Writing a Stellar Resume

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August 4th, 2010

You may have spent the past four years getting great grades and standing out from your classmates but if you can’t convey your confidence and success in a resume, you’re not going to get the job. As unfair as it may be, a resume is usually the first impression an employer will have of you. As such, you should make yours as good as it possibly can be so that you’ll stand out from the crowd and have a better chance of landing that great new job after graduation. While there is no surefire formula for writing a great resume, there are some pretty essential basics that every resume needs to look its best.

As a student, your work experience is likely fairly limited. You may have worked after school in high school or college and over the summer at internships but might lack any real, full-time job experience. You’ll need to play up what experience you do have, both as a student and as an employee. Make sure to list any experience you have that might be relevant to the field you’re entering, whether it’s in the workplace or in extracurricular or volunteer work. Scholarships, honors and awards should also take a prominent place. Remember, your resume is your chance to sell yourself, so do it well.

Once you know what you want to put in your resume, you’ll need to choose a good, solid layout. Choosing a classic tried and true resume style really isn’t ever a bad choice. Of course, if you’re going into a more creative field, you may want to spice things up a little bit. Regardless of which way you decide to go, make sure your information is well-organized, concise, and easy to understand. You could have the best looking resume in the world but if the content sucks, the job isn’t going to you.

One of the most important and often overlooked essentials of writing a resume? Get someone else to look at it. Having help editing and making sure you’ve gotten out all the typos is essential. You might think you’re stating something clearly but a friend’s viewpoint can show you that you might need to rephrase or reorganize. Your first draft or your resume should never, ever be your only draft.

Finally, pay attention to the details– they matter even if you don’t think that they do. Even something as simple as a heavier weight paper can make your resume look more professional and polished. And in a highly competitive job market, every little advantage counts.

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