Friday, January 15, 2010

The Importance of Resume Writing

The resume.  Once you've began thinking about your career track, resume writing becomes extremely important.  But even before that, you should begin considering how to put together a clean list of your experience and talent that will make you unique in any selection process.

  • Start by brainstorming anything you feel may be important in conveying your "personality" - described through previous work and volunteer experience, as well as education attained and awards/honors received.  Also begin to piece together important dates of employment, GPA information, addresses, etc. 

  • Once you've created a sizeable list, select a design that highlights your strengths and begin to format your information in a clear and organized way.  Avoid too many different fonts or font sizes, and stay away from bright or distracting colors in an attempt to "stand out".  Instead you should use bolding to make your strengths and achievements attractive to the reader.

  • Finally, compose a list of references.  Contact information and titles need to accompany the names, and they need to be reliable.  DO NOT include family or friends.  Your focus should be on selecting individuals who can attest to your work ethic, reliability, etc., and have seen these qualities in action.  Even though Uncle Joe and your roommate may speak very highly of you, they won't look extremely credible through the eyes of an employer.  Once you've picked a few, make sure you ask/inform them that you've chosen them as references, and give them a copy of your resume.

Obviously, there is a lot to consider when composing a quality resume.  This is exactly the reason why it should never be an afterthought or a last minute task - it should require a great deal of time.  One tip is to continually update your resume with each new achievement or experience.  It's much easier to remember titles and dates immediately after rather than wasting time researching these things years down the road.  Also, EDIT, EDIT, EDIT.  Use friends, family, co-workers, supervisors, teachers, etc.  The more eyes the better.  Of course, you should make the ultimate decisions - but allow room for constructive criticism.

For more assistance on resume writing you can visit the links on the sidebar.  There are also resources available in my office in the CAVE.  If you need help creating or proofreading your resume, you can also drop by my office or email me a copy for review at  It's never to early to start a resume!

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