Having an updated résumé is always important, especially if you’re actively seeking internship or job opportunities. It’s said that employers spend an average of 6 seconds looking at a résumé, so it’s important your content is kept updated and organized with the most relevant information easy to find. You most likely have (or will have) many different experiences from your time at Denison, so how do you make everything fits on your résumé? Here’s how…
Make sure everything is still accurate. Read through what you already have and make sure that everything is still correct. Is your cell phone number still the same? Do you list the best email address to reach you? Has your major or GPA changed and if so, has it been updated on your résumé? Are there any new skills you’ve learned that should be highlighted? It’s always a good idea to first read through your entire résumé and make sure everything is still relevant before you start adding new experiences. If you’re just getting started on your résumé, or if you need a refresher on what to include, check out the Résumé Basics handout.
Decide which experiences and skills to highlight, and which to leave off your résumé. A good place to turn to for help in deciding which experiences to talk about and which to exclude can be found in the internship or job posting. Identify the experiences, skills, and knowledge they’re looking for in a candidate. Then think about which of your experiences and skills match with what they seek in qualified candidates. Find keywords, or action verbs, in the opportunity description and update your bullet points to highlight related skills and experiences. Check out the Power Verbs for Résumés & Cover Letters handout for a list of verbs you can use to point out your accomplishments. It’s important to keep in mind that your résumé is not an exhaustive list of everything you have ever done but is instead a concise showcase of your skills and accomplishments that best highlight your qualifications for the opportunity.
Review! Review! Review! To capture and keep the reader’s attention, ensure your résumé is formatted correctly. Make sure your sections are titled correctly, the margins are equal sizes, font sizes are appropriate, and the length is one full page. Read through your résumé to make sure it aligns with the opportunity posting. Verify that the experiences and skills you mention align with what the organization is seeking. Compare the description side-by-side with your updated résumé to see if you missed anything. Proofread your résumé multiple times to make sure there are no spelling or grammatical errors. Have other people proofread your résumé to see if they find any errors that you may have overlooked. Any mistakes can be a major turnoff for an organization and can indicate a lack of caring or attention to detail. Don’t forget to upload your résumé to VMock to receive personalized and detailed feedback for both content and formatting!
HAVE A BIT MORE TIME?
Now that you’ve reviewed and updated your résumé, take it a step further. Sign back in and upload your résumé to VMock, only this time choose the Network Feedback option. Next, select a Career Coach to send your résumé to for feedback. Remember, it never hurts to have multiple people review your résumé to catch anything you may have missed.