You’ve found a job (or internship, fellowship, volunteer position, or graduate school opening) you think you’d be the perfect fit for. Great! Now how do you let them know that?
Introducing the resume. Chances are you’ve at least heard of them and maybe even Googled, “How do I make my resume stand out?” once or twice. The following tips are those I’ve used to make my resume (and CV) reflect my qualifications and experiences at the highest quality.
YOUR RESUME AND HOW TO CONSTRUCT IT
Hiring managers, professors, and others have quite a few resumes cross their desk on a day-to-day basis. You want to make sure yours stands out from the rest. Similar to how your clothes speak before you do, your resume represents you — you want to make a good first impression.
- AVOID JARGON! You want the average person to understand your resume.
- USE VERBS! Such as coordinated… influenced… incorporated… directed… advised…
- USE KEY WORDS or qualifications from job applications on your resume — scan the job description, see what words are used most often, and make sure you’ve included them in your bullet points. This will get you noticed in the applicant tracking systems.
- DON’T PUT EVERYTHING ON THERE — your resume is tailored to the job, internship, fellowship, or volunteer position you are applying for. Highlight only the experiences and skills most relevant to what you are applying to, even if you don’t include all of your experiences.
- ENLIST THE HELP of a professional resume designer to aid in your designing. Or utilize Etsy.
- KEEP FONT SIMPLE (examples: Times New Roman, Helvetica, Arial, Century Gothic), minimize using different fonts to a max of three (title, subtitle, body), and make it easy to read (no less than font size 11 pt).
- KEEP IT CONCISE (less than two pages).
- Consider whether a summary statement would be right for you.
- KEEP IT IN (REVERSE) CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER (your most recent experience is listed first).
- LEAVE SOME WHITE SPACE on the page.
- Make it EASY TO SKIM.
- INCLUDE your name on every page, in case it gets separated. This also goes for page numbers.
- PROOFREAD, proofread, proofread
- SAVE YOUR RESUME as a PDF.
- NAME YOUR FILE: First name initial, Last name, Resume.
Example: “MMarquez Resume.”
Have a friend (adviser, boss, trusted individual) peruse your resume and ask them:
- “Where do you begin to lose interest?”
- “What job does it look like I’m applying for?”
- and “Do you have any questions after reading my resume?”
Once they give you feedback on these questions, edit your resume.
SO… WHAT’S A CURRICULUM VITAE (CV)?
A curriculum vitae (CV) is a full record of one’s career. Unlike a resume, which is supposed to be kept short (less than two pages), a CV tends to be longer than two pages as it is supposed to go into more detail. A CV more-or-less stays static, and doesn’t change for different job positions (but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep it up-to-date). Once you have your CV written, it’s a matter of cutting and pasting relevant information from it into your resume.
When you are ready to send your resume or CV to a connection, make sure you include a cover letter. What’s that? Find out on the next #StemSaturdays post!