In my last post, I shared several tips and tricks to help you with the formatting of your resume. Today, I’ll be sharing tips and tricks related to the content of your resume.
Section Titles & Objective In my other blog post, FAQ’s: Resumes, I briefly mentioned how you can separate experiences. Experience doesn’t just have to be from work or volunteer, it can be anything such as student organizations, leadership positions, and more. If your activity experiences are more relevant than work and volunteer experiences, put more emphasis on those instead! Section titles can be anything from: related, sales, leadership, writing, general, additional, and more! Your resume is yours, so customize it to work in your favor.
Related Verbiage Go read my previous blog post where I went in depth with this tip to help you all understand and see how this is done!
Academics If you went through and added all relevant experiences but still don’t have enough to showcase your interest and skills in that objective/field, think about the work you have done for school. This can be upper division courses, projects, and research papers. Remember, resumes aren’t just about work (although it is important), it’s about you! Don’t leave things out because you weren’t paid for them.
Hopefully through all these tips and tricks you were able to learn more on how to refine and customize your resume to your liking as well as the employers. Feel free to stop in (SCC 22) to chat with the peer educators or pro staff about any of this or other related questions. Good luck!
As a Peer Educator, I see many different types of resume styles written by all kinds of students with various majors. In my short time in the office so far, I’ve learned some tips and tricks while training and also working with others that apply to many students. Today, I’m starting with a few simple formatting changes that will help give your resume a clean and professional look!
COMBINE DESCRIPTIONS There are many job description lines I’ve seen that could be combined. Here is an example:
Original Example: Sales Associate, Walgreens, Duluth, MN October 2018 – January 2019 • Picked up phone calls • Helped ring up customers • Walked on the floor to answer questions if asked
Updated Example: Sales Associate, Walgreens, Duluth, MN October 2018 – January 2019 • Assisted many customers through phone calls, checkout, and on floor assistance
As you can see, you saved up 2 lines already without having to delete anything! If you went through and combined more descriptions, you could have more space for other information that you feel is more relevant to the positions you’re applying to.
CONSISTENT AND SMALLER SPACING For this section, there are three things that should be at the top of your list to consider tweaking in order to save space: margins/bullet points, font size, and unrelated information. There isn’t much to explain for this besides actually showing you all how it’s done.
Margins/Bullet Points The top and bottom margins can be between 0.5” to 1.0” while the left and right should remain at 1.0” due to printing reasonings. That can be done through using the margins on Microsoft Word or the page setup on Google Doc.
Another thing related to the margins is the spacing between paragraphs. When using the spacing settings, always make sure to “Remove Spacing After Paragraphs.” If you don’t see that option, make sure the “Spacing After & Before Paragraphs” is set to “ZERO (0).”
Similar to the margins, the bullet point spacing allows you to save a bit of space without removing information. After you create your whole resume, you can use the “Ruler” to move it around. If you don’t have a ruler, here is how you could find it in Word:
In the above images, the little arrow marks can be moved around to what you want and change how the bullets will look. The top arrow moves just the bullet point, the bottom arrow moves just the text, and the rectangle under the bottom arrow moves the text and bullet point together. You won’t see a dramatic change but it could help you save a few lines if a word rolls over and takes up its own line.
Font Size This is something very simple! Your name can be from 12-14 pt font and you can have the rest of your resume be anywhere from 10-12 pt font so always double check it!
Unrelated Information Unrelated information can be anywhere from old high school information to skills. You might think, “Aren’t those all relevant?” In a sense, yes, but only to a certain extent.
If you are a junior or higher, remove high school information and add in more recent and relevant activities.
Soft skills (ex: Positivity, leadership, adaptability, etc) could be shown through your job description lines and doesn’t need its own section.
Using the Whole Page “Using the whole page” is another way of balancing your content throughout the whole space: top to bottom, left to the center to the right. It’s not necessarily a bad way of formatting, but if you want to save space, example two would be your go-to. Here are examples of the same content that uses the space differently:
These two examples have the same content, nothing is changed at all besides the way it is formatted. Look at how much space you could save!
Stay tuned for more resume tips and tricks related to content!
As a freshman in college, building a resume that would be acceptable in the professional world can be a daunting task. Knowing what to include, what not to include, and even where to begin can be a struggle. You never know when you will have a job opportunity come up or when you might need a resume for a class assignment, so having one available is always a good option. Here are three tips for starting your resume as a freshman:
Start a document. This might sound obvious, but it truly is the first step in building a resume. We recommend just started with a blank document in Word or Google Docs. Creating a document and putting your personal information at the top is a great start. Information that is important to include is your name, email, and phone number. The rest of the sections of your resume, which typically include an objective, education, experience, and activities, can be difficult to navigate at first. To begin, it might be helpful to brainstorm. Think of all of the activities you are currently involved in, whether it be school, clubs, sports teams, jobs, etc. Make a list of all of these things and then when you feel your list is complete, separate them into the sections of your resume. Information on how to format these sections as well as what other information to include can be found in our Career Handbook.
Don’t Forget About High School A common misconception is that once you get to college, all of your high school achievements are irrelevant. When you begin your college career at UMD, you will not have had many opportunities to join clubs or get work experience to put on your resume. This is why including activities you were involved in previously is acceptable. Achievements like being salutatorian, valedictorian, student body president, or involved in clubs and organizations should especially be included. Some even list their high school in the Education section, which is a great idea when you have just started college and don’t yet have a GPA from UMD. Courses you have taken in high school can be included as well, especially College in the Schools (CIS), Post Secondary Enrollment Options (PSEO), and Advanced Placement (AP) courses. Jobs you had while you were in high school can be included as well, especially if they are relevant to your objective.
Build and Update Once you have a resume created, you are not done. As you continue your years here at UMD, you will likely gain experiences that can be added to your resume. Updating your education after you have a GPA from UMD, for example, is one way to update your resume. Getting involved in organizations, clubs, sports, and jobs are other great ways to build your resume. Even courses you take can be included. Once you begin to explore more of these areas, add them to your resume. Remember, though, to remove information from your high school years as it becomes irrelevant (usually during sophomore year of college). If you are unsure how to get involved or need some guidance in building your resume, stop by Career & Internship Services (SCC 22) and a Peer Educator or Career Counselor can help you.
Resumes can be intimidating at first, but once you start working, it’s not so bad. If you need any help at all, check out our website, our Career Handbook, or stop by Solon Campus Center 22. We have students who will review your resume anytime and can also have professional staff review it. You do not need to have a resume completed to come in, either. At any point in the resume process, feel free to come in if you are seeking assistance.
Marketing is for everyone. Yes, you read that right. It does not matter whether you are a civil engineering student, or in the early childhood education program, it is important to recognize what you bring to the table when applying for jobs and internships. So often the idea of “selling/marketing yourself” comes with a negative, inauthentic connotation. I’m here today to bust that myth.
WHAT DOES MARKETING YOURSELF MEAN? Marketing yourself is the idea of identifying your niche. As a college student, it is vital to identify why employers should want you over another applicant. Marketing yourself means identifying your interests. For example, if you are interested in the outdoors, perhaps this could lead to sustainability. It also means looking at what skills you have and which you can improve upon. You might consider making a list of skills and how you can apply them to the workplace. Some example skills would include: public speaking, time management, organization, or teamwork.
CREATING A PERSONAL BRAND Creating a personal brand means understanding your strengths, values and most importantly, what you uniquely bring to the table that other candidates may not have. For example, if you are a political science major with interests in sustainability and values of inclusiveness and empathy, you can find ways to build these into your brand. The Career and Internship Services Office offers three different assessments that can help in finding your strengths and personality, as well as interests. Once you have the content for your personal brand, put it to life in your LinkedIn profile, Resume, Cover Letter, social media platforms and your life as a whole. If you live out your values and what makes you unique, it will shine through in your job search process.
MARKETING YOURSELF ON YOUR RESUME When crafting a resume it is important to realize your paid work experience is not the only relevant experience to highlight. Club positions and volunteer work can show ample amounts about who you are as a person. Consider putting your most relevant information, regardless of if it is paid work experience, at the top of your resume. Here is an example of a volunteer position resume section:
Tour Guide, Office of Admissions, UMD, Duluth, MN, Aug 2018 – Jan 2019
Promoted the benefits of campus to parents and students
Attended diversity training and display awareness during interactions with prospective students
Developed public speaking skills by speaking in front of groups ranging from 6 to 20 guests
This resume section, although unpaid, shows a passion for public speaking and an interest in promoting diversity.
MARKETING YOURSELF ON A COVER LETTER Crafting a cover letter is also a prime opportunity to market yourself. Take this opportunity to go above and beyond and showcase your personality. Try to find out the name of the person at the company that the letter should be addressed to. Describe your potential value to the employer. Do this in such a way that focuses on what sets you apart from other applicants. Maybe you were President of a college club that relates directly to the type of work you would be doing, or maybe growing up you always had a passion for the company you are applying at. These seemingly small concepts can help you go from an average job candidate to securing an interview.
MARKETING YOURSELF ON LINKEDIN The first step to marketing yourself on LinkedIn is to make sure that your profile is fully completed. That means the summary, education, experience, profile photo, and all other areas are polished. After this is complete, go on to engage. Share and like posts that are a good representation of yourself. Always post online like the CEO of your company is going to see the post.
My freshman year is coming to an end and it’s unbelievable. When I was younger my older family members would tell me to cherish the time I had while I was young (not that I’m old now) because it was going to fly by. Like the sassy seventh grader I was I’d reply, “If it’s going to go so fast, why am I still in seventh grade?” Now, I’m writing a blog post for my college job and after this am going back to my dorm to take a nap (it’s five in the evening currently).
Coming to UMD was and has been one of the biggest decisions I’ve ever made on my own. I am the fourth of six children but am the first to have moved out and away from home for college. The decision wasn’t easy, telling my parents wasn’t easy, and having all this pressure on me wasn’t easy either. I want to create this new path my two younger siblings could walk on too, and going to a big university rather than community college first and do well, nonetheless survive, is just that. College can be a rollercoaster with its highs and lows, and all I can truly give you are some pieces of advice for your first-year or for the rest of your years in college to come.
Have a core friend group I’ve met various people who wished they came to UMD knowing some people and others who were ecstatic to get a chance at a new beginning (not knowing anyone). Despite one’s preferences, making new friends or having old ones, it’s important to have close friends who you can lean on, confide in, and to establish Duluth as a new home with. I found it was heartwarming to have friends by my side I could trust and spend most of my time with.
Don’t be afraid to socialize Whether you consider yourself an introvert or extravert, ultimately everyone else in college is hoping to make new and more friends. My first semester I closed myself off to being as open as my extravert-self could truly be and lost a lot of great opportunities to network. Realizing my faults, I’m now a Tour Guide at UMD and will be a T.A. for UMD Seminar next fall. It’s a good feeling to walk down a hall and wave to someone you know. Kirby Program Board is always hosting events on campus from movies in Bohannon 90 to the Grocery Grab Bingo, get out and be open to meeting new people!
This is your dream too One of the things I often find myself and many other first-generation college students battling with is this idea that they’re only at college to succeed and make their parents proud. While that could be a reason to push yourself further, it’s important to remind yourself that achieving a higher education is also for yourself. We are all currently working towards a future we are going to live ourselves.
The tips listed are just a few I found helped me make the best of my first-year at UMD. While my advice has been based on my own experience and everyone’s first-year is different, I do hope you take into consideration the tips I’ve given.
If you ask a career counselor how to pick the right major, internship, or career path you will likely be directed to assessments. These are quizzes that help you determine your strengths, values, and interests. Career & Internship Services offers online reading about how to seek your fit. But what does it look like once you have found your fit?
Looks Like Signs that you have found your fit include that you…
lose track of time being absorbed in a project for the class in your major or task at work.
experience positive or productive dreams about working on that project or related to your classes or work.
follow news and social media about the field you study or work in.
feel engaged in your classes or work.
imagine yourself in possible roles in your future career.
Doesn’t Look Like Signs that you have not found your fit include that you…
challenged with starting homework or tasks in your field.
going to work or classes.
consider working on a project or participate in an activity in your field
during your free time.
tasks you complete for class or work to be unfulfilling.
thinking about the field you study or work in.
Finding your fit doesn’t mean you love everything about your classes, work, and field all the time.
The potential of the fulfillment your field offers may not be apparent until taking higher level courses, after settling into work, or following further research.
Changing your trajectory does not make you a failure! It highlights flexibility and honesty with yourself.
If you ever need help
finding your fit, stop by 22 Solon Campus Center and schedule an appointment
with a career counselor.
Now is the time of year when we all start quietly (or not so quietly) start panicking. Projects and papers are becoming due, final exams are on the horizon, and all the stress is starting to pile on. You know there’s something else you’re forgetting, but you’re not exactly sure what it is… Oh yeah, you still need to get a job/internship lined up! Just what you need, even more stress! Hopefully, these tips on improving your resume will make the job hunting process to a little more smoothly.
What is a resume? A resume is a document stating your qualifications for a certain position. If your application is a request for employment, then your resume is a crucial part of your support for why you should be employed. You want the resume to be comprehensive, but concise.
Each iteration of your resume should reflect the exact purpose that it is for, whether it be for a job fair or an application. It can be a quick statement of the purpose of the resume (ex. A full-time position at [Organization] as a(n) [position title]).
Name of school, where is it, degree name, year of graduation, major, minor, and GPA if greater than 3.0/4.0.
Once you have entered your junior year of undergrad, you will want to remove your high school information from your resume.
Education-related sections you can also include: Relevant Coursework, Honors, Research.
Like the education section, everything should be listed in reverse chronological order.
Include experiences that are relevant to the purpose.
The less applicable they are to the purpose, the more likely they should be removed or only take a minimal amount of space on the resume.
Volunteering experience is just as valuable as paid and academic experience. It matters what you did, not if you got paid for it or not.
Categorize your experience based on the purpose (Computer Science Experience, Engineering Experience, Healthcare Experience, etc.).
Each position should include 3-5 bullet points detailing what you did in that position.
Each bullet point should talk about a single aspect of your position.
Each bullet point should demonstrate how you already have the skills and qualities necessary for what you are seeking.
Each bullet point should start with an active verb.
You do not need to include a statement saying that you have references available upon request.
Clubs and activities are nice if they are relevant or you need to fill the page.
1” margins on the side; 0.5-1” margins on the top and bottom
10-12 point font; name should be about 2 points larger than the rest of the text.
Section headings can be bold and all-caps.
No lines. They can be confused as page breaks by some scanners and tracking systems. Use lines of white space instead to separate sections.
Stay away from templates. Adjusting the formatting can be troublesome in the long run. Plus, if we can spot a template from a mile away, imagine how easy it is for an employer.
Sections should flow from most important to least important.
The objective is always first, and education almost always follows.
Schools should be listed in reverse chronological order, with the school you currently attend or have most recently graduated from being first.
Name of degree, major, minor, and GPA all in bold.
Like the education section, everything should be listed in reverse chronological order.
Name of position, organization/company, location, timespan you were there.
Still need help? If you still need clarification on anything related to your resume, please do not hesitate to reach out for help. Career & Internship Services is located in the Wedge (SCC 22) and is open 8:00-4:30 Monday through Friday. During those hours, there is always at least one Peer Educator, such as myself, who would be more than happy to answer your questions.