Finishing a Chapter of my Life & Writing the Next

By: Paying

Throughout my high school years, I was lost and scared for life afterwards. I was given the label “First Generation College Student” and felt like I couldn’t reach out for help because I was different from my peers whose parents and relatives were able to guide them throughout college preparation. I dreaded going to school because I felt like a disadvantaged follower; someone who couldn’t seem to catch up and be on the same level as everyone else. I felt embarrassed to voice that I had no clue what I wanted to do in life and soon, these insecurities along with doubts about myself led me to lose sight of who I was. 

The one place I felt I could express myself was in my English class, the one place I felt I could soar and excel. It was in that very class where I first heard of the program Upward Bound. A TRiO program that provides opportunities for high school students from low-income families; and high school students from families in which neither parent holds a bachelor’s degree. This is the help and guidance I’ve been looking for; I felt hopeful as if I can succeed. Finally

Young Asian woman sitting at table with resource materials.
Paying tabling for the office

I remember thinking there’s no other way for me to excel and be a first generation college student that my family could be proud of. Although I was scared to be assessed and interviewed, I gave 110% and prayed I would be accepted. When I heard back “no” from the program, I was devastated. What I felt like was my last chance at success was gone but for some reason, that hope remained; hoping for that little ray of light shining in a storm to guide me. Ironically enough, the rejection that gave me hope is what changed my life. A month later I was contacted if I would be interested in joining the program.

Throughout the rest of high school, I began to find my own voice and make decisions for myself. One of those decisions was made because of a summer day of 2015: the day I visited Duluth for the first time and toured the University of Minnesota Duluth. I remember walking down the local shops to the lakewalk and up to the lighthouse where I took a photo to remember this moment. I didn’t know it at the time, but in a way that lighthouse was the light I had been looking for. 

Young Asian women talking to a recruiter at a job fair
Paying talking to a recruiter

With an undecided major and no career plans, I moved into my dorm on the UMD campus in August 2016 and made a promise to myself: if I looked back on the years of my college life, I just wanted to say I had fun regardless of what else happens in life. I’ve had people question and doubt my decisions, people who wondered if my mindset would be my downfall. Through it all, I made sacrifices in order to for once in my life, do what I want for the future I dream of for myself. Four years later in April 2020, I’m proud to say I didn’t just have fun, but I had the adventure of a lifetime. 

I grew from being a timid, and careful human to a proud, carefree woman. I became someone who others could look up to for guidance and leadership through my newfound families: the Asian Pacific American Association and the Hmong Living in Unity and Balance organizations. I found new lifelong supporters in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion as well as the Career and Internship Services office. I found who I am and who I want to be with the help of Duluth and everyone who has been a part of the city. 

3 young women showcasing professional dress
Paying, Rachel, & Stephanie at Dress For Success 2020

This journey has not been easy by no means, but how can you truly experience success without fighting for it? Thank you to those who have mentored me, guided me, and allowed me a chance (& maybe even a second chance!). During this time of chaos in the world, Duluth remains my lighthouse and has guided me through the darkest and roughest part of my life and will remain to be my home. 

Thank you to everyone who came along this journey through my blog posts in finding myself and in hopes that it helped you also. Remember that no matter what happens and whatever others may say, choose for you. It may not be the right way or the best way, but it could be the way that works FOR YOU. Keep fighting for your successful future and I believe you have everything it takes to reach your dreams.

Until next time everyone!

There is nothing more beautiful than finding your course as you believe you bob aimlessly in the current. Wouldn’t you know that your path was there all along, waiting for you to knock, waiting for you to become. This path does not belong to your parents, your teachers, your leaders, or your lovers. Your path is your character defining itself more and more everyday like a photograph coming into focus.” —Jodie Foster

Read Paying’s other posts

Photo sources: UMD Career & Internship Services

Creating Comebacks Through Setbacks

By: Paying

One month ago, I wrote a blog post on how excited I was to complete my Career Planning Process. I was excited to use all I have learned in the past four years at my new summer internship that would start in June. Another opportunity I looked forward to was a Publishing Internship Fair that would have multiple employers seeking future interns for their programs which I wanted for the following fall and spring after my summer internship. Once Summer 2021 comes along, my goal was to apply for and get accepted into Penguin Random House’s Editorial Internship Position which would help segway into a career there. This was my plan after graduation in May 2020.

image: snowy mountain peak with blue sky above 
text: creating comebacks through setbacks

Two weeks ago, the Publishing Internship Fair was cancelled. I lost the chance to speak with the employers there who were seeking interns. I lost the opportunity to introduce myself and share my interest in their companies and my career goal of becoming an editor.

Three days ago, I received an email from my supervisor at the summer internship, it had been cancelled. Although the reasonings behind it were very understandable, I still felt discouraged and soon began to have doubts about my career plan with so many lost opportunities and chances at gaining experience.

‘What am I supposed to do now?’

‘I shared the news of my acceptance with everyone so how am I going to be able to say I’m no longer going to be an editorial intern?’

‘I don’t want to go back to square one, can I just give up?’

The uncertainty of my future worried me and I couldn’t gather my thoughts well enough to respond to the email I just received. 

‘Should I reply?’

‘What would I say?’

‘What could I say?’

I could still thank them for the opportunity. I could reply in a positive way because it must’ve been a tough decision. I could turn this setback into a comeback.

After a few hours having a meltdown, I came back to my senses and realized all the opportunities I lost were still in reach. I can still email the employers who were listed to attend the fair and ask about open positions/internships. I can still apply to various positions already posted online. I can still keep my connection with my summer internship employer and mention that I am still interested in future opportunities. 

After those realizations, I came to a conclusion that this year of delays could instead be a year of preparation and connecting, which may benefit my future in the long run.

After receiving a reply to my email, I felt like I had started my comeback already. During a tough time in one’s life along with everything going on in the world, it’s important to stick together and try to seek the good things in all the bad. 

When something doesn’t go your way and causes setbacks as well as doubts, it’s up to you to decide how you’re going to use that to create another version of your planned future. Will you let these obstacles affect your motivation and drive negatively or will you use this to move you forward in a new direction to the same goal? 

Robert Cheeke once said, “Sometimes small setbacks are just blessings in disguise. They enhance your determination and whole-hearted dedication to achieving your goals.”

Of Possible Interest:
Internships; Job Search – all our blog posts on the topics
Ace the Job Search; Turn Your Major Into a Career – our Pinterest boards filled with articles & resources

Read Paying’s other posts

Photo Source: Unsplash | Mads Schmidt Rassmussen

Weaving Together a Variety of Experiences

By: Paying

Coming into college in 2016, I knew I wanted to be involved but I didn’t know what exactly I wanted to do. If there was an organization or anything related to editing, I would’ve signed up right away. Throughout the next four years of college, I gained a lot of different experiences here at UMD: Secretary of Hmong Living in Unity and Balance, Peer Educator at Career and Internship Services, International Student Services Orientation Leader, Student Intern at the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, and an editor and reporter for The Bark. Outside of UMD, I also completed a summer internship as the Hmong Outreach Intern at The Arc Minnesota. 

With these six experiences that are very different from not only each other but also a career in editing, I struggled to put them all onto one resume and sell myself during an interview for an Editorial Assistant internship. Spoiler alert: I eventually succeeded and was offered the position.

Image: weaving loom with colorful yarn.
Text: weaving together a variety of experiences

In this blog post, I will be sharing my tips on how I weaved together my various experiences to benefit me in a field that didn’t directly relate.

My supervisors, and those I worked with, helped me to shape my experiences so I could have similar responsibilities to editing (editing resumes, editing translations, editing articles, etc). Having a talk with them one on one allowed me to still complete my usual tasks while also picking up extra things around the office.

Another very helpful tip I learned was to focus on the tasks and qualifications on the job posting. That way, you know what you should focus more on and which you can risk leaving out on your resume, either for an individual experience or the tasks you’ve had done. Since you only have a few bullet points you can use to describe what you’ve done, this tip will help filter out would be most valuable to the company and its mission. 

In order to know what to showcase, you need to know what you can showcase. 

Although it might be more work, having a master resume is one of the most helpful things you can do for yourself. On your master resume, you have every possible piece of information that could go on a resume: experiences, bullet point descriptions, projects/researches, skills, activities, etc. This way, when you know what the employer is looking for, you can search through your master resume for those that apply.

Not all employers will be the same and not all resumes will be the same. With these tips, hopefully you can start weaving together your own resume and find the puzzle pieces that fit to make it the best it can be for different employers and for you!

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

Read Paying’s other posts

Photo Source: Unsplash | Sergio Gonzalez

Completing my Career Planning Process, For Now!

By: Paying

If you all have been up to date with my blog posts, you would already know how I’ve applied the “Five-Step” Career Planning Process circle to my situation. If not, here’s a short summary!

  • Assess Yourself: Taking assessments to see where my strengths, interests, and personality fit best while also reflecting with Pro Staff in the Career office.
  • Explore Options: Mid-college crisis of double majoring and/or minoring while also seeking publishing opportunities and creating my network.
  • Develop Skills: Gaining and improving my professional and editing skills through my position as a Hmong Outreach Intern.
  • Market Yourself: I formatted and wrote both my resume and cover letter to not only benefit me, but also the company I’m interested in.
Career plan graphic - assess yourself, explore options, develop skills, market yourself, manage career

Now that I’ve made my way through four steps, that just leaves one more: managing my career. The last update I had was my experience with internships and how it benefited me in ways I didn’t think of; it helped me realize what my true passion is and what I do and do not prefer in a work environment. 

My past internship did not directly relate to my career plans however, it was still a field I was previously interested in. Going into my fourth and final year of college, I realized that before I could move forward, I had to step back a bit and focus more on developing the skills I need after college which is anything and everything related to the publishing field.

I had mentioned that I applied to become an editor for The Bark, UMD’s student run news organization, but didn’t receive the position. However, when fall semester started, I was recruited by the current student staff to not only be an editor but also to become a writer along with recruiting creative writing. In just a few months, I got my first experience as an editor and ended up writing five articles for the organization! Although that’s not much, it’s still a step forward in the right direction of managing my career.

Another way I have been managing my career was by frequently checking my GoldPASS powered by Handshake account and staying active. It paid off, because in November I received an email about a paid internship opportunity right for after graduation as an Editorial Assistant in downtown Minneapolis! Although it was half a year away, I wanted to get ahead of other applicants by applying right away. Luckily with the internship I had last summer, along with The Bark, I switched around experiences on my resume and cover letter to better reflect my qualifications for this new internship position.

Image: marker caps arranged in rainbow order
Text: I realized that marketing myself through my resume and cover letter wouldn’t get me this position but rather who I was as a person and my passion in the field.

Two weeks later, I was offered a phone interview and within another two weeks, I was offered an in-person interview. Here, I realized that marketing myself through my resume and cover letter wouldn’t get me this position but rather who I was as a person and my passion in the field. I went into the interview relaxed and friendly, sharing experiences I had already listed while also sharing experiences I had as a child which was able to answer the question. Two days after my 2nd interview, I had received an offer as the Editorial Assistant!

After so many years of confusion, doubt, and not knowing what my fate was, I could finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. From finding my strengths, to almost switching my whole academic plan, to dipping my toes in a different field, to finally managing my career as an editor. 

Stepping back and reflecting has been a huge part in my journey and I’m grateful that those who are reading have come along for the ride! This is the end of my Career Planning Process but I can already sense that it won’t stop there. As long as you put your mind to it and are willing to take time the time to get to where you want, you’ll make it!

Of Possible Interest:
Planning Your Career
Love Your Major
Career Planning – all our blog posts on the topic
Turn Your Major into a Career – our Pinterest boards filled with articles & resources

Read Paying’s other posts

Photo Sources: graphic (UMD C&IS); photo (Unsplash|Greg Rosenke)

Self-Guidance: The Key to Success

By: Paying

All our lives, we have been constantly guided either by our parents, teachers, and/or society. It seems as though a good ⅕ of our lives were following what others have told us to do. As little five-year-olds, we have already started to be shaped to become successful and live a future with purpose. The question now is: what does it mean to actually be “successful” and how do we achieve that? 

When I first started my education in a head start program until the end of my 8th grade year, school was just a part of life and you don’t question it. When high school hit, the struggle of not knowing my strengths and interests complicated the vision that had been engraved in my head: graduate high school, attend college, finish in four years, and spend the rest of my life loving my career. I didn’t want to drop out of high school and disappoint my parents, I didn’t want to take a gap year after high school to figure life out, and I didn’t want to go into college not knowing what I’m there for. 

To answer my questions, I sought guidance from my Upward Bound advisors who emphasized the advantages of college. They reassured me that it’s okay to not know everything and that it was completely normal to feel the way I did. We researched colleges that could offer me what I would be interested in and would enjoy attending. Soon after, I officially declared that I would become a Bulldog at UMD in 2016. 

Image: Colored pencils in cup
Text: Every path you can take has its pros and cons, which varies person to person. The key is to believe in yourself and put in the effort to achieve your success.

After two years of my college life, I knew I had made the right choice to come in unsure because soon I realized how passionate I was in English related courses and declared as an English major. However, I didn’t know where to start because no one around me had a similar path of becoming an editor and once again I was lost. 

The career counselors at Career and Internship Services, along with my alumni friends, guided me through it as they provided stories of their own or others who have been in the same spot and the different paths they’ve taken. Although I was afraid to share my struggles of uncertainty, it definitely cleared my head and made me more confident in my future decisions and to this day I continue striving with the same confidence.

As my last year of education is wrapping up, I realized that soon I won’t have education to keep me busy anymore. Now I have to go out into the “real world” and make my own decisions for my own life, which is a very scary, yet exciting, thought. Throughout my life, I had asked for guidance from my family, my peers, and my academic mentors but now I’ve come to realize that I have started to guide myself. From asking for internships even if there aren’t any listed and becoming the interviewer rather than the interviewee to learn more about the career and/or organization. I am finally guiding myself to live the life I will enjoy and want.

I may have chosen to go through college but that doesn’t mean it’s the only way to become successful. Some who never completed high school also reached success and same with those who decided college was not meant for them. A close friend of mine who I could not make it this far without once told me, “Success can’t be measured, it’s not an endpoint. It’s felt by both you and those affected around you.” Every path you can take has its pros and cons, which varies person to person. The key is to believe in yourself and put in the effort to achieve your success. 

Read Paying’s other posts

Photo Source: Unsplash | Crawford Jolly

Experience: The Easiest Thing to Gain…Sometimes

By: Paying

With graduation right around the corner in six months, I’ve continuously reflected on my time in college and all the changes that came along with it. What I’ve lost and what I’ve gained were common thoughts that ran across my mind. As a Peer Educator, one of our main pieces of advice we give to students is to gain experience and get those skills to showcase. While I sit here writing a resume and cover letter for job applications, I realized how many experiences and skills I’ve developed throughout the years, however, it was not as easy as it sounds. Along the way, I also experienced all sorts of losses. 

When I first started my college life, all I had time for was fun and games, and, of course, classes. I would rest in between classes because of how exhausting everything was. Looking back, I was not the best student. I would stay up late to have fun, skip class, and repeat. The only things I did that were beneficial were joining all sorts of organizations and intramural sports; some of the few activities that I began adding onto my resume. 

My second year soon came along, I picked up one more activity: secretary of an on-campus organization, Hmong Living in Unity and Balance. This was the year where I had to learn what prioritizing meant; I wasn’t able to do everything I wanted anymore because I had other obligations besides school. Instead of going out everyday to see friends, I spent countless hours in meetings to plan for events and provide UMD students a sense of a home away from home. Although I lost time to have fun and relax, I was able to gain one more experience to add onto my resume.

Image: colored pencils next to each other on white background
text: "It's all about realizing what you need for your future and what you can let go of to make that happen."

Going into my third year, I was offered a job at the Career and Internship Services office as a Peer Educator! Not only did I perform duties for my position, but I also assisted other supervisors in presentations. For one of the presentations, I was one of only three student speakers in an event filled with adults. Ten hours out of the week was spent strictly in the office during the breaks between classes which meant no more naps; something that was hard for me to get used to. With no naps, each day ended earlier for me as I stayed in to rest and sleep earlier rather than go out like I used to, but I knew that everything would be worth it.

Now in my senior year, I decided to pick up one more on-campus job which meant I could only work during the day for both and that led me to register for night classes. Not only did I pick up another job but I also became an editor and writer for The Bark! There would be days I would work seven hours straight and then go to a three hour class right after. Other nights were a bit less hectic but included two hours at the gym with plenty of hours to finish projects, not just for class, but work also. At one point, I overworked myself which led to me catching the flu and having occasional bloody noses. Through trial and error, I was able to balance my professional life from my personal life. 

There are so many opportunities laid out but it’s up to us to work for them. It will definitely not be easy and there are moments where you will want to give up, but nothing in life comes for free. As you go on day by day, you start to realize that it’s actually not that bad. It’s all about realizing what you need for your future and what you can let go of to make that happen. I remember four years ago, I struggled with finding enough experiences to add onto my resume. Now I struggle with choosing which experiences I should leave in and which to take out because I realized that developing skills happens everyday in everything you do. Experience can easily be found, but the work put into it will be tough. We can’t get to where we want to be right now, but we can make it happen.

Of Possible Interest:
Building Your Resume – all our blog posts on the topic
Boost Your Career in College – our Pinterest board filled with articles & resources

Read Paying’s other posts

Photo Source: Unsplash | Philip Veater

Applying For and Having an Internship

By: Paying

In my past blog posts, I’ve written about how I personally have been moving through the career planning process. First I assessed myself and then I went on to explore my options, which was almost a whole year ago! So much has happened since then and now. In this post, I’ll be talking about how I’ve actually been working on the next two steps of the process: developing my skills and marketing myself.

Text: Applying for and having an internship.
Image: white desk with a small potted plant, cell phone, notebook, and pen.

Unlike some other majors, an internship is not required for an English degree. Although it may be optional, I personally believe that many careers related to CLA put a big emphasis on experiences and skills which could be gained through internships.

Being a part of the College of Liberal Arts as an English major has helped me become more independent when it comes to internships and my career path–mainly because it’s difficult to find resources when you’re the only one in your social group that is going towards the editing field. Instead of asking around for internships, I started to look up multiple opportunities on my own that related to not just my career goal as an editor, but also to my interests. And what better place to start than GoldPASS?

Since I kept my profile up-to-date, some jobs were already recommended for me which is what I scrolled through to find anything that interested me. One of them was the Hmong Outreach Intern for The Arc Minnesota, a non-profit organization that promotes and protects the human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Although it wasn’t directly related to editing, I felt that it was something I could see myself going towards as a career path since I have been interested in working with the Hmong community and at one point had considered majoring in Special Education.

Many, if not all, internships require a resume and a cover letter along with the application. Both provide you with a chance to market yourself in different ways. On my resume I listed off my skills and some of the most relatable duties I’ve done. While in my cover letter, I was able to explain more of why I want the position and how I could benefit the company rather than repeating my skills. I soon received an interview offer where I further explained both in more detail. Always make sure to relate your skills and experiences back to the company’s duties and mission.

I eventually got offered the position and got to experience what a career in and out of the office would be like. I’ve always imagined that an internship would provide me that breakthrough into the full-time work force and answer all the questions I had because I’ve always heard of how amazing internships were. Although my supervisor helped cater the internship to assist me in my editing career, I felt closed off from the organization itself. 

Charts in Hmong and English
Project sample from Paying’s internship that she shared during her Instagram takeover during the summer.

There were so many working parts that created one well-working organization, however my roles did not coincide with theirs. Instead, I only interacted with other interns in my room or my supervisor for the whole internship. I never really had an answer for when others asked what I learned from the internship because I didn’t know what to say. However reflecting back on it, I realized how beneficial it actually was.

I was able to figure out for myself which types of work environments I enjoyed and didn’t. I also gained skills working with supervisors and what I can do to better the experience and help benefit everyone in the best possible way. I realized that not every experience and/or opportunity will be exactly as you hope, but that doesn’t mean you should just get it done and over with. Gain those skills you need, make those connections, and use everything to your advantage. 

Now that I have another experience under my belt, as well as more ways to market myself, I am slowly beginning manage my career plan. Remember, just because you have reached another obstacle or are going down a detour, don’t give up! This opportunity could be the eye opener you need to better plan your career and future.

Of Possible Interest:
Planning Your Career
• Did You Have an Internship You Didn’t Like? Part 1; Part 2
Career Planning – all our blog posts on the topic
• Confessions of a Former English Major Part 1; Part 2

Read Paying’s other posts

Photo source: Unsplash | Dose Media; @umdcareers Instagram

Phone Interviews: My First Impression

By: Paying

I have recently been applying for summer internships for the Twin Cities while I’m in Duluth and was contacted for an interview. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make a trip down for the times that were listed so they offered me a phone interview which I have NEVER done before. For this blog post, I will be sharing my first impression getting interviewed over the phone and some advice for those of you who may want help preparing for it!

Before the Phone Interview
Our office actually has a blog post of how to prepare for a phone interview so go check it out for more in depth advice! For me, I was told the interview would be about 30 minutes to an hour long so I decided to book a study room in the Library so I wouldn’t be interrupted. Make sure to find a private and quiet spot before your interview begins and double check that your phone is fully charged!

Besides that, I also did research beforehand and looked up information through our Pinterest board for simple tips and tricks of how to handle a phone interview compared to an in-person interview. If not being able to see your interviewer is an issue, don’t be afraid to request for a video call!

Image: black and silver table rotary phone
Text: Phone interview tips

During the Phone Interview
One thing I did not expect for my phone interview was for there to be multiple interviewers on speaker! The room echoed a bit and one of the voices was further away from the phone which caused it to not be as clear. It’s okay to ask for clarification on questions!

Since everything is done through the phone, be sure to pronounce your words clearly! Talk in a bold voice as if they were right in front of you. A good tip for this is to stand up and keep a smile on your face so you don’t sound slouched or mumbled.

Usually when I am told something or is asked a long question, I nod and say “Mhm” to show that I am being attentive and that I understand. However, it is quite different in a phone interview and threw both me and the interviewers off multiple times. Since I was on speaker, it sounded as if I was interrupting to ask a question so I had to adjust and not say anything until they were done speaking. Expect to adapt to the situation!

After the Phone Interview
As for any other interview, send a thank you email! Thank them for their time and address any other questions, comments, or concerns you or the interviewers may have had. After that, be prepared to be patient and wait for them to finish interviewing the others.

Now that you know what to expect for a phone interview, be prepared and be confident! Good luck!

Of Possible Interest:
Interviewing – all our blog posts on the topic
Interview Like a Pro – our Pinterest board filled with articles & resources

Read Paying’s other posts

Photo Source: Unsplash | Pawel Czerwinski

Resume Tips & Tricks, Part 2

By: Paying

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.

Image: white background with stack of notebooks and two pens stacked on right side.
Text: Resume tips and tricks

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!

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!

Of Possible Interest:
3 Tips for Creating Your Freshman Resume
Resume & Cover Letter – all our blog posts on the topic
Ace the Job Search – our Pinterest board filled with articles & resources

Read Paying’s other posts

Photo Source: Unsplash | Plush Design Studio

Resume Tips & Tricks, Part 1

By: Paying

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!

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.

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.

Examples from Google Doc and Microsoft Word to find margins

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).”

How to do custom line spacing in Google Doc.
How to do custom line spacing in Microsoft Word

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:

Where to find the ruler in Microsoft Word
Click “View” and click on “Ruler”
Screenshot of resume in Microsoft Word
Screenshot of resume in Microsoft 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:

Resume Example with most content centered
Resume example with most content starting on left side of page

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!

Of Possible Interest:
Resume & Cover Letter, Building Your Resume – all our blog posts on the topics
Ace the Job Search – our Pinterest board filled with articles & resources

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