Employers typically look at a resume for just 30 seconds (!!!) when screening candidates, so it's important to build a resume that shows you're the right person for the job.
- Schedule an appointment with a career coach to get advice on how to fine-tune your resume and cover letter. Bring a draft version so we can offer content and formatting suggestions. While we won't write your resume for you, our personal attention will help you create a resume that works.
- Check out our interactive resume guide.
- Watch our resume workshop video below for an overview of what makes an effective resume and how to write a cover letter.
Description of the video:
Though some of you will already know me, but my name's terrible Lou. And I'm a Career Services Specialist here at IU east. >> And this is the resume review. >> So this is a workshop for students that need to start from scratch and create their resume, or they just need to revamp and update their current resume. >> So we'll go through each section of a typical resume and talk about what is important to know in each. >> So let's get started. >> And most cases, the rumors that you've heard about resumes are true. >> You actually do want your resume to be one page. >> So this is assuming that you don't have a significant amount of professional experience that's relevant to the position that you're seeking. >> The reason for this is pretty simple, and players and hiring managers don't have a significant amount of time to browse a bunch of applications. >> So the less information that you can give them to sift through, the better you're going to be. And this is also the reason that it's important to pick and choose what you include and each resume based on the position that you're seeking. >> But we'll talk about that a little bit more later. It's my personal preference and those of a lot of people to work with resumes to dislike or have contempt for templates, for resume templates, my suggestion is to just use a good old-fashioned work document or whatever your preferences. >> As far as that goes, templates and My initially make things easier, but they're really difficult to manipulate and they don't allow you to take full advantage of the space on the page. >> Which brings me to my next point, which is to narrow your margins. In Microsoft Office Word, it's really easy to narrow your margins. >> And this will allow you to utilize the whole page and take advantage of all of it. >> Since you only have that one page to work with my eyes, there's hardly anything worse aesthetically than to look at a resume and see a bunch of blank space. That's something that you don't want. >> Another thing that you don't want is colored fonts. >> For the most part, they're a thing of the past, unless you're going for a different type of resume, a creative resume. >> And these are mostly used in artistic or very creative positions there to be used very specific. >> So let's chat a little bit about your contact information. >> Most people don't give it much thought. >> They just add their name, their address, their email. Done right. >> But I'd like to encourage you to utilize your contact information to take your professionalism to the next level. >> You should consider using your contact information as a header like in Microsoft Word, and allow it to start on your cover page and go through to your reference page is employers print your documents. >> They'll never confuse it with with other candidates documents because it'll have your name right at the top. >> And as I mentioned before, it's just a way to step, it, sort of speak professionally. Consider including your linked in contact information. >> You always want to clued. >> You include your name and you want that to be the focal point when or when hiring managers are sifting through different resumes. >> So make that a little bit larger than the other information. And you want to include your phone number and your email address as well. >> Physical address, most resumes have the place in which the candidate is living right there. >> Physical address, it will hurt you if you're applying. You already live in that same geographic area. But if you're applying in that, say, California and you live in the Midwest, you might want to say the dress off of your resume. >> It's not needed and you don't have to habits. >> In a perfect world, it wouldn't matter either way, right? >> But sometimes closer candidates are more desirable to hire managers for a variety of reasons. >> So if he lives live close and you can leave it, that's fine. >> But if you live a little bit further, you might want to consider taking it off of your resume completely. So education, you for a moment, you might have noticed that we completely skips the objective statement. And you can actually skip the objective statement to their old school. >> They make your resume, look, It's dated and they're just not necessary. The next section is that, as I mentioned, the education section. >> And you can see my preferred way to kind of format that section in this example. >> But everyone has their own preference. >> And if you have yours and you want to stick with that, I'm sure it's probably okay, but I would advise you not to include your GPA unless it's relatively high. >> It's not mandatory and you don't have to include it. >> So know that that's perfectly acceptable if you choose not to. >> So to the left, you might see some other items that can be included under coursework. >> There's relevant coursework. >> You only want to use this section header in cases where you're applying for a job outside of your major, but you took some classes that are relevant to that job. So if you're a psychology major and you're just a listing relevant classes that are assumed to be taken as a psychology major, you're wasting space on your resume now as you are a psychology major, applying to a job at a museum, and you took several History courses. >> This might be a case where you want to include a relevant coursework section. >> There's the Dean's List in the Chancellor's list, which you're welcome to include, and certifications that are relevant to the position that you're seeking or that show a transferable skill you want to include. And we already kind of went over the GPA thing. >> College attended, other colleges attended. >> This could be added, but it isn't always unnecessary. >> For example, some students only took a few classes on another university or received an Associates Degree. And the same thing that you end up getting your bachelor's degree in. In that case, it might not be worth it to give up this space on your resume to include the other university >> Professional experiences, the next section. >> And professional experiences, the places you've been implied and what you did while you were. There can also be internships and maybe some volunteer work. >> There are a lot of things that could fall under professional experience if you chose to put it there. >> Many students will label this section as work history, but I PR for professional experience as that is truly what it is. >> For most of my students, bulleted action statements are most dreaded, labor-intensive, brain busting part of creating a resume. >> Because they require you to know what skills you're gaining from your experiences. >> And most people, especially students, greatly underestimate those skills. So I created a simple acronym to assist with action statement development, just the ABCs of action statements. >> And it starts with an action verb and then you move on to business. >> So you state the task or the situation that you want employers to know about that you did what you did there. Then you follow it up with a conclusion that explains the result or impact of your work. >> So start with an action word. >> You don't have to be a walking thesaurus in order to nail this part, you just Google it. >> Action words for resumes, and you'll have endless resources at your fingertips. >> So next you say what you did. So like I said before, what Dewey or task or situation do you want employers to know about? >> What scale are you trying to relay? >> Did you clean equipment and communicate with others? Did you take on a leadership task as needed? >> Last, and it can in some cases make your statement stronger if you follow up with what you did and why it was beneficial. >> For example, at the top of this experience section under barista, you could say that a statement was complete after clean and maintain and equipments. >> But telling why this was done and helps the reader understand its importance. >> So you don't want to do this with each and every statement, but once in a while, it can really make your statement stronger. >> If this section feels a little overwhelming, you don't have to worry about that. We have a lot of supplemental resources and we would love to help you get over your fear of action statements and kind of perfect your professional experience section. >> And I will love to help you and share the resources with you. >> So we're moving on to the last section of a resume, or in the last sections, I should say. >> These sections are not a one size all are not a one size fits. >> All right. >> So I can't tell you how many times I receive resumes from students. And they have sections that are from a template that are blank because they don't have any of that particular experience and they think they're breaking one of the sacred resume rules of exchange it for something else. >> If you don't have any relevant developed projects. One just random example of sections then because that's what the template says, that you should be using swamp. >> But for something else that you do have, you can use anything that you want. You can remove anything that you want. >> On this slide, you can see one of my preferred formatting options for these sections, along with several different section headers to the left hand side. >> Feel free to pick and choose from those or to Google and use your very own. >> And like I said, not a one size fits all. >> So for a moment, let's talk about the Skills section. If you've already created a resume from a template, you inevitably have a random list of skills somewhere on your resume. >> It probably include something like teamwork, computer skills, customer service, or something of that nature. >> And that's all well and good. >> But my suggestion is to incorporate these skills into your action statements. >> Where did you utilize teamwork, what equipment did you use? >> And where? Can you tell me how you utilized customer service? >> Wipe out the Skills section by turning it into action statements that actually tell the reader where you gain the skills rather than just talking or having them take them for your work, right? >> Just assuming that you're telling the truth about the skills that you do have, your resume art. >> So since we're done going through section by section where going to chat for a minute about how to make your resume relevant to the position that you're seeking. >> So all job seekers have a hint into the minds of hiring managers, but few choose to fully unlock and utilize that. Hence, you've heard me talk about how each resume should be tailored to the position that you're seeking. >> But you might be wondering how to do that. >> One way is to use the job description. >> This is your cheatsheet, to exactly what skills the employers will be looking for when they scan your resume and decide whether to put it into the no pile or the pile where they review later, right? >> Or maybe the PS file. Lucky. >> So scan the job description carefully and pull up the skills that are mentioned that you actually have and then make sure they're included in your resume. >> Make it easy for employers to find them. The example that I have on this slide is specific to nurses, but this should be use regardless of what type of position that you're seeking. If the position calls for excellent critical thinking skills, you should make a list of different tasks you did at a previous position that used credible thinking and give it its own bullet bullshit action. >> Save it. >> You can even spell out for resume readers by saying something like utilized critical thinking skills by creating a system to organize boxes in the storage. >> Cause it, or however you used critical thinking skills. >> So spell it out for the reader, right? >> Make it easy for them to find the skills that they're searching for. So now you might see the problem for jobseekers that are just using one main resume to send and apply for a lot of different positions. >> They're making it hard for hiring managers to make a connection between the skills that they have and the skills that they're looking for, do that extra work for them. >> This resume, called a functional resume, is more of an option for a very specific purpose. >> So with this resume, you focus on all the skills that you have and not where you acquired the skills. >> It would only be used if you wanted hiring managers to focus on your skills and competencies rather than the dates are how you acquire the experience. If you have gaps in your employment, this actually might be the right resume for you. >> As you can see, it breaks different skills into their own sections rather than separating them by position as you want. >> More information on a functional resume can help you with that. >> Just for a moment, I want to speak directly to anyone that has any athletic experience. >> Many of the athletes that I work with just kind of brush their athletic experience aside. >> They don't use it to showcase their skill set when it comes to that resume. >> So you can include athletic experience as its very own section header. >> Enlisted much in the way you would a job or an internship, include bulleted action statements. >> That's important. >> Some of the skills you'll want to bring out or time management, work ethic, teamwork, perseverance, and punctuality, to name a few skills, are very valuable to employers, so please take the time to include them on your resume. >> Alright, we're done. Let's resume for a minute. >> And now we're going to talk about cover letters. >> So there are a lot of different formats for cover letters. >> Obviously, your contact information will be at the top if you use the header hint that I talked about earlier. >> But I think the key thing here is that this is an opportunity for you to highlight the skills that you have and how they apply to the job you're seeking. >> For example, if your skill is organization and you know that it will be valuable for, let's say an administrative position that you're applying for. >> Then say something like, I'm extremely organize and pride myself on never missing a deadline. >> This organization will allow me to accomplish all administrative tasks at hand in a timely manner. >> Of course, it doesn't need to say that exactly, but this person talks about what the skill was, how they use it, and how it's going to help them accomplish the task in the organization in which they're applied to. >> So cover letter should never be more than one pay huge. And ideally it wouldn't even be close to that. >> Less is actually more here. >> Get your point across without giving them so much to read. They skip over the good stuff. >> Close the letter by giving a plan for follow up. >> Either please feel free to contact me for an interview or outcomes. >> Also contact you at such and such a time to schedule and enter you or however forward you want to be. >> Just close the letter up by saying something of that nature. >> Last slide he made it. >> We can't forget about Reference Pages though. >> So this should not be on your actual resume, nor should it say references available upon request on your resume. >> This is a whole separate page that you're welcome to attach when you submit your resume to an organization, but it's not required unless they ask for references. >> Typically, you'll use three or four different people that are unrelated to you and you'll provide their contact information. Do not list people on your reference page that you haven't asked if you can use as a reference people you might want to assay, you certainly reference include professors. >> Even if you are an online student, you can still ask your professors past or present supervisors, internship supervisors, coaches, coworkers, or anyone else that can vouch for your work ethic and your ability to get things done. >> People you don't want to ask include anyone related to you, as I mentioned before, or anyone that can't make a statement about your classroom or job-related performance, please feel free to submit your resume to the career services office after you've gotten it together so that we can review. >> It is absolutely never a bad thing to have someone else look at your resume regardless of how great you think it is.