Résumés are a timeline of all your achievements. There should be a clear understanding of everything you have ever achieved in your academic or professional career the minute someone takes a look at your résumé. However, that does not mean you cannot have fun with your résumé! Whether it is with your font choice, page template, or type of résumé, make sure to make your résumé represent who you are. With a few tips and guidelines, you will create your perfect résumé with ease.
It is important to remember that a great résumé does take time to create.
“Whether it is for a job or a scholarship, a résumé needs to set a great impression for you,” said University of Texas student Sheyla Duran. “It can determine whether or not you get what you’re applying for.”
There are hundreds of people who are applying for the same job or scholarship as you. A judge or employer makes his/her final decision from a piece of white paper. Your piece of white paper needs to stand out.
Whether it is in paper or digital format, there are different types of résumé formats. Many people choose to create an online résumé that will allow them to showcase their art, performances, experiments, etc — this is also called a portfolio. Although it does depend on the type of application you are submitting, an online résumé is a great way to showcase your work!
Most of the time, a traditional résumé (paper format) will still be acceptable. And before you begin to create it, you need to ask yourself: “What do I want my résumé to say about me?” Are you attempting to win an engineering scholarship? Are you trying to be hired at an advertising agency? Your purpose will be the star of your résumé – what you want to make shine.
If you are not sure how to organize the information, look up a résumé template if you feel uncomfortable creating one on your own. A simple Google search will provide you with many examples. A common template for a résumé has contact information at the top, followed by an education section, work and volunteer experience, leadership roles, affiliations, skills, and references. Some employers ask for an objective, which is a mini-personal statement on what you wish to accomplish. Now that you have a template in mind, it’s time to put your résumé together.
Your résumé will first begin with your contact information. How is someone supposed to contact you if you do not include it? This should include your name, mailing address, phone number, and e-mail address. As simple as it seems, things such as writing your phone number like 999.999.999 instead of writing it as (999) 999-9999 truly make a difference. Whether you want to center your contact information or put it to the left, make sure that everything is aligned and neatly organized. Organization is key!
Next is the education section.This section normally follows your contact information. You will include what school you are attending or are going to attend — some templates include a GPA section. However, if an employer or judge informs you that your résumé has to have an objective section, that would go on top of your education.
Your experience should be next. This section can be tricky if you have no work experience. Then this section would be dedicated your leadership roles and what you do within them or volunteer experience. There should be at least 3 bullets per example detailing what you did.
If you do have work experience, then list it here. The easiest way to do this is by listing your most recent position first. Then, if you have leadership experience that would go in a following section titled “Leadership” or “Affiliations.”
Next, you should consider adding your skills. Listing your skills is the easiest way for employers or scholarship judges to pinpoint the things you’re good at. If you have any awards, that can also be listed in a section below your skills. Watch what you list in these to sections though. It might be fine to list social media as a skill if you’re applying for something having to with communications. If you’re applying for nursing school, social media might not be such a relevant skill.
Your résumé, two at the most, but three is excessive. Some templates include courses or interests that are relevant to the position you are applying to. Things such as courses or interests really depend on whether you have room on your résumé. They are not things that are urgent, but do not harm your résumé if they are mentioned.
Something that will harm your résumé is its look. Keep everything consistent. This means that if you decided to use Times New Roman, size 16 font for your headings, all headings need to look the same. Adding a splash of color may boost the look, but going overboard or using irrelevant graphics may make your résumé look unprofessional. Stay organized and kept it neat.
According to incoming UT freshman Gabriella Uriega, “making a résumé while your still in high school is tough.” But creating a résumé at any point of your life should not be hard. Be consistent, precise, short, and honest. Your résumé will allow you to achieve your dreams. Don’t be scared of it! Make it work in your favor instead.