How to Write a Respectable Resume
Published: Thursday, February 20, 2014
Updated: Thursday, February 20, 2014 09:02
Imagine a potential employer ask the questions, “What have you done with your life? What experience do you have that should make me want to hire you?”
After desperately thinking and then babbling for a minute about that one time being a volunteer at a charity event making Belgium waffles, the employer has already lost interest and any hope for a job is gone.
Those questions are almost guaranteed to be asked by employers at NDSU’s upcoming career fair. With a great resume and some tips from CBS News, those questions can be home runs for potential employees.
Decide the layout
For someone who has seen an increase in responsibility over time, he or she should draft a chronological resume, which lists employment history by date. If skills and experience are more important in a potential job than prior work history, use a functional resume that highlights awards, achievements and special skills. If everything is strong, a combination resume emphasizes skills and achievements in a specific career path.
Choose the content
Decide what previous work experience and skills are most applicable to the desired job. Put the most recent and relevant job first and leave out the summer mowing job back in middle school, unless the potential job involves mowing lawns.
Use descriptive keywords, such as administrative assistant instead of secretary or customer service professional in place of baseball stadium usher. Also, quantify accomplishments and responsibilities. Overseeing a department of 25 employees sounds stronger than just overseeing a department. Managing a $100,000 budget is very different from managing a $1,000 budget.
Limit the length
Do not include information, such as birthdate, religion, hobbies, weight, marital status, sexual orientation, or links to Twitter and Facebook pages. Anything not related to the job is unnecessary to include in a resume, which should be 1-2 pages long. Anything longer will likely be overlooked.
Proofread when finished
Finally, read over it, have someone else read over it and then have another person read over it, because multiple eyes will hopefully catch any spelling and grammar errors. No matter what skills or experience are listed, employers write off that resume immediately, as those errors trump any content.
Paying attention and putting forth effort into creating a respectable resume will provide answers to many questions employers will have at NDSU’s career expo, and that resume could set NDSU students up for a great job or internship in their respective fields.