Resume building advice from Kirstin

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Kirstin DeCroix

A resume is a summary of all of your educational and professional accomplishments. This includes where you went to school, what you studied, what professional experience you have, maybe volunteer hours, anything that you did that will show future employers that you have the ability to fill the role of the position they are hiring for.

Creating a resume for the first time can be overwhelming and confusing. There are a lot of steps that go into creating a resume, but if you go step-by-step, it can be a piece of cake. The first thing to remember when you are about to create a resume is to not compare it to your peers. Everyone’s resume is going to look different especially if they did not study the same thing as you did.

Step One

First, decide how you’d like to format it. You can find an array of free templates online that are helpful if you’re stuck. When you structure your resume, you want to make sure that your experience is in chronological order. By putting the most relevant information first and listing things from present to past.

Step Two

As a recent graduate, one of the most important items to highlight is your education.

When employers look at your resume, your education may help get you the job. When including your education, you want to make sure to include the institutions, title of the degree, and your graduation date. You can add your GPA if you want or if it is required by the employers, but it is not always necessary. Other items you could add under education could include any additional classes that you think an employer should know about. If you studied abroad, this would also be a great place to include it.

Step Three

Add your experience. This can be internships, jobs, volunteer work, club, leadership, etc. Anything where you have applied your education and skills.

Depending on what your experience is, you can break it down into more categories than just experience. For example, if you held a lot of leadership roles as well as had a lot of work experience, you could put your work experience under experience and make a new section for leadership. This is where you make the resume your own. Everyone is going to look different because everyone has done different things that make them stand out.

That final step brings me to the DO’s and DO NOT’s of writing a resume.

When writing a resume DO NOT use hard-to-read font or colors. This will make it harder for the reader to understand what you had written.

DO NOT go over one page long. The employer wants to learn about you, but they do not want to read through two pages of information. Only include the most relevant information.

DO NOT use generic phrases like “good communication skills” without backing it up with proof of how you have applied those skills.

DO use descriptive words when describing your experiences. You want to make sure that the employer knows what you did, how you did it, and what was the result of that.

DO get feedback from a counselor or peer. This way you can fix mistakes you may have missed on your own.

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