I once heard that college was all about getting two sheets of paper. The first sheet is horizontal and has your name and the title of your degree printed on it. This is known as your diploma. The second sheet of paper you receive in college does not generally get as much limelight, but it is equally important. What I’m talking about is your resumè .
A resumè is essentially a one-page cumulative summary of your recent accomplishment, which is useful in searching for jobs and applying for grad schools. A resumè is basically divided into three sections: Education, Work Experience, and Activities/Awards. This document is the best way to let a potential employer or admissions committee know who you are.
I am a senior at MC this year and will be graduating next month. Over the past semester I have definitely seen the importance of having a strong resumè. One of my regrets is that I did not start working on it sooner. It doesn’t matter if you are a graduating senior or a first semester freshman; it’s never too soon to start working on a formal resumè. With that being said, here are a few helpful tips for you that will help as you begin to comprise your resumè.
Write Things Down
You’re not going to remember everything you were involved with as a freshman or the exact title of that random reward you received sophomore year. Keep a document on your computer and update it after each semester. Keep track of the organizations you were active in and any honors you received during that time. This will make it so much easier to compose a proper resumè as a senior.
Quality not Quantity
Resumès should be limited to one-page in length. Because of this, you cannot write down every single thing you have done over the course of your college career. Find the things that best represent what has comprised your college experience and focus on those things. It is better to have a handful of involvements that look impressive over several small things that required no commitment.
Keep this in mind when you are deciding what to be involved with on campus. As a student, try to focus on being involved in a few highly active areas of campus each semester instead of spreading yourself too thin. This will keep you sane as a college student and will give you more reliable elements to include in your resumè.
I would also encourage you to get an on-campus/part time job. This will do more to increase your work experience than anything else available to you. I got a job on-campus my junior year and it greatly helped when I compiled my resumè this year.
I know it sounds obvious, but you wouldn’t believe how easy it is to simply look over a typing mistake. This is also probably the biggest red-flag to a potential employers. If you are not willing to put in the extra effort of checking your grammar, spelling, and punctuation, you won’t be willing to put in any extra effort at work.
Do Not Misrepresent Yourself
Be honest. Don’t put down information that isn’t entirely true or state accomplishments in such a way that makes them sound better than they actually are. Employers value integrity so make sure your resumè is a correct representation of who you are.
Print on Resumè Paper
I had no idea this stuff existed until this year, but it’s awesome. Basically resumè paper is just higher quality paper that is used for professional documents. You can find this paper at any office supply store and it’s relatively cheap. Be sure to print your resumè on this paper; it’s just another little thing that communicates your desire to be professional.
Look at Example Resumès
The best way to learn a new behavior is through mirroring. The same applies to forming a resumè. Look at some sample resumès and build off of their ideas and format. Here are a few examples for you to use.
Talk to Career Services
Mississippi College has a wonderful career services department that is willing to assist in your career search. They will help you find potential employers and will also help you in writing your resumè. Do not neglect the use of this valuable resource.