A Marketing Brochure for the Brand Known as YOU
A resume is a marketing tool that helps tell your story, communicate your value and gain a competitive edge in your job search. In today's world of work, it is not just the skills and experience outlined on the resume that define you, it is also the energy, strategy, planning and commitment behind the resume that gets results. The purpose of your resume is to engage an employer's curiosity and desire to learn more about you in a phone, virtual or face-to-face interview. Resumes optimized with key words and tailored specifically to the job description get the best results.
A good resume:
- shows your accomplishments in past situations
- promotes your skills and abilities
- demonstrates how you have the ability to learn and make a difference
- challenges the employer to find out more about you
- helps the employer make a connection to you
Put yourself in the role of the recruiter.
Looking at hiring from an employer’s perspective is the first step in writing a strong resume and launching your job search. Consider the knowledge, skills and experience the recruiter is looking for, then highlight these key words throughout your resume as they relate to the job description. Even without much work experience at this stage of your career, you have acquired skills and experience as a result of classroom, volunteer and part-time work.
- What accomplishments are you most proud of in your life, and what skills did you acquire as a result of achieving them?
- What did you learn in your last part-time job or community service project that demonstrates your ability to make a difference?
- What knowledge have you acquired in the classroom, performing research projects, leading student organization or competing in sports?
- What personal values can you offer the organization to support its mission and culture?
Present your information in an organized format.
The Freeman School, like many other revered institutions, places value on tradition. Therefore, readers of a Freeman resume should always be able to tell it’s a Freeman resume.
This means selecting an easy-to-read font (10-12 point), setting margins of no less than a half inch all around and organizing sections with descriptive headings on a single page with as much white space as possible to maximize readability. Unless you have earned significant experience in a specialty area, published journal articles or presented at conferences, recruiters prefer only one page for current students and new grads.
The suggested format for a Freeman resume includes these sections:
The HEADING section features your contact information. Include your name, email address, phone number and link to your LinkedIn profile. It is no longer necessary to include your street address, though you may want to add your city and state if it is relevant to your location preference.
The EDUCATION section lists your university and school name, along with what degrees you have earned (or will earn), when you graduated (or expect to graduate), notable coursework relevant to the position you are applying for, scholarships or honors, study abroad experience and your GPA. (Your high school should only be included if you are a first-year student or it gives you a competitive advantage with a company or recruiter.)
The EXPERIENCE section is where you describe your experience and accomplishments tailored to the job posting. Strong resumes use the STAR method to convey your value as a potential employee by providing a reliable format for showcasing your abilities.
- S = Situation. Describe a challenging situation that you encountered relative to a competency required in the job posting.
- T = Task. Describe the goal you were trying to achieve to overcome the challenge or situation. How does it relate to a quality described in the job posting?
- A = Action. What did you do to address the task, solve the problem or meet the challenge?
- R = Result. What was the outcome of your actions? Were your actions successful in helping you to obtain your goal and overcome the challenge? If the outcome was not what you or your organization expected, what lessons did you take away from the experience? Use numbers, dollars and percentages to quantify your achievements.
More examples of bullet points written using the STAR method:
Add a LEADERSHIP section to demonstrate your leadership and involvement in campus organizations and clubs. Make sure these skills are relevant to your career and be ready to replace them as your experiences build.
List any service projects or volunteer work in a COMMUNITY SERVICE section. Similar to your involvement in clubs and organizations, a lot of details aren’t necessary unless you were in a leadership role.
In the final section on your resume, list skills or proficiencies not noted elsewhere on your resume.
Save your resume.
Make it easy for a recruiter to manage your documents. Save your resume in PDF format and name the file using your first and last name. For example: JordanMcAlister_Resume.pdf
Proofread, proofread, proofread.
Read your resume and other supporting documents forward and backward to catch typos and grammatical errors. Then ask someone else to read them. Check for accuracy in your contact information.
- Upload your resume to Handshake for review by a Career Consultant. You will receive feedback on the format, strength of your bulleted statements and overall presentation.
- Field test your resume with friends, mentors, parents and professors. Ask for referrals to others who can help you connect with people who work in the industries or organizations where you would like to work.
- Meet with your Career Consultant to develop a comprehensive strategy for launching your internship or job search. Your consultant will help you:
- build confidence and define your value proposition
- set goals
- make connections in your industry
- practice for interviews with seasoned recruiters
- negotiate offers