Monday, October 5, 2015

10 Tips for Building a Resume

College, internship and job applications can be stressful, but Pride Guide Katie Gilleran is here to hopefully make the process easier for you. It can be a nice touch to include a resume with your application(s), and some colleges even require some form of one. The following are 10 tips for building a resume.

1- Keep a record of your accomplishments. This will prevent you from forgetting anything and you will have a nice list of things to write about. Perhaps your list will even inspire your college essay!

2- Keep your audience in mind. It's perfectly acceptable to have different versions of a resume. In fact, sometimes it is even encouraged if you are applying to different programs. Think about what the reader(s) of your resume want to see. What do they want to know about you?

3- Don't be humble- it’s your time to brag! Of course we recommend communicating your skills and accomplishments in a respectful and professional manner, but if you are contemplating whether or not to include a skill on your resume because you're nervous you might sound conceded, don't worry. Showcase what you bring to the table.

4- Emphasize leadership positions. Being a leader says that not only can you get the job done, but you can help others to do so, as well. Taking on a leadership position is certainly time consuming and a big responsibility, so this also tells resume readers that you are a dedicated individual and can balance your time and work well.

5- Use the active voice. Do not be passive in your writing. You do not want to come off as timid. Colleges want students who will take the reins and really pave the way for themselves. This goes back to not being afraid to brag. There is a fine line between a dynamic and powerful voice and being obnoxious, so as long as you remain on the positive side of that line, you're golden!

6- Be as specific as possible. Explain the purpose of the club you are a part of and what you have accomplished during your time with them. For example:

- INCORRECT: “The Booster Club does fundraising.”
- CORRECT: “The Booster Club fundraises $1,000/semester for Children’s Miracle Network" and "Led a team of 10 students in the planning and execution of ....."

7- Format, format, format! Search online for examples of resumes or ask a friend or professional you trust if they have any ideas. Sometimes colleges will have you simply import the text of your resume in an online application, in which case you would just need to make sure everything is organized and readable once imported. That said, other times you might have the option to upload a resume, in which case format and design are very important. You want your resume to be professional and easily readable.

8- Keep your resume up-to-date. Colleges want to know everything of relevance that you have done from the beginning of your high school career until now. They want to see if you have been involved in a variety of extracurriculars, if you stuck with something for a long period of time, held any leadership positions, performed well in school, had any paid jobs, and so on.

9- If you have extra space, a list of skills can't hurt. In fact, it's encouraged! Again, this is your time to brag. Are you skilled in a specific type of software? Do you have any certifications?

10- Have someone proofread your resume. After a while, you become blind to your own writing errors, and so it's always nice to have someone else taking a look. Guidance counselors are great because they know what colleges are looking for in a resume, and so he/she can even help you when it comes to what to include in your resume.

Do YOU have any tips that we missed? Let us know! We would love to hear your thoughts.

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