It’s about that time. Senior year has begun and before I know it, it will be time to polish up the resume and send it off in hopes of landing my first ‘big girl’ job. Stressful? Absolutely. But there is some comfort in the fact that a vast majority of my friends and peers will be launching into full-blown adulthood right along with me. So how do you make sure your resume stands out in the face of the competition? Taking cues from visits to the UI career centers, seminars, professors, and workshops, I have collected a few fool-proof tips that are must-haves for any resume worth a second glance.
1) CHECK YOUR SPELLING.
I have heard time and time again that people looking at resumes are pretty much guaranteed to throw yours out at the first sighting of a careless spelling error. I repeat: Spell-check isn’t enough. Get a fresh pair or eyes (or several!) to look your resume over before you even consider sending it off. Other mishaps to look out for? Make sure the spelling of the company, employee name, etc. that you are addressing each resume to is accurate!
2) Watch your margins.
There are countless ways to organize the information on your resume, (check out this website for more resume tips and layouts) but be sure to keep your margins simple and consistent. For example: keep your job titles at a certain indentation, the descriptions of each job at another indentation, and another other information in its respective position on the page. And no double spacing!
3) Don’t go crazy with fillers.
Just starting out? Page looking a little empty? No worries. You can always make slight adjustments to the layout and font size, or add sections such as relevant course highlights, projects, or accomplishments to round out your resume. Just make sure not to go crazy adding details that are unnecessary. Putting a section of your interests or hobbies is just not valuable to a potential employer.
4) Listing your GPA is not mandatory.
Unless the application specifically asks for it (which is not very common), there is no need to include a GPA on any resume. Unless it’s something you are proud to display, it’s probably best to leave it off.
5) Pick your font wisely. VERY wisely.
My last, and perhaps most important tip is to choose the font you use on your resume with the utmost care. Times New Roman is always a safe bet, but if you’re itching to use something a little more unique, make sure you’re not giving off the wrong idea (hint: fonts like Comic Sans, Papyrus, and Curlz are probably not your best bet). Pick something that is simple, easy to read, and professional- just like you.
Happy job hunting! 🙂