Collegiette's Career Guide: Resumes

Let’s be real, growing up sucks sometimes. Summer is fast approaching, and that means it’s time to start applying for summer jobs if you haven’t already. If working at a local convenient store or waitressing at a restaurant isn’t one of your desires this summer, maybe it’s time to develop a resume to get into internships!

There are lots of law offices, banks, and non-profit organizations that are looking for summer help. Usually the first people to apply for these jobs are people just like you, college kids! One of the things you are going to need before you apply for internships or summer jobs like these is a resume. Don’t have a resume? Haven’t updated it in forever? These are problems that a lot of college students face.

If you already have a resume and just want to update or change a few things, visit the IUP Career and Professional Development center in Pratt Hall, or attend a D-I-Y Resume Wednesday Workshop at the Writing Center. The Career and Professional Development center has several online resources including information about resumes that can be found here.

If you don’t already have a resume, don’t worry. Your college years is a perfectly acceptable time to start making one.  The first thing you are going to want to do is try to write down any jobs you held in high school or college. A general rule of thumb is to only list companies you worked at for more than six months, the exception to this is if it obviously is a summer job/internship. Don’t worry about putting this into a resume yet, right now just work on getting all of your information together.

Once you have your past employment information, now you can start to actually ‘make’ your resume. There are countless different templates for resumes that can be found in Microsoft Word or there are online forms that you can fill out that will essentially do it for you.  I would not suggest going to any website that charges you, there are plenty of free options available. After picking your desired template or website to use, start filling out the information.

If you are using a template, which I suggest for your first time, it is pretty straight forward. Write your name at the top of the page, and underneath that include all relevant contact information. By now you should hopefully have a professional sounding email address, use that instead of your cute junk email address you created when you were in middle school.

The first thing a person reviewing your resume will see under your contact information is your objective statement. This should be relevant to the specific field/internship you are applying for. You should expect to make several different resumes for internships or jobs if they are in different fields.

Under your objective statement is where you will put information regarding your education. If you are applying for internships it is probably time to take your high school out of the education section. Unless you have attended another college the only thing you should have listed here is Indiana University of Pennsylvania or your institution. Underneath the school name is it considered normal to list the major you are currently pursuing. As a general rule you can list your GPA, or major GPA but it isn’t required. It is suggested if your GPA or major GPA is above a 3.0/4.0 to list it, but it generally will not hurt you if you do not list it.

Underneath your education is where you list your work experience. Depending on what template or program you are using it may ask you to write the store address and city under the company name, since this can vary by template use your own discretion.

After you finish your work experience section there may be a section titled special skills or achievements. If you have any relevant achievements specifically this is where you will list them. If the template you are using asks for special skills, list any and all relevant skills you possess. Look up key words and try to incorporate those into your skills. It seems obvious, but, do not lie about possessing any skills if you do not have them. If you are expected to complete a task you claim you can but don’t really know how to do that is going to make for a very mortifying day.

After skills/acheivements there is a small gap left on the page, which means you are almost done! The last thing that should be on your resume is your references. As a general rule, no more than three references is expected unless it is specifically requested. Your references should be people that can speak on behalf of your professional abilities, and they should not be your friends or family members. References can be organization advisors, professors you know very well, past managers and employers or your academic advisor. It is a good idea to ask permission to use someone as a reference before you do it, regardless of how long you have known them. You should have a current address, email, and phone number for all of your references. If by typing out your references you end up going over one page you can simply just put ‘References available by request’ but make sure you have them ready!

The most important thing I can stress is that your resume should not be longer than a page. If your work experience is extensive, only put the three most recent employers. Don’t stress too much about your resume, once you start working on yours it is pretty straightforward. If you are questioning anything on your resume there are plenty of online resources available to help, and you can always visit the Career and Professional Development Center. Best of luck in the job search!