Two Truths and a Lie: Resume Edition

Depending on where you go and who you ask, it’s hard to get a straight answer on anything resume-related. And as a student who’s trying so hard to get a part-time job, internship, or post-grad position, it’s SO HARD to navigate the scary world of application documents. Here’s my take on three tips you might hear about your resume - what’s true and what’s B.S.

 

Tip: Your resume should only be a page long.

 

TRUE - probably. For students applying for entry-level positions or internships, your resume should definitely not exceed one page. Recruiters and hiring managers look at a resume for an average of six seconds, so you want to be brief to pack as much info as you can into those fleeting seconds - anything you have on a second or back page of your resume will probably not even be reviewed before your resume is set aside.

 

So, unless you’re a seasoned professional (read: more than a decade in the working world) or a student in field that requires you to have a longer CV to list research, publications, or academic accomplishments, stick it to one page.

 

Tip: You should have a different resume for every job application.

 

TRUE! A resume isn’t a static document - like a cover letter, you should change it according the position and job description. This means you should update your experience listings to reflect the ones that relate to the job, and throw in some keywords that you see in the job posting to show that you’re a good match! This also can help for large companies that use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) - a computer program that scans all application documents to find relevant ones before a human even sees them! Make sure your resume stands out by tailoring it to the job or internship you want.

 

Tip: All resumes should look the same.

 

FALSE! Although most resumes follow a format that includes your education, experience, and descriptions of each, your resume doesn’t have to be boring black and white! A resume is a reflection of you - a first impression,  a summary, and a conversation starter all rolled into one. Microsoft Word, Google Docs, and ~the internet~ have a ton of templates to help you get started. As long as you’re including the important info, you can get as creative as you want!