I couldn’t possibly write a blogpost about Cover Letters and not include one about Resumes. They really do go hand in hand. I’m sitting here (at the Coffee Bean) racking my brain and trying to put all of my Resume Tips into one post. If you have a resume, grab it. If you don’t have one - be prepared to put one together a great one using the tips below.
How To Create The Perfect Resume OR Makeover Your Current One !
- DIVIDE IT UP! Your resume should be divided into the following sections: Contact Information, Education, and Previous Experience. Everyone should start out with this basic structure. This is considered the “standard” resume formatting. Now, if you didn’t get the best grades in school and have great previous experience than put education at the bottom of your resume. If you don’t have much previous experience you will also include more specific information in your education section (I will explain below). If you don’t have much previous experience to list, you should add a section labeled “Skills”. If you have won any awards or are involved with any impressive clubs, associations, organizations, I suggest including a section “Awards/Leadership Postions” at the bottom.
- CONTACT. This section of your resume should always go at the top of your paper. You can put this information on the left, right, or center of your resume. Your contact information should include your first name, last name, and middle initial. Under your name list your current mailing address, cell phone number, and email address. If you move around lots, I suggest listing your parent’s permanent address.
Sample of Contact Information Section of Resume
Lauren E. Berger
5555 SingSong Lane
Any City, CA 55555
(555 555 555) firstname.lastname@example.org
- EDUCATION. You should list your college/university full name, location (city/state), and the dates you have attended. Underneath the college name you can write your major and your date of expected graduation (month/year). If you have attended multiple schools, you need to include information for each school.
Sample Education Section of Resume
University of Central Florida (Orlando, FL), August 2006 - Present
Major: Organizational Business Communications
Expected Graduation, May 2010
- PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE. This is your section to really show how you are great for the internship. When listing your previous experience on your resume you want to include: company name, company location (city/state), dates that you worked there (start date/end date), your position, and your responsibilities. Really break down your previous jobs and come up with a solid list of tasks that you executed in each job/internship. Even if your previous experience is not at relevant companies there are ways to make the experience count. When I landed my first internship, I had worked at Red Lobster and Limited Too - these had NOTHING to do with the PR/Advertising Internship I was applying for as a freshman in college.
Sample Previous Experience Item on Resume
Red Lobster (Clearwater, Fl) June 2004 - August 2005
Hostess. Customer greetings, customer relations, customer satisfaction, accounting, record keeping, administrative tasks, coordinating meetings.
- KEEP IT SIMPLE! To be safe, I suggest sticking with TNR (Times New Roman) with a size 12 font size for your resume. You don’ t want employers squinting to read your resume. Don’t use any distracting fonts and keep it black. Also, use a neutral colored paper for your resume. I suggest getting a thick cream-colored paper. Please, NO colored funky paper, NO crazy cool fonts, and NO pictures. Adding pictures is a great way to get your resume automatically disqualified. Many companies have discrimination rules in place and cannot look at your picture before you are called in for an interview. You want to be noticed based on your resume content and not by your looks.
- BE PROFESSIONAL. When you put together your resume you are stating that you want to be viewed as a professional. You are now starting your internship/career path. Take a look at your e-mail address and make sure it sounds and reads professionally. I suggest using the format email@example.com. I personally enjoy gmail and AOL but whichever server you like is fine. Make sure that you aren’t using your AIM screen name from five years ago (mine was firstname.lastname@example.org). Keep your email as professional as your resume.
- ONE PAGE. All resumes should be one page in length and nothing more. I had 15 internships in college. When I put all of these on my resume it was about 3-4 pages long. I suggest initially putting down all of your experience and then going back and cutting it down. My resume is now one page and lists about 3-4 internships. Include your most impressive and relevant experience. Employers,that are picky with resumes, can disqualify you for having a resume longer than one page.
- VOLUNTEER EXPERIENCE. If you have an impressive amount of volunteer work I do suggest adding it to the bottom of your resume and title the section “Volunteer Work”. Also, if you are applying for a non-profit of any kind or a company that you know values volunteer work, add it in !
- CONSISTENCY COUNTS! If you underline a category, make sure to underline all categories. If your positions are italicized, make sure they are italicized everywhere on the resume. It is important to keep your formatting consistent throughout your resume.
- REFERENCES. At the bottom of your resume I suggest including the following line: *References are available upon request.
- Still want help ? You can hire The Intern Queen to build or makeover your resume for you ! Email the Intern Queen at email@example.com for more information on resume, cover letter, and internship search services !
GET MORE RESUME ADVICE (From my friend’s on Twitter!)
“Content is king. Use std resume paper. Stand out by being smart, creative and eager to learn. Let others use gimmicks.” @Nooozeguy, Josh Fialkoff, Online Marketing Strategist.
“Resumes stand out when they are customized to the specific organization and the specific job. Don’t include anything that’s not relevant.” @Heatherhuhman, Heather Huhman, Internship and Job Columnist for Examiner.com.
“I like it when students use no paper. Resumes should be sent electronically. No waste of paper and no risk of losing it.” @Darren_Heitner, Dareen Heitner, Sports Agent, CEO, Entrepreneur.
“Use short bullets.” @ScottBradley, Scott Bradley, Entrepreneur and Social Media Specialist.
“Easy to read is most important for resumes.” @DayDreamWriter, Stacy Lipson, Freelance Writer and Editorial Intern.
“I’ve heard using crazy fonts and colors makes you pretentious - not professional.” @Twoshoes5887, Lauren Piro, Editorial Intern.
“Experience of specific skills and processes that a company does should be highlighted. In other words, no two resumes alike.” @SonjaCassella, Freelance Writer and Blogger.
Links to Helpful Resume Advice
Heather Huhman writes about entry-level jobs/resume tips for the Examiner:
Check out Keppie Careers:
Read Penny Lorretto’s Internship Column on Resumes:
FiredUp Careers on Resumes: