Make Sure Your Resume Says Only Good Things About You

By, 02/05/2014

I recently volunteered at a resume workshop hosted by my college business club. After speaking with a number of students and reviewing their resumes, I came away with three observations to keep in mind when either creating or updating your resume:

  • Be able to speak in-depth about everything on your resume. Some students I spoke with wanted to highlight certain parts of their resume over others (like internship experience vs. a summer job), so I peppered them with questions about the activities they seemed less passionate about or familiar with. The point being, you don’t know what a recruiter is going to focus on, so you need to be enthusiastic and well-informed about everything you share.
  • Don’t “name drop” skills or knowledge. Distinguishing yourself through specialized knowledge—like speaking a foreign language or knowing how to write a particular computer code—is a plus. But be prepared to defend that knowledge. Does “proficient in Spanish” mean you can converse with a native speaker? Or can you just repeat a couple of phrases you remember from two years of high school classes? Vastly different! 
  • Keep it uniform. One thing I noticed on nearly all the resumes I reviewed: one or two small formatting inconsistencies. For example, a dash was used when the list was primarily bullet points, or the date was written out in some places and not in others (March 2011 vs. 3/11). If a recruiter notices formatting inconsistencies, that’s less time he or she is spending reviewing content.