Career Prep: Building Your Resume


This is one in an ongoing series of articles to help college seniors prepare themselves for their careers.

Time To Dust Off The Resume

WorkingNow that your winter break is here, this is a great opportunity for you to dust off and update your resume. For students who have never developed a resume before, you’ll want to piece together your first draft as soon as possible. Before you know it, corporate recruiters will be visiting your campus and asking for your resume.

The Styles

There are two different ways that most people design their resume. The first, and most common is to list your job history from the most recent employment on back. The second, de-emphasizes specific jobs to focus on strengths and talents. The latter option can be especially helpful for the student who does not have a strong work history, but a good academic record. For the sake of brevity, we’ll take a look at the first option today.

The Components

Every resume should feature the following from the top of the page to the end:

Your name, full mailing address, phone number, cell number and email address. A college mailing address is fine to use or you can use your home address. Whatever is the easiest way for you to be contacted by potential employers is the address you should list. Most important is your email address and phone numbers — many employers initiate contact through email.

Your objective. What type of work are you looking for? What skills do you have that a company will need? Instead of emphasizing what you want write your objective to state what you can do for the company, e.g. — Talented web designer seeks to utilize her web development skills to build and manage Dreamweaver and Flash-based sites for a progressive company. With this example, you are telling the company what skills you have, what you can do for them, and what you want. Their needs should be ahead of your needs.

Your Education. Once you have built up a strong work history, your schooling will come after you job history. For now, you need to emphasize your academic performance first (e.g., dean’s list recipient, honor role, president of the Media Club, GPA, etc.). Since you have yet to complete your degree, you can state (for example) that you are a Bachelor of Science candidate in Business Administration, Marketing Minor — May 2008. List your university’s name and city/state too.

Your Work History. Chances are this information is spotty, at best. However, feature whatever internships you held, cooperative opportunities, or any part-time work that you held. Recruiters don’t expect a deep work history at this point, but showing employment responsibility can pay off. Besides, there isn’t anything wrong with working as the Night Manager for Burger King as you were able to develope your people and management skills, something a lot of grads lack.

Your References — Do not make the mistake of listing your references on your resume. They belong on a separate sheet of paper. Instead, finish your resume with a statement such as, “References Furnished Upon Request” and leave it at that. I’ll be discussing personal references in an upcoming article, so please check back for my tips later on.

Once you have pieced your resume together, take it to your school’s career development department for their review. They’ll make some recommendations and help you develop a compelling final copy. When done, you’ll have one of the most important personal marketing tools available at your disposal to use for seeking work.

See AlsoCareer Choice: Athletic Trainers


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Categories: Career Planning