Resume Writing Tips

Tips for Resume Writing: Work-Bound Students

  • Shorter is better. Most potential employers have little time to read each application. Therefore, when creating your resume you should think about including only the most important information. Condensing this information into one or two pages is acceptable (though two pages are not recommended unless you have a long work history).
  • Stand out in the crowd. When formatting your resume, ask yourself, “If I were looking at fifty applications, what could I do to make mine stand out and look professional?” If your resume looks drab, spruce it up with sections and eye-catching formatting (see some of the resume templates). Be sure to create a resume that has a logical flow and provides a format that is easy to read.
  • Target your audience. Tailor your objective to a specific job experience. Be sure that you specifically mention the job title or field of work as your objective. The more specific your goals, the easier it will be to choose the most salient information to include in your resume.
  • Keep it professional. When writing your resume, it is important that you do not include information like your age, birth date, race, religion, or other demographic information. It is also not advisable to include a photo unless you are applying for a performing arts job opening. Also remember to use standard English- avoid slang terms or jargon when creating your resume (AIM or text messaging abbreviations are not acceptable here).
    Do include:

    • Name, address, phone numbers, and e-mail address
    • The objective of your resume (specific job title of field)
    • Education information (High School, CAPP Courses credits, and CV-Tech training).
    • Work/Volunteer/Internship experiences
    • References (Choose three good references that can attest to your character, work abilities, and personality. Be sure to contact each reference for permission prior to placing them on your resume).
    • Professional Skills (languages, computer skills etc…)
  • Show them you are classy. Don’t print your resume on plain old computer paper, buy some heavier, more quality paper that is white, ivory, or crème colored. Avoid using bold colors, fonts, or graphics on your resume. Simple but classy is the rule of thumb.
  • Focus on formatting: Formatting so that your resume catches your employers/college admission counselor’s eye is important, but be careful not to over-do. Here are some general formatting guidelines:
    • Keep your formatting consistent to maintain flow. If you use bold font for each subheading- make sure you do it for every subheading.
    • Use bullets to discuss job/volunteer/internship responsibilities- this helps condense information and provides a cleaner look to your resume. This makes it seem easier to read.
    • Use action words to describe job responsibilities (see attached list of action verbs).
    • Use 8 ½ x 11 pages with a 1 inch margin.
    • Avoid fonts that are bold or difficult to read, use Times New Roman or Arial fonts at 10 or 12 font. Do not mix and match fonts on your resume.
    • Prioritize your information- you can do this by putting the most important information more towards the top of the page in each section.
    • When formatting you can use bold face, small caps, and even different sized fonts to create sections to your resume or make it more interesting, but use these types of formatting options sparingly.
    • Be sure to keep explanation and descriptions clean, concise, and consistent in verb tenses.
  • Proofread like you have never proofread before!!: Read, re-read, and have your friend and family read the resume until you are convinced it is mistake free. Counselors and English teachers are also good proofreaders for your resume.
  • Resumes are not like cookie cutters: It is important to remember that not everyone’s resume will look exactly the same. People have different methods of creating and formatting a resume. Just make sure that you include all the pertinent information, tailor the information to your audience, and prioritize your information so that the most important information stands out. For more information on resume building you can refer to the following websites:
    (Please note that the links will open in new tabs.)

References:
Developing Your Resume. Retrieved September 21, 2008, from Adventures in Education Web site: http://www.aie.org/HighSchool/Jobs/Resumes/index.cfm

High School Student Resume Example. Retrieved September 21, 2008, from Professional Resume Examples Web site: http://www.professional-resume-example.com/high-school-student-resume-example.html

Student Resume Examples. Retrieved September 21, 2008, from Resume Resource Web site: http://www.resume-resource.com/examples-student.html

Resume Writing 101. Retrieved September 21, 2008, from Collegeboard Web site: http://www.collegeboard.com/student/plan/high-school/36957.html

Writing a High School Resume. Retrieved September 21, 2008, from Sample Resumes Web site: http://www.gii.in/resumes/writing-a-high-school-student-resume

St. Lawrence University Career Services and Leadership Education. (2007). Career Guidebook Series: Resume Writing [Informational Booklet]. Canton, NY: Career Development Center.

 

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