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Thursday, September 28, 2023

Your résumé is a precious document. It sums up your most significant experiences and accomplishments on one black and white page. To some people this might seem impossible, and I’ll agree at times it can be difficult. It’s both an art and a science to construct a résumé that is complete, concise and a perfect representation of you. Here are some dos and don’ts to help you create your personal and professional story:

• When choosing which experiences to include consider these three buckets

1. Professional experience (previous jobs and internships)

2. Leadership experience (organizations, teams, club memberships)

3. Awards/Scholarships

• Only include college information. At this point what you did in high school is long on, so keep it timely and don’t put anything before freshman year on your résumé

• There’s a big difference between emphasis and exaggeration. Stick with the basics like bolding and italicizing to create emphasis. If half of your resume is written in all caps and multi-colored, you confuse the reader and they don’t know what to focus on

• Try to include the same number of bullets for each experience on your résumé. I’ve found 3 substantial bullet points are more than enough to get your point across (in my opinion if you can’t describe three things you did in a job or organization it’s probably not worth including)

• Make sure each of your bullets end with results. Don’t leave the reader hanging; just tell them what the outcome was. When possible, use numbers to quantify those results

• Stick with equal page margins. Start with 1 in. all the way around and if you’re really pressed for space, reduce the margins to .75 in. 

• Speaking of space issues, no matter how badly you want to write in detail about your skills and experiences, recruiters will not waste their time with multi-page résumés. You have just a couple seconds to make an impression, so get it all on one page

• As a final touch, print your résumé on white or off-white cardstock paper. This makes it stand out from the crowd in a really positive way

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There are many approaches to résumé writing, but this list will give you a starting foundation to work off of. Your résumé should be a polished document, so take your time with it. Proofread many times, and then send it to your friends and family for another set of eyes. Put your best self forward while maintaining your integrity and honesty. The point of your résumé is to get an interview. This is your chance to give recruiters a reason to spend time with you. 

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