Resume-Building: Make Yourself a Competitive Student

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By Moira Du

We all want the same thing: success in our respective fields. The unfortunate news is the path to that success is not linear. We will not just magically wake up and find ourselves with several accolades or an enormous amount of money in our bank accounts or the opportunity to wake up in the morning and go do work that we thoroughly enjoy. The path to that life will require blood, sweat, and tears and more often than not, a strong resume.

When applying for jobs, internships, and the like, submitting a strong resume is a must. Making sure you present yourself as a competitive applicant is one of the best ways to get the job. In this article, we’ll talk about how you can build that strong resume.

What is a resume?

A resume is a summary of everything that a company should know about you. This includes personal data such as your name and address, your educational background such as your high school or the degree you’re pursuing, your academic achievements, and your professional achievements.

Some of you might be confused as to what we mean by academic achievements. Academic achievements are the results of your academic performance. Were you on the honor roll? Were you a departmental awardee? Awarded a cum laude distinction? You could even have been awarded a scholarship and that would be considered an academic achievement.

Professional achievements, on the other hand, are things you’ve done outside of school and outside of your grades. This includes an internship, a volunteer position at a local non-profit, or a part-time job.

What should my resume look like?

Before we get into what your resume should include, the formatting of your resume is of equal importance. Make sure you use only one font for your entire resume and choose two font sizes: one larger than the other. The larger font size should only be used for your name which will be the title of your resume. The smaller font size will be used for everything else.

Your resume should include the following parts:

  1. Personal Data

At the top of your resume, write your name in bold letters. Under your name, write down your address followed by your email address and then, your phone number.

  1. Educational Background and Academic Achievements

We then move on to your educational background. Your educational background should include the school you are currently attending or you recently graduated from including the city and state or the city and country that school was located. Under that in italicized font, write down the degree you were working towards and then the honors/awards you graduated with. Do the same with the older schools you’ve also attended. Be sure to include your expected graduation dates or the dates you graduated.

  1. Professional Experience

We then move on to professional experience. Here, you write about the experience you have including positions (paid or not) you’ve held in large companies. This differs from volunteer experience.

Most people will write down their work experiences such as part-time jobs, internships, and the like. Include the responsibilities and achievements you’ve garnered throughout your work experience as well as the location and when you started working there.

  1. Volunteer Experience

This part will be similar to your professional experience but this time, you’ll be talking about your volunteer experience.

  1. Skills

Finally, you’ll need to list down the skills you have. These skills could be with a computer such as Microsoft Office or if you’re familiar with JavaScript or Python. You should also include the languages you are fluent in.

Resume-Building Resources

  1. Your Career Center/Guidance Counselor

One of the best and free resume-building resources you should have access to right now is your career center or your guidance counselor. They are people who have experience with and will continuously help you work on your resume. We suggest reaching out to them for questions.

  1. TopResume

A popular resume-writing service you might want to look into if you don’t have access to a career center or your guidance counselor is TopResume. TopResume is a professional resume-writing service that you can avail of to work with someone who will create the perfect resume for you. Some of their packages also include a cover letter which we will get into in a later blog post.

The Takeaway

Now that you know everything there is to know about resume building, it’s time to put what you’ve learned to good use. We’re sure you have internships you’re vying to get, and jobs you’re seeking. The best way to start is to get yourself in front of a laptop and to write that resume. Goodluck!

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