1. Proofread and revise
A resumé should be proofread multiple times to work out any kinks in the writing or formatting. Revisions to a resumé should be made whenever new skills or experiences are acquired.
2. Ordering and organizing
When writing a resumé, the most recent work experience should be stated first, followed by all other work experiences in a chronological order.
3. Know which skills are valued
List experiences that represent leadership skills, ability to overcome difficulties and experiences that represent adaptations to change.
4. No formal experience? Make a skills resume
A skills resumé highlights experience gained through schooling, volunteer work or some limited paid work. It is extremely useful for those individuals seeking employment who may have the appropriate skills for the job, but lack the previous employment experience that other competing applicants may have.
5. Use professional language
Never write in first person on a resumé and be sure to use aggressive action verbs such as “administrated” and “instituted” instead of weaker verbs such as “made” or “did.”
6. Pay attention to appearance
Make sure the resumé has at least 1 inch margins, 11 or 12 point font, consistent headings and formatting.
7. Tweak the resumé to match employers’ expectations
It’s always a good idea to research any potential employers of interest. Spending some time on an employer’s website will give one a better understanding of what that employer is looking for in a potential applicant.
8. Resume building wizards can work magic
The Career Services Center offers a free program called Optimal Resumé Builder on its website. Spending some quality time working with programs like these can provide help.
9. Include “highlights”
Sometimes an individual may have qualifications for a potential job they did not learn from previous work. These should be included as highlights in the resumé and could cover anything from fluency in other languages to familiarity with specific technologies.
10. Don’t forget the cover letter
Although it’s not technically part of the resumé, having a well-written personalized cover letter for every job a person is applying for will increase the chances of finding employment. The Career Services Center has many resources, both in person and online, for creating an appropriate cover letter.