We’re back with another blog post in our Summer Job Series. This time, we’re talking resumes! Some students have already written many resumes, while others have no idea what to include on their resumes. Extracurriculars? Classes? Skills? What if you don’t have any past professional experiences to include? That’s okay – we’re here to provide some guidance and tips for writing your resume.
Brainstorm your skills and experiences
Before you begin typing out your resume, sit down with a pen and paper to brainstorm all of your skills and experiences. This list can include anything from part-time jobs on-campus to volunteer positions. Think about your skills, both hard and soft. Hard skills include abilities to use software, code, or design, and more, while soft skills include abilities such as collaboration, time management, flexibility, and others. Overall, consider your educational background, any jobs you’ve held, volunteer work, and your student organizations when brainstorming this list.
Tailor your skills and experiences based on the job description
Now that you have a running list of all of your skills and experiences, you’ll want to take a look at the job or internship description that you’re applying to. If the description emphasizes specific qualities or abilities that you have, circle those on your list. You’ll definitely want to include these when writing your resume. Even if an experience of yours doesn’t quite fit the job description, you can probably find a way to make it work. For example, a summer job in the service industry teaches valuable teamwork, flexibility, customer service, and organization skills, all of which can be applied to many jobs. Circle three to five of your experiences that you want to showcase on your resume.
Organize your resume
Now you can get started building your resume in a document. You’ll want to organize your resume with your name and contact information at the top, then your education, work experience, activities, and skills divided into separate sections on the page. List those experiences and skills that you brainstormed here, including the name of the organization, your title, the time period you were involved, the location, and brief descriptions for each one. When writing descriptions, be sure to use active verbs and numerical data when describing your accomplishments. Providing useful metrics will show recruiters and hiring managers how valuable you are. Looking for some resume organization help or inspiration? Consult some resume templates, like this or this from Google Docs. If you’re looking to get fancier, you can even purchase resume templates on Etsy to fill in with your own information.
Edit and refine your resume
Before you send your awesome resume out to apply for jobs and internships, take some time to edit it. You can even ask a supportive family member or friend to look it over, but you just want to make sure that your resume is tailored to the job you’re applying to and shows the hiring manager and recruiter why you would be the perfect fit for that job. You also want everything on your resume to fit on one page (hiring managers don’t like flipping through multiple pages) and in a clean and readable font and style. Double check for typos or errors and you’re good to go!
While resumes are definitely an important part of the job application, they’re not everything. It’s okay if you lack a ton of professional experiences to list on your resume – recruiters who are hiring interns or recent graduates know that you’re applying to this position to gain experience. Of course, make sure your resume is professional and true to you, but remember that you can shine in other ways, like in the cover letter and interviews throughout the hiring process.