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Resume Tips

An effective resume should do two things: describe where you’ve been, and foretell where you’re going. Rather than an exhaustive list of every job you’ve ever held or award you’ve ever won, your resume should be a forward-facing, carefully crafted and targeted document that helps employers clearly see the value you will bring to their organization. Before jumping into the writing process, consider the following tips, and then view the links to see sample resumes.

Resumes vs. CVs (Curriculum Vitae)

Resumes and CVs are similar in that they both serve the same purpose. However, a CV is traditionally a longer document that includes experiences related to research, teaching, publications and grants. Thus, graduate and doctoral students typically only use CVs, while undergraduates will rely on a traditional resume.

It is highly recommended that you schedule an appointment with a member of the Wilson College of Textiles Office of Career Services to have your resume reviewed. Please log into ePACK and click on “Schedule an Appointment” to find a convenient appointment time.

Tips Before Writing Your Resume

Resume writing is subjective.

The good and bad news about resume writing is that there isn’t one singular way to do it. If you do an internet search for “resume writing”, you will come across an endless array of expert advice, opinions, styles, templates and rules that often seem to contradict each other. This can be both frustrating and confusing, especially for college students. Depending on your experience, career goals, and targeted industry, your resume may look very different from your friends and classmates, and that is perfectly fine. Remember, it’s your resume, and you need to be comfortable with the format and content.

Your resume is always a work in progress.

As your skills and experiences grow, so should your resume. Update your resume each semester to ensure that all of your information is correct and current. You will be adding new skills and experiences, and deleting older, less-pertinent items as you work towards your degree. In doing so, your resume will always be employer-ready and reflective of your current skills and status.

Think of your resume as your personal commercial.

The purpose of any commercial is to capture the attention of the audience, succinctly highlight a product’s benefits (while downplaying any negative aspects), and motivate the “buyer” to action. Your resume is truly no different. Think of your resume as your own personal highlight reel whose sole purpose is to promote you!

Less is often more.

For most undergrads, a one-page resume is highly recommended. This means that you may not be able to include everything, and that’s okay. Your resume is not meant to encapsulate the totality of who you are and everything you’ve ever accomplished. Instead, it should focus on the transferable skills, experiences, and attributes that will best address the employer’s needs.

Your resume has one job to do.

An effective resume has one simple goal: to get you an interview. Regardless of how amazing you look on paper, it’s unlikely that a hiring manager is ever going to read your resume and then call you with a job offer (if that happens, be skeptical)! Instead, your resume will hopefully result in the employer being intrigued enough to want to schedule an interview to learn more about you.

One strike and you’re out.

As trivial as it may seem, one misspelled word or grammatical error can land your resume in the employer’s recycling bin. Do not overlook the crucial step of having your resume reviewed by a member of the Wilson College of Textiles Office of Career Services before you apply for a position.

What to Avoid

Do not include date of birth, social security number, photo, age, marital status, religion, rate of pay, supervisor’s contact information.

Do not use a resume template. While seemingly helpful, most templates look very cookie-cutter and limit your formatting option.

Do not include any information that you wouldn’t be comfortable discussing in an interview.