9 answers

What's the best format for a resume?

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Starting out looking for my first job out of college #resume

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9 answers

Lauri’s Answer

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Organize based on role, company and experience. Under each experience use just a few bullets with the most impactful activities (starting with a verb...ie created, built, led, developed etc).....and involving an outcome statement (ie what resulted from the work). Include keywords that matter for your professional or field of study so they can be picked up through tech based filtering! Include your best email address and mobile phone number at the top of the resume and put the city/geography in which you are interested in working (ie no longer need your full home address)

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Michelle’s Answer

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I found the answers already noted to be great! There are a lot of online resources to help you with structure and content.

What I wanted to add was to think about each item you put on your resume and think of a couple of points you could discuss one each. Maybe a challenge from each experience and also a success from each. The interviewer will use your resume as a guide in many cases to drive your conversation, so be prepared to talk about what you include on your resume.

Also, try to focus on items where you really had a role or impact - avoid putting items where you joined, but then did not attend meetings, did not participate in any events, etc. Try to make there be some substance to anything you put on your resume.

Lastly, if you have a chance, go to resume reviews, mock interviews, etc. They really do make a difference in not only your content, but also your comfort level for interviews.

Good Luck!
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Kim’s Answer

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Nancy,

Congrats on finishing college! What is your major, and what sort of positions are you applying for?


The traditional resume format, and the one most expected by HR departments and recruiters, is called the "reverse chronological format." Work history is listed in reverse order, with most recent job first. If you have little work history, it is okay to add volunteer experience and internships to the work history section.

There is a bit of flexibility in what you do with your resume. It is YOUR marketing tool, designed to make YOU look like an attractive candidate. Please look at the website gotresumebuilder.com It is awesome, will guide you through it, and do all the formatting for you! When you get to the part where it asks for money, read it carefully. It is free if you enter a student ID or library card number!

Remember, you are not looking for someone to do you a favor and give you your first big break (welll, you are, but that's not what this is about.) Show that you have what they are looking for. . .. that you are interested in helping a business to make money or save money - safety, regulatory compliance, confidentiality, customer service, etc. READ the job announcement, understand it thoroughly. VISIT the company's website. Spend some time there. You will need to tailor your resume to the position you are applying for - it is not a one-size fits all situation.

Omit the Career Objective. No one uses those any more. Start with a strong "summary of qualifications." BUT: write this section last. That's because until you write the work history, you don't really know what makes you so great! Trust me! Also, it sometimes helps to think with real paper and pen, instead of an electronic gadget. The more you get to know yourself during the writing of the resume, the more prepared you will be for the interview! Don't take shortcuts and use canned job descriptions- use your own words.

Let me know how all of this goes for you, and if you hit obstacles or have any more questions. Also let me know when you are ready to discuss cover letters!



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Ana’s Answer

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Hey Nancy,

what an exciting new path you would be starting. I would also highlight that you should building your resume starting from the latest education level you have achieved as well as the latest work experience (if applicable).

As you are freshly graduated from college you might have a limited working experience so maybe look into listing some:

  • Extra curricular activities you have participated in High School and College
  • Volunteer Experiences
  • Any internships or College/ High School projects that you have participated in

I would recommend visiting Canva, it offers resume templates and you can create a resume for FREE using one of their templates: https://www.canva.com/templates/resumes/

Also, you can browse the different templates to get familiar what component should go into your resume.

Next step will be to create or update you Linkedin profile (https://www.linkedin.com)_Here you can see what the Linkedin tips and tricks to make your profile more desirable: https://www.themuse.com/advice/the-31-best-linkedin-profile-tips-for-job-seekers

Please let me know if you have more questions - I will be more than happy to answer them. Also, would love to hear how it goes with the creation of your first resume.

I wish you all the best of luck,

Ana

Ana recommends the following next steps:

  • Start with creating your CV on a word document format or even on a piece of paper - list all the important elements and dates.
  • Visit Canva and choose a suitable template
  • Create your resume using one of the Canva Template
  • Update your Linkedin Profile to suit and match your newly created resume.
  • Prepare for the potential job interviews
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Ashley’s Answer

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Hi Nancy,
Congratulations on completing your college degree. I would offer the following when it comes to creating a resume:

1)Top of the resume should include your College dergree information (School, date of completion, Major/Minor and GPA) Companies like to see this information as it helps determine which positions you are eligible for

2) Work Experience (Did you have a summer job or any on campus jobs that you worked). I would list in chronological order. . It's helpful to have at least 3-4 bullet points for each position that you worked. (Action verbs are a great way to show what you have done--ie I managed, I faciliated, I supported, etc)

3) Extracurrculars- list any clubs or volunteer opporunities that you were involved with. I would highlight any leadership positions you may have had within these extracurriuclars.

4) Skills - this could include any computer/technology skills you acquired during school, Microsoft Office, languages, etc

I would recommend updating your resume every few months or so. If you gain some new experience, it's always helpful to keep updated versus having to recall what you have done at the time of applying for a new positon.

Formatting:
Keep in mind present/past tense. If you are currently doing something/working in a role, keep the tense present
Dates: I always prefer to see the dates aligned at the right hand side of the resume. Makes it easier to review
Grammar and punctuation. If you use any punctuation, make sure you do so throghought your resume (periods at the end of a sentence) Proof read your resume and make sure there are no typos. It shows that you paid attention to detail.

Best of luck to you!
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Alyssa’s Answer

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Hi Nancy,

Great question! There are many different resume formats that you can research. I would recommend using Canva as Ana suggested to get a great layout. A website like this is a great tool when creating your first resume. I've also listed a few other tips that will help you in your job search below:

  • Utilize bullets on your resume.
  • List your jobs and volunteer opportunities from most recent to least recent. Ex. If you had a job this year and last year, list the job from this year first. Employers want to see your most recent work first.
  • Remember to list any volunteering you've done and include the date. Ex. If you volunteered for Meals on Wheels for the past two years and plan to continue in the future include: Meals on Wheels 2017 - Present.
  • Utilize proper grammar when writing your resume. For example, if you are writing about a job you previously had be sure to use past tense. Ex. I assisted students with resume writing.

Best of luck with your job search! You'll do great!

Alyssa recommends the following next steps:

  • It's important to update your resume every few months with new skills you've learned.
  • Create a LinkedIn profile that mimics your resume.
  • Check LinkedIn often and connect with professionals in the field you are interested in. This will help with networking. It will also help to look at other profiles to know how to best set up your LinkedIn. This is how you'll brand yourself professionally.
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Fiona’s Answer

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Resumes must be short, concise, to the point. Do not exaggerate what you have done - go through the resume to ensure you would be able to, in an interview, discuss in detail every item or skill you have discussed therein. Have one or two things that make you stand out, for example, do you have any interests or skills that are different - language skills etc? Make sure it is clearly presented, not cluttered and easy on the eye. Your key skills and work experience is often very important. It should have a section on education, work experience/volunteering experience, and any relevant or interesting extra curricular activities or other skills you may have. You can choose to include a mission statement (a sentence or two) at the top.
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Charlotte’s Answer

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Hi, Nancy
The advice everyone else gave about being concise, highlighting your contributions or accomplishments, is very important.

I would also encourage you to have at least two other people review your resume for any typing or grammatical errors.

I find it easiest to read a resume that groups the information in an easy and concise way. For example, having your work and volunteering experience under one heading, your certifications or education grouped under one heading, and your skills/software/tools/systems you know how to use grouped together under one heading.

If you had a TA or Professor that would be willing to write a brief letter of recommendation (maybe 2 paragraphs) that you can include as the last page of your resume, that could also help give you an advantage.

I'd recommend creating a formal email account (if you don't already have one) that is a professional alias to use for job applications. Example: NancyS2000@gmail looks better than kittycatluvr@gmail

Good luck!
Charlotte
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Hanleigh’s Answer

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Hi! First, you do not need to include a summary or an objective. Your experiences should include 3-5 robust descriptions about relevant skills and accomplishments acquired on the job. I think any experience like internships, organizational leadership, jobs, and many other positions can be great experiences to include on your resume. Remember, not all of your experiences have to be a traditional job. You also have an opportunity to include any volunteer, awards, and education.
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