So you’re writing your resume for the first time, or maybe you’re trying to bring some life into one you’ve already created. Resumes are not always fun, but we have a few tips to make them a little easier for you.
A resume has a couple of sections: education, contact information, experience, and sometimes honors. Most resumes are put together in a reverse chronological order, with the most recent work experience first and going backwards from there. This isn’t necessarily the best way to do it. The first thing you want an employer to see is the work experience most relevant to the job you’re applying for, so it’s a better idea to order the resume with the job in mind. For example, if you volunteered in kids’ church before you got a job at the library desk at your school, put the volunteer experience first if you’re applying for a middle school tutoring position because it’s more applicable.
Underneath every position, put at least three bullet points explaining something you did in that role. An example would be:
- Created lessons each week
- Encouraged children to practice
- Made class enjoyable
Then, add how you accomplished that task and what resulted from it:
Made class enjoyable by creatively combining play and practice to help students effectively learn ballet technique
This shows an employer exactly what your work accomplished, and what could possibly result in a position with their company. This is also a great place to drop buzzwords like “creative,” “collaborative,” “lead,” etc., to present yourself as a more desirable employee.
The sections of a resume can be organized in so many different ways. Probably the best way is to put your summary first, followed by your experience, and then put any education and honors beneath that. Your education might qualify you for a job, but your experience is what will make you the right fit and hopefully get you an interview.
Now, what’s a summary? It’s a single sentence that boils down all your skills and targets the job you’re applying for. It can be a little bit tricky, but it’s important. You can’t always make a unique resume for every job, but you can tweak your statement even if you’re applying to a dozen similar jobs or internships.
Before you start your resume, make a list of all the experience you’ve had. This includes jobs, volunteer work, clubs, even babysitting or helping out in church. Explain to yourself in paragraph form what you did in that position in as much detail as possible. Keep this list handy and update it as you gain more experience so that every time you put a resume together you don’t have to start from scratch.