7 Tips for Creating a Rockstar Resume
Students send over their resumes so I can take a look and provide feedback almost daily. I don't always have time to do this for everyone, but I love to look over them when I can. I wanted to share some advice I gave a student recently about her resume. She was applying for a big internship in a city where she didn’t go to school. Review these tips and make sure you apply them to your own resume. For more resume tips and examples, check out my internship book All Work, No Pay and our latest blog post about revamping your resume!
- Be Clear About Location. I shouldn’t be confused about where you live and when you want to do the internship. If your resume says you live in Arizona and the internships is in Atlanta, I’m already confused. Make sure you clearly indicate where you currently go to school and live, and how you are going to be in your internship destination. This can often be communicated in your cover letter.int
- Your Address Should Be On Resume. If I look at your resume and only see an email and a phone number it looks like information is missing. That's because it is – your address!
- Watch Out For Too Many Company Names. If you interned for a company but also did work with their parent company, you want to make sure that is clear in the job description on your resume. If you include too many company names you might confuse the employer. Don’t assume that people know your company as well as you do.
- Clarify Internship Experience vs. Other Experiences. If you have a ton of work experience on your resume and one or two internships, that's great! Just make sure to create a separate section for “Previous Internship Experience” and “Previous Work Experience” to differentiate between the two.
- Only Include GPA If It’s High. The rule of thumb is that any GPA above 3.7 should be included on your resume. If it's below that, you don't need it.
- Tailor Your Resume. If you are applying to work at a specific company, I want to really understand that when I’m reading over your previous experience. Every item on your resume should support the main idea – that you are the perfect candidate for the company you are applying for. Make sure your work experience isn’t too “all over the place.” Everything should be tailored for the position you are applying for. Print out a copy of the company job/internship description and make sure everything on your resume makes sense for that type of position.
- Don’t Lose Sight of Being an Actual College Student. If you are going after an internship, most companies want to hire college students who are leaders on their campus, are involved, and have previous internship experience. If your resume has too much work experience and your education information and leadership roles on-campus are pushed too far down on the resume, the employer loses sight of you being an actual student. Student buzzwords are “internship,” “leadership,” “Campus Club,” “School,” - if those words are hardly on your resume, the employer might automatically puts you into another “box” in their mind.