You have one page to prove yourself. Although that sentence may seem a little harsh, a resume does essentially mean fitting and appropriating all of your accomplishments into one 8×11” page. Understanding that you have limited space begs the question, “What do employers look for in a resume?”
Of course there are the basics: Education, Relevant Work Experience, Volunteerism etc. However new research by the National Association of Colleges and Employers suggests eight out of ten employers value and seek leadership skills on a candidate’s resumes. Thus, instead of over-involving yourself in campus activities to bolster your resume, hone in on your genuine interests and pursue a leadership position in one of those activities. The age-old notion of “quality over quantity” still applies!
NACE also highlighted NINE other qualities that employers sought in their applications. Check out the below picture to see all 10 desired attributes and think about how these qualities fit into your resume. Since resumes are ever-evolving documents, make changes that reflect these ideals.
While you definitely want to focus on developing desirable skills and experiences, don’t forget the basics rules either:
- No typos: When there’s limited space, the details count! Always proofread your work AND have someone else check it as well.
- Action Verbs: Under your experiences, choose action words to strengthen your descriptions. Make sure you use the right verb tense too!
- Relevant Experiences: Although you may be really proud of your ability to make triple chocolate brownies from scratch, that fact should remain far outside the purview of your resume! (Well unless you want to be a baker…) Remember your goal is to snag an interview, so keep it relevant.
- One readable page: For college students, your font size should be between 10 –12. And just in case you forgot… Resumes are ONE page documents!
For basic resume guidelines, check out HC Career Planning’s Resume worksheet!
If you have quick questions about your resume, come to Career Planning Drop-in hours every day from 1-4pm or log on to Crusader Connections for Virtual Drop-ins every Monday from 7-9pm!