For our latest class day, my fellow interns and I listened to advice on how to write a solid resume from Phyllis, our internship director. This presentation sparked my thought on a few topics.
First, resumes are ever evolving. The resume I had after graduating high school isn’t the same one I had after graduating college. And similarly, my resumes will change each time I work at a new job or accomplish a new skill. As a person professionally progresses, information that was relevant before becomes clutter on the page; it’s now something that can be removed for new information to enter. Resume sequencing also changes with experience. When you’re first starting out, listing education at the top of the page was the best idea. As you gain experience, it’s more fitting to list skills and work related experiences at the top of the page.
Second, your resume should convey your strengths quickly and briefly. Phyllis had us fold mock resumes in half and explained that the first half of the page has to grab the reader’s attention and hook them into reading the rest. Therefore, the most relevant and important information should go at the very top of the page. But deciding which information is most important and listing it in a brief yet effective way is quite a challenge!
Third, resumes should convey an applicant’s personality, but should also be very conservative. It’s never a good idea to submit a resume on pink paper, or use “creative” font. In order to convey my personality trait of being highly organized I’m going to make sure my resume is formatted crisply and consistently without clutter.
Finally, there is no one right way to compose a resume. Everyone has different opinions and tastes when it comes to writing and reviewing resumes. A smart applicant will try to tailor their resume as much as possible to the tastes of the person or company reviewing it. But at the end of the day it’s important to put out a resume you’re happy with and proud of.
Happy resume writing!