Syracuse UniversityCareer Services

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RESUME BASICS

On average, a recruiter spends 10 seconds (or less) reading a resume. How can you make yours stand out and not end up in the "no" pile? Read below for tips on creating a stellar resume! 



WHERE TO BEGIN

  • Make a list of ALL that you’ve done. All experience counts, whether it is paid, unpaid, on- or off-campus, or volunteering.
  • Do not rely on a template—employers are used to these. Instead, come up with your own resume format.
  • Take the “I” out of your resume. Instead of “I assisted staff with database management,” say “Assisted with database management.”
  • Remember there is no one right way to write a resume. Your experiences are as unique as you are.
  • Clearly present your contact information.

Starting Point: Not sure where everything goes? Take a look at the Anatomy of a Resume[link].


WHAT TO INCLUDE

  • You decide what you want to include based on the position you are applying for! Sections could include Education, Summary, Skills, Involvement, Awards, Volunteering, Research, Projects. Make sure to include what is relevant to your target.
  • Keep descriptions succinct and emphasize your role by using clear, vivid language.
  • Quantify when possible. Numbers stand out on a resume.
  • Always include name of organization, your title, dates worked, and locations for every position.
  • Start each description with an action verb

MAKE IT SHINE

  • Customize your section headings. Instead of “Experience,” create custom headings to emphasize what you have done, for example, “Biotech Research Experience.”
  • Include the most relevant information to the internship or job on the top half of the resume, which that is where recruiters mainly focus.
  • Rank your experience based on the internship or job description.
  • Write clear and concise descriptions: What did you do? What were the outcomes? What skills did you use?
  • Each industry (and country) has different standards and characteristics. We can help you identify how best to demonstrate your experience in many contexts.
  • Have experience with Adobe InDesign? Consider using it to design your resume. 
  • Be consistent throughout your document with formatting, font, and spacing.
  • Proofread, proofread, proofread.