FAQs: Resumes

By: Paying

As a peer educator, we ask many questions to help students brainstorm ideas and descriptions to add onto their resumes but we also get a lot of questions asked too. Here are a few of the most common questions along with some tips & tricks:

What’s an objective statement?
An objective statement helps the employer quickly understand what the resume is for. It’s a short statement that can be very simple. Here’s an example: “An internship in the Chemical Engineering field.” It gets to the point and clearly explains what you are looking for from them. The content on your resume should relate back to your objective.

Do I keep my high school information on there? What if it shows some of my involvement and skills?
If you are a Junior or older, high school information should be removed (unless highly relevant to the position). Try to focus on what you have done while in college as it is more recent and more relevant. If you have space then feel free to add the information you want from high school, but if you’re going over one page, it’s okay to take it out.

What can I add onto my resume?
Any type of experiences you would want to showcase: work, volunteer, travel, organizations, etc. Many believe your resume should only be work and volunteering but that is not the case at all. Yes, it is important to have those two experiences but to show what you do outside of ‘work’ allows employers to have a better understanding of you outside the workplace. If you’ve studied abroad it shows how you are willing to go and study another culture which portrays your communication skills with a different group of people in a new setting. You can add almost anything on your resume as long as you feel that it’s relevant and will help you stand out.

How do I fit everything on one page without deleting anything?
First, check the formatting: Is it single spaced? Can you make the font size smaller? Have you changed the margin sizes?

Next, check the content: Can you merge descriptions together? Are there repeating descriptions for multiple experiences? Do you have something that isn’t too relevant and would not harm your resume if it was taken off?

One thing we recommend is to have a master resume where you keep EVERYTHING. Every experience, every line you would want to write about an experience, and so on. You can pull your content from your master resume onto a “polished” resume that is actually used for a job fair or applying for positions.

How will I get a job in the ________ field if I haven’t had any experience related to it yet?
My #1 tip for this is to use the verbiage the field would use. What does that mean exactly? Well, here’s an example for someone looking for a full-time position in the medical field to help you better visualize it:

Original Version:
Kitchen Staff, Olive Garden, Duluth, MN
March 2018 – Present
• Cleaned floors and tables
• Trained to be safe and help others
• Prepped ingredients for chef

Updated Version:
Kitchen Staff, Olive Garden, Duluth, MN
March 2018 – Present
• Provided a clean, safe environment to ensure the health and safety of employees and customers by sanitizing equipment and checking food temperatures
• Practiced first-aid and emergency skills in case of an accident
• Learned food safety regulations in order to safely prepare ingredients

As you can see, the descriptions are the same but in the updated version it includes words that could be applied to the medical field even if the position does not relate as well.

Why can’t we have line breaks going across the page?
Many, not all, employers are using scanners to help sort and organize resumes electronically. If there is a line break it could be read as a page break, causing your resume to be separated. To be safe, we recommend not to have lines even if they may look nice. White space also acts as a “line” separating sections.

How do I separate my experiences and know what and what not to keep?
This is ultimately up to you! By having an objective section, you are able to have a “Related Experience” section as well as an “Additional Experience” section in case it may not relate but would show your skills. I’d recommend adding as much as you can and if you run out of space, slowly start removing the less relevant information.

There are still many questions that can’t be answered all in one blog post so if you still have remaining questions, stop by our office (SCC 22) anytime from 8 – 4:30PM, Mondays – Fridays. Our Career Handbook also has helpful directions, examples, and advice on how to write a resume. Stay tuned for my next blog post where I go more in-depth with the tips & tricks I mentioned here!

Of Possible Interest:
Resume & Cover Letter – all our blog posts on the topic
Internships; Ace the Job Search – our Pinterest boards filled with articles & resources

Read Paying’s other posts

Photo Source: Unsplash | Lukas Blazek

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