"The Business Career Accelerator has helped me construct my resume completely, it was so easy to make the perfect resume." - Business Student
Your resume provides the first impression a potential employer will have of you. Make it count.
Click the links below to explore resources to help you create an excellent resume.
- 2-Step Process:
- Write and refine content.
- Design layout and navigation.
- Avoid empty white space. It makes your resume appear incomplete and lacking in areas.
- Key Words. (Eyes & Scanners) More employers are using software to scan the resume you send or submit via their career portal, searching for key words. Use key words from the job description and place them in your resume, increasing your views.
- Numbers Game. Use #'s and figures whenever you can. Dollar$ generated, clients served, % increases/decreases, ratios, etc. These jump out and impress. FOR EXAMPLE:
ORIGINAL: Managed budget to increase clientèle.
IMPROVED: Managed $60,000 budget, targeting new clientèle, resulting in 50 new clients, $230,000 in new revenue, 78,000 new page views, and 5,354 likes.
- Utilize entire line length, don’t create unnecessary line breaks, resulting in empty space.
- "Save As"
- Always send (email) as pdf file. It is universal and won't change your document on the receiving end.
- Send test emails to your other email accounts (Eg. gmail, yahoo, etc.) on other computers (Mac, PC) to be sure your resume opens correctly.
- Name Game. Don't vaguely name your resume file as E.g. "Resume 2". Use your name, E.g. "Thomas_Siebenaler_Resume"
- Consistency. All text should be uniform, with matching alignment and professional.
- Title Twins. Section headings should be identical and match formatting exactly.
- Avoid writing too much. Write short and to-the-point. Think newspaper headlines. Use lists, get to the point quick.
- Contact. Don't write "Phone" and "Email" in your contact info., it's redundant. (Unless specifying between home and cell phones)
- Dates. All should be formatted and listed identically. Dashes should match exactly (E.g. dash vs. Em dash, etc.)
- Phone Format. Use this format only: (419) 372-4081
- Location Lock? To advertise your mobility, you can add a statement to your contact info. at top such as: "Willing/able to relocate anywhere in United States."
- Acronyms: Define ALL acronyms used, for example, you can't simply list "BGSU", use this format "Bowling Green State University (BGSU)" - NOW, from that point forward (down) on your resume, you can use "BGSU". Only AFTER you have defined the acronym, can you use it anywhere else.
- GPA: Unless otherwise requested, only list your GPA if it is = or > 3.0. Not sure what your current GPA is? Click here to use BGSU's GPA calculator.
- Multiple pages. At this point in your career, keep it to 1 page. 95% of employers agree. If more than 1, subsequent pages should be at least 1/2 a page (not partial or 1 or 2 lines) and must not repeat information. Also, all subsequent pages should have the following as a footer:
- First and Last Name
- Page __ of __
- EXAMPLE: Tom Siebenaler - email@example.com - 419-372-4081 - Page 2 of 2
(PAGE 1 NOTE: The first page should have "Page 1 of 2" in the footer.)
- This is a test. Your resume serves as a writing example, showcasing how you organize and interpret information and how effectively you communicate. When employers first look at your resume, they are trying to find mistakes first, and if they find even 1, you're out of the running.
- Proofread everything and don’t trust spell or grammar check.
- Don’t limit yourself by telling an employer how much you feel you know about a certain program, skill, etc. (“Limited knowledge”, “Some experience with…”) They could misinterpret your skill level.
- Fluff. Generally, avoid overusing terms such as, good attendance, team-player, multitasking, etc. Employers refer to this as "fluff", adding no value. (Use our SKILLS page for help)
Professional text to write with.
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Click on each section tab below for specific advice on that section.
This is an optional section of your resume and should tell the person reading your resume why they are reading it. It should be a very specific career statement, nothing more (one sentence). Some employers feel this is necessary, others do not. You need to make a personal decision whether you wish to include this. If it does not add any real value to your resume, leave it off, it will detract from your resume more than add to it.
VERY IMPORTANT: If you’re searching for an internship or co-op, don’t include only that you are searching for “co-ops” and/or “internships”. A job that can count for these does not have to be named a “co-op”, etc. to be approved. As long as you are hired for a job that meets the requirements, you’re good to go. You should state you are searching for a “position” (keep it simple, not too much at first).
In addition to the “general” information (Name of school, location, major, etc.) be sure to include:
- Activities participated in
- Honors received
- Groups involved with
- Events/Workshops attended
- Extracurricular activities
- Anything showing you've done more than simply complete coursework
When listing previous experience(s) (formal or informal) the most important details are describing your job duties, what skills you obtained on the job. These tell the employer what talents, skills, and abilities you have that can now be used for their advantage. Here's how you do it:
USE A 1-SENTENCE FORMAT:
- WHAT – task completed
- RESULT – prove you did a good job using #s/figures or outcome statements
- HOW – using what tools/resources
Increased 4th quarter sales (WHAT) by 20% (RESULT) using group discounts and enhanced customer relations. (HOW)
Reduced May 2015 component costs (WHAT) by $3,000 (RESULT) through contract with new vendor. (HOW)
At present, you may have too little listed under your positions, describing the tasks you completed in that position. Don't sell yourself short. Even if you do not think it is relevant or important, any piece of information you write on your resume can act as a catalyst for that employer to notice you. The more you leave off, the greater you increase your chances of not making a connection with that employer.
This section can be used as a utility section, meaning a place to highlight yourself and the skills you have acquired throughout your life. These skills can include those learned in the classroom or from previous jobs you have had. They might also include a skill you’ve taught yourself, something you’ve learned from your grandfather, mother, father, brother, friend, etc.
Include very specific skills, make a CONNECTION with your reader. SEE OUR DETAILED SKILLS PAGE HERE
Delete terms like, "Great leadership skills" and "Positive attitude". This is referred to by employers as "fluff", meaning the listing of skills that you are already assumed to have and that most everyone puts on their resume, adding no real value.
You may also list skills acquired through community service, religious activities, volunteering, activism, etc. Do not leave something off this list because you feel it does not apply to the position you are applying for, employers look for multi-talented candidates.
EXAMPLE SKILLS LIST #1:
Fluent in German
Mac & PC Fluency
Leadership & Management
Marketing & Sales
Spanish & German speaking
Stock Market Investing
Photography & Fine Art skills
Data & Analytics
Small engine repair
Piano composition and performance
Don’t limit writing how much you feel you know about certain skills, using terms like: “Limited knowledge of” or “Some experience with”. The employer determines level of knowledge. If you try, you could under- or oversell your skills. Keep it simple, list your skills in basic, general terms.
EXAMPLE SKILLS LIST #2:
This section is where you could list organizations, groups, professional development networks, etc. where a connection might be made with an employer. Some examples include:
- American Marketing Association (AMA)
- International Business Association (IBA)
- Habitat for Humanity
- American Society of Women Accountants (ASWA)
- Beta Alpha Psi
- Business Professionals of America (BPA)
- Church affiliations and leadership
- Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO)
- BGSU Student Organizations
- The American Finance Association (AFA)
- Boy Scouts of America
- The Graphic Professionals Resource Network
- American Red Cross
- Volunteer organizations
This section can be used to list experiences, activities, or skill-sets that don't quite fit in other categories. Some might include, but are not limited to:
- Theater, Music & Arts
- Model Court, UN, etc.
- Student Government
HONORS & AWARDS:
When listing these, be sure to state more than only the title of what you've accomplished. In doing so, your reader will NOT understand or appreciate your accomplishment. List details, such as...
- If a scholarship, how much did you receive?
- Did you win this award out of 10 or 2,000 other applicants?
- What's the reputation of this accomplishment? Does it mean anything?
- Is this achievable by anyone, or very difficult?
- Was the application and selection process complicated or in stages?
Some categorical examples might include, but are not limited to:
- Academic awards
List your references on a separate document, not on your resume. Use the space on your resume to list your attributes and skills, not your references. Your references should be given to an employer only after they have expressed an initial interest, not before. Listing 3 references is typical, however, be sure to provide the employer the exact number they request.
REFERENCE PAGE FORMAT:
- Start with a new document.
- Copy/paste your name/contact information from your resume.
- List your references below, using same information found on a typical business card.
Pat C. Smith
3003 West Chester Lane, Denver, CO 80013
Reference Name One
Company Name Listed Here
City, State Zip
Reference Name Two
Company Name Listed Here
City, State Zip
Reference Name Three
Company Name Listed Here
City, State Zip