips to help you maximize the impact of your resume:
- Make sure it is easy to read. Don’t use fonts that are too small, e.g. less than 10, or too decorative.
- Make sure you present your sections of information in the order of their likely importance to the employer. Not sure what will be important? Research the positions they may be seeking to fill by reading OrangeLink profiles or using other career information resources.
- Take a broad view of experience and don’t arbitrarily position voluntary roles to a section down the resume if they really allowed your selling points to be revealed better than some miscellaneous job you had just to make pocket money. Integrate them instead into your Experience section and make sure your wording conveys the right message.
- Consider starting with a Qualifications Summary right after your contact information wherein you place 3 or 4 bullets under this heading and briefly capture skills, experiences and traits that relate to their needs. It can alert skimmers to what is found below and thereby encourage their closer inspection. It might also be all they use to then engage you in a more focused conversation. You might alter your summary for employers of different types if you mean to explore different career paths.
- Choose your words calculatedly as you describe experiences and activities so that the lead verbs in a phrase convey the skills you used to accomplish a result. Don’t use “helped” or “assisted” or similar lead verbs since these don’t convey skills; focus on how you assisted or helped.
Recognize that your interactions with employers may be brief and that your resume may trigger a positive experience. Note as well that your resume will remain with an employer after you have moved on to another employer, so attention to its construction can help them specifically remember you among all the students they may see.
For last minute assistance with your resume from employers, visit us during Resumania in 235 Schine, on Tuesday 2/7 from 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. First come, first served!