It seems timely to talk about resumes, so I’m sharing a few resume tips today. A lot of resumes come by my desk, and it’s a subject I feel passionate about. There are a lot of ways to go wrong in a resume, so let’s avoid that before you get started.
1 – A clean, simple and easy-to-read layout.
I always, always, always advocate for a clean, simple and easy-to-read resume. Even if you think your resume looks boring, unless you are applying for a highly creative or graphic design-focused role, keep it simple! I would way rather be able to scan your resume quickly than have to dig for information.
I want to know what your experience is, what your major is (I assume all of my job applicants go to UNC, so keep that in mind!) and what your skills are. I don’t care about much else.
2 – Updated information.
If the last job you list on your resume is more than a year old, I assume I don’t have the most recent version of your resume. That tells me you’ve either not taken the time to create a new resume, or you’ve accidentally submitted an old version of your resume.
I don’t throw applicants out simply for those sorts of offenses, but I do take note of it. Attention to detail matters in many jobs, and we look for reasons to believe you do or don’t have that.
3 – Proper spelling, grammar and formatting.
This should be a given, but it isn’t! I expect to see proper spelling, grammar and formatting in a resume. Typos tell me you haven’t taken the time to review. A single typo doesn’t worry me, but if I see more than one or two, I will start to analyze the emails I receive from you and other forms of communication to look for other signs that you’re prone to typos!
I also want to see consistent formatting. If you decide to use bullet points in one section, I don’t want to see dashes in the next. Keep it consistent.
4 – Updated, appropriate and relevant contact info.
Every resume I see should have an updated email and phone number.
Please, please, please don’t give me your school email if you aren’t in school or your home phone number if you don’t live at home anymore. It happens, people.
Also, I want to see appropriate contact info – if you are not professional on your Twitter, I don’t recommend linking to it on your resume!
5 – Growth and commitment.
A lot of people, especially in recent years, apply to the philosophy: Do a lot of things and build your resume!
When I get a resume, I want to see people who do a few things really well. I want to see that you joined a student organization as a first-year and stuck with it for four years, or that you’ve leveled up in your job over a period of time. Commitment to an organization is important!
If you’re a first-year, obviously, you want to try a lot of things – but avoid the temptation to join many student organizations and commit to all of them haphazardly. Pick a few that you feel passionately about and dive in.