A resume presents your story by highlighting your skills (the things you do well). Employers initially scan a resume for 30 to 60 seconds, so it needs to be descriptive and concise at the same time. It also needs to be tailored to the organization to which you are applying. We asked a few recruiters to tell us what they notice on a resume in 30 seconds. Check out what they look for in the video below.
To keep your resume easy to read, divide it into these common sections. Check out the samples in the resources section for examples of what to include.
Name and Contact Information
Summary (Optional- more common with experienced professionals, but an option for any student)
Experience- This is often broken up into two or three sections based on the themes in your experiences. Common headings include: Work/Professional Experience, Clubs/Student Organizations, Leadership Experience, and Service/Community Involvement.
Most employers take 30-60 seconds per resume during their first glance. Don’t get stuck in the “no” pile because of formatting issues.
Keep your document to one page (for most undergraduates)
Put your experiences in reverse chronological order in each section
Keep your formatting consistent and easy to skim quickly (i.e. put job titles, organization names, dates, and locations in the same location each time)
Use bullets, not paragraphs
Quantify when possible and use the Bullet Plus Formula to show skills, not just tasks (keep scrolling for more on the Bullet Plus formula!)
Tailor your resume to the experience for which you are applying