A resume is one of the most important documents to building your personal brand. Crafting this masterpiece early on and updating it often is a key to success. However, creating your first resume can be quite daunting. It is difficult to know exactly where to start and how to create it. To be honest, you will most likely do a complete overhaul of your resume during your time in college. Most college career centers will provide a standardized template they want their students to utilize. Until then, here are some helpful tips on creating your first resume.
Before typing anything up, try to brainstorm the type of content you want to convey. Make a list of jobs, extracurricular activities and leadership positions you are currently in or held recently. Decide what content is relevant and pertains to your current goal (i.e. applying for a scholarship, job, internship or college).
- Stand out without going over board
Yes, a beautifully designed resume is great to look at! However, it is wildly unprofessional to send in a resume with multiple colors, different fonts and images, depending on your area of study. For example, an art student’s resume will look drastically different from a business student. To play it safe, use the same font throughout with a font size going no smaller than 10 points. Utilize bold and italic stylization when appropriate.
- Put it all together
Now that you have made a list of what you want on your resume, type it up! A few key areas to highlight are: you name, contact information, education, activities and achievements, experience and skills. Now, properly format the page how you see fit and input content. For experience, make sure to go into detail of what you did in that role. If you are currently in that role, make sure the content is in present tense (or past tense if you are no longer in that role). Have a minimum of three bullet points for each type of experience. Anything less than three bullet points is not enough information. On the flip side, if you’ve held a position for less than a year, try limiting bullet points. Typically, it is best to keep under five bullet points as long as each point is unique and detailed. Resumes are meant to be digestible snapshots into your professional life. You do want to leave some minor topics out, so that during an interview you have fresh content to talk about.
- Proofread, proofread, proofread…oh and proofread
A resume with errors shows employers that the prospect is lazy and does not take the application seriously. It is best to proofread, make the necessary edits, then take a look at it again the next day with fresh eyes. Give your resume to a parent or trusted teacher for feedback. The more eyes that see your resume and give feedback, the better the finished product will be
Picture Source: LifeHacker