5 answers

How is best to make your resume stand out when applying for a job or internship? Should your skills or education go on top.

Asked Cedarhurst, New York

I am Junior in Queens College majoring in Psychology with a minor in Honor Business and Liberal Arts. #career #management #career-counseling #marketing #career-choice #marketing-and-advertising

5 answers

Jason A.’s Answer

Updated Boston, Massachusetts

Hi Rachel,

I currently work in University Recruiting, and previously in Career Services. I double majored in Psychology & Business Management in Undergrad. In regards to your resume, I suggest putting your education first. Companies want to see where you are being taught at. Include your GPA (if you don't put your GPA, reviewers may assume that you do not have one ; if your GPA is not too high, be sure to elaborate on your past experiences and skills.

After Education, put any relevant work experience with transferrable skills that can be applied to the job you are applying for. If no relevant work experience, put relevant coursework/project work in the education section to highlight that you are familiar with various topics through studying them in class.

After work experience, put in any extracirricular activities that you are a part of/leadership positions you hold/held. Companies like to see a well-rounded person. (this is where you can show what else you are a part of. (This MIGHT compensate for a lower GPA/less work experience if you are really invested in some organizations on/off campus)

If you still have room it's good to list out some general and/or specific skills (languages, software proficiency, etc). Formatting is huge, and too much white space is not the best thing to have on a resume, so try and fill it as best you can with your work/experience.

Hope these suggestions are helpful (although they are a bit general). I cannot guarantee that you'll get an interview/a job by including this information. Be sure to see your career center so they can give you pointers and even attend resume reviews that companies might come on-campus to do. Wishing you the best of luck on your search!

Updated
These are great suggestions, thanks! I was having a hard time getting my resume together, but this will make it much easier.

JoAnne’s Answer

Updated New York, New York

Hi,

The decision maker reading your resume will want to see a great "fit" to their needs/the job right away, so the answer to your question is to assess all of your qualifications, education and any experience you have in the area for which you are applying to get a job, and, if you're applying to similar, but different jobs, then adjust these variables in accordance with the most advantageous sequence to appeal to each decision maker. If you are applying to the same sort of job only, your resume will always need the same great /stand out "fit" and, therefore, the same sequence of advantageous qualifications, etc. should be used every time to grab the attention of your decision maker.

Bottom line: decision makers and recruiters read so many resumes that make it necessary for you to stand out with the skills, and the words that define these skills, that they want to see--and quickly. Always tell the truth, but don't be modest at all. Let yourself shine as brightly as possible! Use headings with these skill words, use bolding, use italicizing, use whatever you feel looks professional, but sells you. Your resume is a sales vehicle to sell you!

Good Luck!!

JoAnne

Wayne’s Answer

Updated Cincinnati, Ohio

This is an interesting question. I have found that there are as many thoughts on how to structure a resume as there are folks looking at them.. The thinking is constantly changing from education first to achievements first and back again so there is really no correct answer. My recommendation is that there are two primary types of resumes to consider: the one designed to get thru an electronic screening process and the one sent directly to or handed to the potential employer. Any resume that you submit on line should be expected to be screened by key word programs that just look for key words to pull out candidates with specific characteristics. For those type resumes, it is more critical to list your accomplishments and capabilities/skills than worrying about the format. Your resume is telling your story in a way that sells your capabilities and separates you from the thousands of other applicants. You need to focus on what you are capable of doing and what you would bring to the table using key words that are specific and accurately represent you. Any resume you send directly to a recruiter or prospective employer will be more like giving them your business card. It needs to grab their attention quickly as mentioned in the other responses and then lead their eyes to the key message you want them to know. If education is a key factor required by the job, make sure it is first. If the position does not require a specific educational level or degree, then focus on what you have accomplished (being specific with details) that will show them you have what they are looking for. It needs to be professional and easy to scan quickly to get the highlights. Only use Bold font to highlight the key takeaways because those will be what are seen first in a quick review of the document (which is all most resumes get so make it count). Remember: your resume is specific and personal to you. It is your sales tool to attract attention to your services. Treat it as a marketing tool instead of just a requirement and you will be miles ahead. Good luck in your search!

Updated
Thank you to everyone for their informative suggestions!

Allen’s Answer

Updated

Hi Rachel - Since you're a junior at college, I would say start with your education. I've reviewed resumes in the past for summer interns and what grabbed my initial attention was the major as I was looking for relevancy for a marketing analytics role and then any work experience or class projects that were conducted. What's going to stand out at the end of the day is how you articulate yourself on paper and in - person if the interview process gets to that point. Show a hiring manager that you are willing to learn, have done things to gain that knowledge being an internship or a class project that you're really proud of.

JoAnne’s Answer

Updated New York, New York

Hi,

I'm afraid I didn't answer your question directly, but I will now. I would lead with your education and then your skills--all in a format that will grab the attention of the decision maker to the high points in EACH area simultaneously, really, like a written ad, which a resume truly is.

Look at many GOOD resumes. They're available regarding format of GOOD resumes online. This will help you.

Wishing you the best of luck!!

JoAnne