Every college student needs a strong resume. Your resume should always be in tip-top shape, including your current and previous work experience, education, and skills. Here I will give you some do’s and don’ts that are typically found on resumes so you can make sure yours is at the top of the stack.

Do: Keep it to one page

Your resume should be clear and concise, meaning it should only be about one page in length. When you start getting more than one page on your resume, anyone reading it will get overwhelmed and most likely zone out of reading it. It is easy to convey all important aspects in one page and makes it easier for employers to read and understand, without having to flip through multiple pages.

Don’t: Have your high school education

If you’re now currently enrolled in college, do not, I repeat DO NOT include your high school education and accolades on your resume. Employers are more interested in what college you attend, your major, and clubs and activities you are involved in on campus, so make sure to highlight leadership positions and college accomplishments. I promise you, an employer will not care if you were the co-captain of your high school cheer team.

Do: List the specifics

The more specific you are on your resume, the better. Vague descriptions are not attractive to an employer, they want to see what you did at each company and the impact you made. Make sure to use action words, numbers, and accomplishments in your job duties, not just the things you did. For example, “I was in control of gaining new clients and prospecting” is not as intriguing as “I prospected new clients and was able to increase the client base by 36%.”

Don’t: Have bad grammar

If you don’t do anything else on this list of do’s and don’ts, make sure your resume follows proper grammar guidelines. Grammar and correct spelling can go an extremely far way. If an employer sees you couldn’t take the time to proof read and correct your spelling, they will interpret that as you’re lazy. Have multiple people check over your resume to make sure it flows and everything sounds correct. Tools such as grammarly.com offer grammar and spelling checks and offers suggestions to make your resume sound professional.

Do: Tailor your resume to each job

Of course you should have one generic resume to always have, but make sure you configure that resume for each different job you apply to. Aligning your resume with each job can help increase your chances of an employer seeing it. Use keywords from the job description and add them to where you see fit within your resume. Many people fail to do this and send the same resume to all different employers, so tailor your resume to give you more of an advantage.

Don’t: Put every little thing on it

This point correlates with the tailoring your resume to each job. For many, it’s hard to determine what things are important enough to include, so it’s easier to just put it all on. However, do not include everything you’ve ever done. Make sure to list the skills you’re best at or the jobs that most directly correlate the most with the job you’re pursuing. For example, if you’re tight on space on your resume, do not include you were a hostess at a restaurant if you’re applying for an engineering job.

 

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