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Aarron Sholar
Noodle Expert Member

February 20, 2020

Resumes are something that everyone needs in their life, so it's about time you made your own!

Whether it’s for an internship, graduate school, or new job, getting your resume together can seem like a daunting task, especially if you only have one page to list all your immense accomplishments and qualifications. How do you know what extracurriculars to list? What about the classes to include? How should you describe yourself? Knowing your way around a resume can help you greatly in the process.

As stated previously, you only have one side of a page to sell yourself, so you better make it count. To start off, you want to determine the format of your resume. Many sources indicate that there are two primary types of formats: chronological and function. American University defines them as the following, “lists your education and experience in reverse date order." This format is best suited to show growth in your field. A functional resume “highlight[s] skills and experience that are relevant to the employer," and this is effective when tailoring your resume to specific discipline. Knowing which of these formats works best with your intentions is the first step to a successful resume.

The typical headings that applicants use in resumes today include topics such as education, experience, skills or abilities, and activities. What you include in these categories can be fairly self-explanatory, but how to say certain things is the key to resumes. When forming your sentences, be sure to use action words. Instead of phrasing a sentence as “I worked with children," write it as “assisted with child care from ages one to eight." Using strong action words at the beginning of your statements makes you come off as more willing and ready to get to work.

Some other key ideas I picked up along the way, while working on my own resume, are to keep sentences short and to the point (don’t be afraid to use semicolons!), formatting such as bolding and italics can help guide a reader’s eye to keep details (like a GPA), and consistent spacing while still making use of as much room on the page as possible is key.

Writing a good quality resume is definitely an acquired skill. Your first resume won’t be anywhere near perfect, and there’s always some aspect of it to improve as time goes on. Getting your resume to a respectable standing for your own intention(s) is what matters in the end. Keep your resume updated and in a safe place, you never know when you’ll need it!

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