By Erik Latkow
Winter break is approaching in less than a month, and many of us students use that downtime to hunt for summer jobs and internships. Before we embark on the grueling searches, we first have to put together unique and exceptional résumés and cover letters.
Résumés should be looked at as personal advertisements for yourself as you are trying to create a good impression with a potential employer without meeting him or her. When creating your résumé, it is essential to keep in mind that there is no such thing as a “right” and “wrong” in this document in terms of content and format. It is up to the individual to decide what to include in their one-page piece, just remember that employers usually spend less than a minute reviewing each résumé.
When deciding what to put in your résumé, remember to focus on skills and experiences that pertain to the specific job and organization you are applying to. It is very important to illustrate accomplishments or awards you have received throughout your college career and in other employment positions. Companies like to see success in a person before hiring them.
Make sure that your résumé is easy to read and flows smoothly. Keep your sentencing to short and sweet phrases that contain strong adjectives and statistics that stand out to the employer reading the document.
Some “Do Not Do’s” of résumé writing:
- Inconsistent alignments
- Different colors and fonts
- Use of informal language
- Use of false information
- Long sentences
It is also extremely, extremely important that you have other people review your résumé. Even better, have professionals in the Career Center critique your résumé. Visit the Career Center’s website athttp://careercenter.illinois.edu/ for more resources and information.
Remember, a résumé is a living thing – it is not stagnant. Continuing to revise, update, and tailor your résumé frequently will help you land that dream job or awesome internship.
Good luck with all of your finals, projects, and papers that are about to consume the last week of the fall semester.
Happy Holidays (and happy job hunting!)