I’ve been working with a few soon to be college graduates. Panic is setting in because the hectic senior year activities are starting and they don’t have a resume or a clue about how to write one.
The internet is full of advice on writing a resume but I’ve found that most of the information is dated. Dare I say that the advice offered by some college placement offices is also behind the times.
Here are a few of the more common errors:
- A College Email Address
- Using an Objective
- Writing the Resume like a Job Description
- One Skimpy Page
1. College Email Address
I suggest that students get a professional Gmail address and use that exclusively for their career search. It keeps all the job search correspondence separate from any college and personal communications.
2. Summary Statement vs. Objective
Dump the objective and use a summary statement that clearly defines your strengths and attributes. A summary statement will tell the reader what you can do for them.
3. Job Description vs. Summary of Qualifications
It’s not just college students that do this; everyone does. Everyone has accomplishments; the key is figuring them out. Ask yourself what the results of your actions were. Think in terms of numbers and consequences. Here is an example of the wrong and right way to write an accomplishment:
- President of (name of) Fraternity.
- As president of (name of) Fraternity, raised over $5000 in charitable contributions for national and local causes.
Make sure to include the results of internships, jobs and even college projects. Think in terms of numbers and results. What made you proud? Why? Here is another example of the right and wrong way to write an accomplishment
- Conducted surveys.
- Surveyed 40 college age cell phone users for phone usage patterns and feature preference for Verizon Wireless. Tasks included researching, survey development, writing and presentation skills.
4. One Page vs. Two Pages
No one should feel boxed in by resume requirements that someone decided was proper twenty years ago. Once you add measurable accomplishments to your resume it naturally will expand. If, however, you find that after adding your accomplishments your resume is still one page, keep it that way.
There are other tips including keeping all social and voice mail PG-rated, joining LinkedIn, making sure all hyperlinks connect, using proper grammar, proof reading your resume and understanding proper resume layout and font styles. There are a number of articles created just for college graduates on the internet.