Your resume will be quickly scanned, rather than read. Ten to 20 seconds is all the time you have to persuade a prospective employer to keep reading. A quick screening of your resume should impress the reader and convince him or her of your qualifications and hopefully result in an interview!
What Is A Resume?
A resume is a tailored document highlighting a person’s education, work experience, and skills. It is a summary of qualifications for a job, internship, scholarship, or other opportunity, and should be considered a marketing tool! The top half of your resume could either make or break you. By the time recruiters have read the first few lines, you have either caught their interest, or your resume has failed.
Please Note: If you are applying for positions with the Federal Government, a federal resume uses the same information from a typical resume, but goes into more depth about your skills, past duties and accomplishments. For more detailed information on writing a federal resume, check out the UGA Federal Resume Guide.
- Highlight skills, achievements, and what you learned. Do not create a duty list (Example: mopped floors). Use this space to discuss things that are relevant to the job.
- Keep it to one page. In most cases, your resume should not exceed one page in length. Exceptions are if you are applying for a teaching position, have a Master’s degree, or at least 10 years of full-time experience.
- Format, Format, Format. Only use one font type and size. Except for your name (16-18pt. font), font size should be 10-12 point and easy to read. Margins should be between .5 in—1 in. Make things stand out by using bold, italics, all caps or small caps, and underlining. Print your final version on quality white or ivory paper.
- Don’t undersell yourself! All of the experiences that you have had in college are important. These include part-time jobs, student organizations, leadership experience, relevant class projects, and more!
- Make it your own. There is no exact formula for the perfect resume—include sections that highlight your individual experience. Put the most relevant and recent information first.
- You want to present a professional image. Email addresses such as BrewDawg@gmail.com or firstname.lastname@example.org may have personal meaning to you, but to employers, they represent someone who lacks professionalism.
- The phone number is another chance to present a professional image. Make sure that the greeting on your cell phone is professional and business-like. If you provide a home phone and have roommates, make sure that you have a system for getting your messages.
- Do NOT include information such as marriage status, gender, etc.
- If you only have one address, there is no need for both the present and permanent to be listed.
An objective statement is most effective if it provides clarification for the reader. For example, if you have a broad major (such as sociology or management), you are seeking an internship, or you are seeking a position that is not closely related to your major, you may consider using an objective.
A good objective statement answers the following:
- What type of positions you are seeking (internship or entry-level).
- What type of company/industry/job you are seeking (human resources, operational management, sales).
- What qualities you bring to the job (your strengths).
- Make sure you know the official name of your degree! The full title of all degrees can be found at www.bulletin.uga.edu
- Know your GPA. Cumulative = classes taken at UGA. Overall = all classes taken anywhere. Major = classes within your college.
- Include GPA if it is over 3.0.
- This can include work experience, internship experience, leadership experience, etc.
- Start all sentences with strong action verbs (A list is available later in this section).
- Use numbers, percentages, and amounts of money to describe job duties. Go beyond the job description—what made you stand out?
- Include experiences that line up with the skills and abilities desired in the job description.
❏ One page in length
❏ Tailored to the position for which you are applying
❏ Neat, well-organized, and easy to read
❏ Consistent in formatting, font, and content
❏ Checked for proper grammar and punctuation
❏ Appealing to the eye
❏ Printed on quality, neutral-colored paper
❏ Uses strong action verbs and power words
❏ Free of spelling errors
❏ Updated and current
❏ Avoids high school information (after your first year in college)
❏ Avoids “Duties included…” and “Responsible for…”
❏ Uses numbers, such as percentages or amounts of money
❏ Has been proofread by at least 3 people (one of them should be your Career Consultant!)
❏ Avoids personal pronouns like “I” or “my”