College of Technology, Architecture & Applied Engineering
Resume Tips, Samples & Templates
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- Start writing/telling about yourself. Sit down in a quiet place, and just start writing/typing all about yourself, what you have done in your life, what you have learned, etc... At this stage, don’t worry about how it looks, spelling, grammar, etc...this is a time for free-flowing writing, express yourself, get down on paper all the skills, traits, experience, etc. that you have experienced in your life.
- Organize your thoughts. Once you have the information down on paper (which can be as long as you like at this stage, 2, 3, 4 pages and so on...) you can now organize those thoughts into categories, the categories you will use to tell about yourself and organize your resume. You can then begin to assign what you have written down into those categories.
Some sample categories could be, but are not limited to:
|Education||Objective||Career Goal||Experience||Career History|
|Related Course Work||Awards||Personal||Achievements||Scholarships|
Keep going...don’t limit yourself to these categories...
(this further explains the categories listed above)
The resume suggestions and edits below come from actual employer feedback compiled from many years.
The different sections of a resume are outlined below, each with specific advice to offer.
Pay careful attention to this advice and use it well, but at the same time, be sure to put your own mark and personal tastes into your text and design as well, after all, your resume is all about YOU on paper.
- Professional Appearance: Be sure your resume is computer generated, high quality of paper and envelopes used, appropriate, professional paper color choice, highlight important information and headings, avoid using too many printing styles and italicizing and use consistent margins.
- Clear and concise: Eliminate unnecessary words and phrases, avoid jargon, short paragraphs, bullets and sentences. Make every word count.
- Be Thorough: Ensure all relative information is included, watch for time gaps if done chronologically (can explain in cover letter), use action verbs (listed below), try to cover all important transferable skills and talk about accomplishments.
- Error Free: Edit, proofread, edit and proofread again. Have somebody else review your resume as well.
- Balanced and Consistent: Be sure your use of white space, margins, indentations, highlighting and headings are uniform and balanced. Each page must be filled with text.
- Be Honest: You must honestly represent yourself in your resume. Employers can check on information that you have included in your resume.
- Verb Tense: Be sure all job description information is consistent. For past tense activities use past tense verbs and for activities you are currently involved in use present tense verbs. Do not use personal pronouns (e.g. I, me, he, she).
- Abbreviations/Acronyms: Always spell out abbreviations and acronyms. You may know what they stand for, but the reader might not. Instead, write out each acronym like the following:
E.g.: Bowling Green State University (BGSU)
- Important Information First: This can help the reader to remember the most important details about you.
- Length of Resume: Your resume should best represent you. Typically most college students have enough academic and work experience information to make their resume one solid page. There are some students who may have more experience, which could increase the length of their resume to more than one page. Make sure that you follow the requirements of the employer on the type of information to include. It is important to be clear and concise.
- References: The majority of employers prefer to receive your references AFTER they decide to interview you, not before. Sending your resume is the first step to the interview. Don’t get ahead of yourself by unnecessarily including your references. Many employers would rather you use that space to tell them more about yourself and how you can be an asset to their company. Attach a separate sheet to your resume that includes your contact information and the information of the references: name, title, employer, address, phone and email of each reference.
- Include Numbers! For example: If you have saved your company/organization $5,000 over a certain amount of time, or you have completed a project leading a team of 13 people, if you have earned a $10,000 scholarship, if you have supervised 5 people, if you have earned $15,000 on your own putting yourself through college, put these numbers on your resume. Numbers stand out to your reader and can be very impressive.
- Electronic Resumes: If you create an electronic resume, be sure to save and send this in a "pdf" (Portable Document Format) format. We recommend that you use this format because, quite frankly, the rest of the world does. Saving your resume in this format allows any potential employer to successfully open your attached resume. For more information, please see this link.
- Consider organizing your lists of skills, activities, etc. on your resume as bulleted lists. This format is easier for the employer to understand, offering quick-and-easy points to read, keeping their interest. This also shows the employer that you can easily organize and state information in a professional efficient manner.
- Thoughts on using pre-designed templates from Microsoft Word, etc... While this is a nice feature, it is used by many others and potential employees across the U.S.. Given this, employers see this format used many times, and your resume will not stand-out. To address this, I altered the design of your resume to resemble a more individualized look. Please let me know what you think. (You can also view the multiple samples we have on our website at the link I mentioned later in this message)
** IMPORTANT **
Your resume serves as a writing example, an example of how you organize and interpret information and an example of how effectively you can communicate to an employer. When an employer is reading your resume, you will not be there to explain all of the information included, therefore, it is very important that you view your resume as objectively as possible.
This means that you should write your resume so that any employer who reads it, completely understands the information and points you are attempting to make with the information you have provided. Look at your resume as if you were an employer who knows nothing about you. Would you understand what was being conveyed on the resume? That is why it is so important to have a professional resume completed to the best of your ability.