We get it. You’re an ambitious and driven student, but you don’t have a lot of free time to devote to keeping your resume up to date. We are with you. So, we’re providing you with the 5 most essential tips for writing a Rockstar resume. Implementing these simple suggestions is step one to making your resume a standout among applicant pools everywhere.
1. Use quantifiable metrics.
Resumes are typically read in only a minute or even less; making use of specific numbers whenever possible is a great way to make your experience shine within that short timeframe. The eye naturally goes towards numbers as they stand out from the words around them, so use them whenever possible and relevant. For instance, you can include anything from number of hours worked, fundraising totals, number of individuals collaborated with, and beyond. It is also important not to type out a number in its word form (i.e., two thousand). Including the numbers in its numerical form is the best way to naturally draw the eye to that section.
“Mentored a group of 14 students”
“Fundraised $14,000 to support a local food pantry”
“Work 16+ hours a week while maintaining a full 15 hour credit hour course load”
2. Use strong action verbs
It is best to begin every bullet point in your resume with a strong and eye-capturing action verb to demonstrate in one word the type of work you did. This makes it easy for the reviewer to see your types of experiences and it keeps the resume uniform in format. Make sure to use past tense action verbs for past experiences (“created”) and present tense action verbs for ongoing experiences (“create”). It is also best to use a variety of action verbs to avoid repetition and expand on different qualifications. As a general rule, read the bullet with an “I” in front of it to check it for grammatical correctness.
“Facilitated discussion regarding diversity and inclusion.”
“Collaborated with 3 peers to develop an advertising campaign for a hypothetical cooperation”
“Complete administrative tasks within a fast-paced work environment”
3. Include relevant coursework or skills when applicable
Since resumes are not just for GPA, professional experiences, and awards, they can also function as a space to list any relevant topics you have studied as a college student that may be useful to the position for which you are applying. Oftentimes employers will provide job descriptions describing skills they would like their applicants to embody - including those in a relevant coursework or skills section is a great way to personalize any resume to a specific position and continue to market yourself and speak on all your talents - not just the ones you have used in a professional setting. If you do include a skills section, keep it to hard skills (i.e., technology, laboratory, and language skills) and incorporate softer skills like effective communication and leadership into your experience descriptions. In addition, include the full name of any relevant courses and refrain from using acronyms like SOCI 2020 or COMM 1010.
Applying for a Marketing Internship
Skills: Adobe Creative Cloud, Microsoft Office, Canva
Applying to Law School
Relevant Coursework: Judicial Process, Criminology, Introduction to Public Speaking
4. Don’t Include Your Address
In the past, including a street address on a resume was standard practice. This was so employers could mail any materials back or check the exact location of an applicant for placement reasons. However, in the digital age it is increasingly important to not include a street address on a resume. Now, most job applications are submitted online, thus resumes are on the internet indefinitely. For the safety of the applicant, it is best to leave that section off and simply include a city, state, and zip code to continue to show the employer a location without such specificity. For applicants with more than one home city, include the city that is most salient to the position you are applying to.
Athens, GA 30605
5. Make the most out of one page
It may seem tempting to make your resume multiple pages long to include every professional and community involvement experience you have had, however, one page is sufficient to market yourself successfully to employers. Because resumes are read so quickly, anything beyond a page for a standard resume is simply too much to digest in that time frame. If you are struggling to get your resume to a page, try adjusting formatting slightly. For instance, try including your job title, employer, city and state, and date range on one line instead of two, or adjust the size of your margins. If the resume is still longer than a page after those adjustments, it may be beneficial to start editing down how much experience is listed by omitting unrelated content or older experiences. This does not apply to some special circumstances, however. Resumes are specific to the career, so students in certain fields may find it necessary to have two-page resumes. To learn more major-specific resume guidelines, visit the Career Center during Drop-In Hours to have your resume reviewed by a member of our team.
As a timeless reminder, resumes are an excellent way to market yourself to future employers, however, it will never define every standout quality about you. Give yourself grace and lead with what makes you unique and passionate in every step of the employment process.