While we enter a new school year, we usually have a lot on our minds. One of those things may be looking for a job to help fund your year, or even preparing for grad school applications. Sometimes it’s intimidating to start the process of looking for new opportunities, but a good place to start is either creating, or updating a resume. Here’s five of the Student Life Centre’s best tips for getting your resume ready for a new year!
- Figure Out What Your Resume’s Intended Purpose Will Be
Creating a resume is easy once you figure out what it is going to be used for! Make sure to use the job posting that you are applying to, and pulling out key words and concepts straight from that document to tailor your experience to fit that description. Applying to grad school? Many of these schools have specific guidelines that need to be followed in order for you to submit a resume that will impress that can be found on their websites!
- Start With a Formula
Writing a resume can be difficult if you are unsure how to organize your experience in a comprehensive way. The Student Life Centre encourages you to describe your experience using this simple formula: Task + Skill + Outcome. Explain what you did at your job, what transferable skill you needed to apply to complete that task, and the direct result from completing the task. Remember, resumes should be brief, so try and add two to three statements per job or volunteer opportunity.
- Make Yourself Stand Out!
The first thing a potential employer looks at on your resume is your letter head! Make sure your name is bold and in larger font than your contact information, and make an organized and attractive letter head that is unique to your resume. Also, this letter head represents your document, so make sure to add it to the top of your cover letter and reference list as well.
- Don’t Be Afraid to Cut Information Out…
Although your resume is a representation of you before an employer will sit down and meet with you, you should also be mindful of the length. Try and keep your resume to one full page, but if you have more experience, make sure it is relevant to the specific job you are applying for, and that you have enough experience to fill two whole pages. Leaving too much white space draws the eye to that area, and makes your resume look unfinished.
- Any Experience is Good Experience
Afraid that you are lacking qualifications to apply to that job you would LOVE to have? Don’t worry, any task that you have done in the past can be worth mentioning on a resume, as long as you tailor it to a job. Does the job posting highlight that teamwork is important, but you have only ever worked independently? Don’t worry, even tasks like completing group projects can count towards participating on a team!
Still have questions? We would love to see you stop by the Student Life Centre at our Career Peer drop in hours, where one of the members of our team can guide you through a personal consultation on your resume! We are in the office weekly on Tuesdays from 1:00pm-3:00pm, Wednesdays from 10:00am-12:00pm, and Thursdays from 10:00am-12:00pm. We hope to see you there!