This blog post was written by Bianca Elizabeth Ortega, our Campus Ambassador from Belmont University. Bianca is majoring in Music Business and Marketing.
When preparing your résumé to apply for jobs and internships, there are several essential steps you need to take before you should even consider your résumé ready to send out to potential employers. There is always room for additional enhancement and creative flair (depending on the industry you are hoping to work in), but the following guidelines should be fulfilled regardless.
Include a Permanent, Professional E-Mail Address
As a college student, you’re likely to have been issued a university e-mail address for use through your college’s intranet. While these e-mail addresses are typically full-function e-mail addresses, many universities deactivate these e-mail addresses shortly after your graduation. Therefore, it’s possible that potential employers may not be able to contact you later on if you’ve only included your university e-mail address on your résumé. It’s important that you create a separate, permanent e-mail address with a professional username, so that your e-mail address will continue to be a means of contact past your college years. Don’t use an old e-mail address with the immature and unprofessional username you came up with in middle school.
Always Keep Your Mailing Address Up To Date
While in college, it’s not likely that you’ll have the same mailing address for too long, so always update your mailing address every time you move to a new dorm, apartment, etc. When you go home for the summer, make sure to update your address as well.
Use Action Verbs and Proper Verb Tense When Describing Your Job Positions
When writing descriptions for each of your current and past job positions, utilize action verbs to create meaningful statements that demonstrate your involvement and tasks. Boston College has a great list of action verbs available on their website, and you can view those HERE. In addition to using powerful action verbs, it’s also important to change the tense of the verb to past tense for previously held positions and present tense for your current positions. It doesn’t make sense to describe a past position like you are currently holding it, and the same goes for present positions.
Keep Your Resume Short and Sweet
Your resume should be 1-2 pages long, so be sure to keep all of your information concise. Use a font ranging from 10-14 pt. and utilize clean formatting that makes it easy for the employer to read. For each job description, you should have about three bullet points, each with a powerful sentence describing your job position. I typically have 3-4 jobs listed on my resume, followed by my activities and honors. You should always include an objective that should be tailored for each job you’re applying for, and if you’ve held a variety of positions, you can choose and change the positions listed on your r résumé, depending on the job you’re applying for.
Save Your Résumé as a PDF File
When you’re ready to save your résumé and send it off to potential employers, it’s essential that you save your résumé as a PDF file. Unless the employer requests a different file format, you should always send a PDF, because it will maintain all of the formatting and design features of your résumé. Nothing is worse than a potential employer opening up a résumé to find a jumble of text with no formatted layout or spacing. Steer clear of the option on applications to paste your résumé into text boxes, because the formatting will not be maintained. Always utilize the option of uploading an actual résumé file.
There are many additional ways to enhance and personalize your résumé, but these are five great ways to make sure your résumé is up to industry standards and is presentable for employers.