The resume is the most important document you will ever use when applying for a new job or internship. You might be feeling a little concerned at this point that you don’t have enough supplementary material for your resume that will help you stand out from the crowd. Whether you are freshman just starting college or a senior looking for a job, it is never too early to start compiling your resume.
Here are some tips on what you can do to add some more content to your resume:
Join an extra-curricular group or activity
Depending on your major, there may be a lot of extra-curricular organizations that you can become involved in. For example, in UMD’s business school there are a number of groups such as accounting club, marketing club, management club, etc. that you could join. You could also look through your school’s home page and find the student organizations directory to find out what other groups are available on campus that you could join and be a part of to bolster that ‘related experience’ section. Become active and engage in activities and projects. The more you do outside of your normal classwork, the better it will look when you apply for a job in that field.
Document awards and scholarships
Chances are at some point in college you will at least consider applying for a scholarship. One of my college advisors once told me that you should apply for every scholarship that you can. It is a time consuming process, but of the scholarships that you receive, they are technically awards signifying some kind of academic or professional achievement. This means you can include it in an awards/honors section on your resume. Think how impressive it would look to have a bunch of academic scholarships under your belt. Also, leadership and service awards count too for all of you out there who like to volunteer in the community.
Include your customized LinkedIn URL in your contact information
After establishing a well maintained, professional LinkedIn account and customizing your URL, it is a good idea to include that at the top of your resume. You can think of your LinkedIn profile as an extension of your resume. Employers do actually look at your profile, especially after you start networking with professionals in the field. Often times, your page might be referred to another in the industry to take a peak at your profile before ever even receiving a resume. How neat is that?
Be thorough with your descriptive bullet points
More often than not, I get students who come in for help with their resumes that just don’t have enough description in their bullet points about their work or related experience. The most common advice I give to students is how they can improve their work descriptions. Odds are that if you have ten bullet points with only 5-6 words each, you are being too vague. Take some time to really think about what your responsibilities were on the job and write out a full, complete sentence describing exactly what each responsibility entailed.
After taking these four suggestions into account, you should have plenty of material for your resume. Make sure to be descriptive, be involved, and always update your resume. It helps to keep a master copy that you can keep everything on and then pull from that to use in a more specific resume for a specific job.
To have your resume reviewed, stop by Career & Internship Services (SCC 22) to talk with a Peer Educator, Monday-Friday, 8am-4:30pm. We also host resume drop-ins on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 2-4pm in our office.