Are there specific résumé writing strategies that have worked for you or your students? How can these tips help land that next job? Share your comments below. 

A résumé is more than just a list of skills and qualifications. This one-page document needs to inform potential employers of who you are and convince them why you would be the best fit for their company. Share these tips with your students, so that their résumés can help land them that next, or first, job. These tips, adapted from Dave Ellis’ Master Student to Master Employee, will help anyone at any stage in their career craft and perfect the art of creating a résumé.

  • Make Contact Information Easy to Find – Your résumé should always start with your contact information. Be sure to include your full name, telephone number, mailing address and e-mail address. Ensure that both your e-mail address and voice mail greeting are appropriate and professional.
  • Outline your Experience – Your experience and work history should be the body of your résumé. List the companies you’ve worked for in chronological order. Include dates of employment and a bulleted list of accomplishments and responsibilities. If you are a recent college graduate or have limited work experience, include any internships, summer jobs or volunteer opportunities where you gained skills.
  • Outline your Education – Following the ‘Experience’ section on your résumé, there should be a section with the heading of ‘Education’. Within this section you should list any degree that you have received beyond high school. Be sure to include your planned degree, the date it was or will be attained, and any accolades or honors.
  • References – Be sure to end your résumé with a line of text similar to “references available upon request.” But, before you add this line to your résumé, be certain that you already have a list of references available, and that these individuals have already agreed to provide a reference for you.
  • Use Action Verbs – Try to start all phrases with action verbs. For example, start sentences with words such as ‘designed’, ‘created’, ‘generated’, etc. Using action verbs will give your résumé power and make your achievements and skills sound even more impressive.
  • Short and Sweet – A résumé should almost never be more than one page in length. To achieve this, you may need to get creative with formatting and be sure to leave out any information that will not help you in the hiring process.
  • Don’t Forget your Online Résumé – Employers will often seek additional information about you online. Be sure to check your online résumé by searching your name on an Internet search engine. Additionally, browse through your social media accounts, such as Facebook and Twitter, to ensure that you have not posted any content or pictures that will discourage employers from calling you back. Mold your social media presence to portray yourself as a well-rounded, career ready individual.  (Pages 327-329)

Reference: Content adapted from Ellis, Dave. 2014. From Master Student to Master EmployeeFourth Edition. Boston: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.
For a more in-depth look at how students can accomplish that last point, review our post on being mindful of your social media history, and once your students land the interview, reviewing these tips may prove helpful as well!