Senior year is almost over and prom is around the corner! College acceptance letters are coming in and it soon will be time to look for a job or internship. This means that it’s time to sit down and write your first college entry CV or try to perfection it. If you are stuck, don’t worry! Here at Faviana we have come up with a few tips for building the perfect résumé.
What to include
Your first and last name: Should be slightly larger than the rest of the information.
Contact information: Your email and phone number, and webpage if you have one and it’s relevant to the work you are applying to.
Education: your most recent level of education completed or in the progress of completion (either put the year you graduated or the year you will graduate), GPA (if you’re doing well in school, otherwise skip it), and any achievements you have received academically (Dean’s List, Cum Laude, Honors Student, etc).
Experience: This is where you list any work experience you might have had. It could be full or half-time jobs, past internships, volunteering experience. List it from most recent to oldest.
It’s okay if you haven’t had any “real” jobs yet. You are trying to get one! List transferable skills that you might have gained doing some of your favorite activities and hobbies.
Maybe you were the founder and president of your school’s Anime Club, and that taught you how to be an effective public speaker and get funding, or you created your own blog about your favorite topic, which helped you gain research, writing and designing skills, or perhaps you love to dress up and take pictures which could show that you have makeup, styling and photography skills. The point is, everything we do teaches us something. You might have abilities you don’t even recognize you do!
Accolades: your most recent achievements and awards, which don’t necessarily have to be academic.
Activities: Extracurricular activities you have been involved in. Clubs, sports, volunteering work, relevant hobbies. These give HR recruiters an idea of who you are and what you like.
Languages: This is only relevant if you speak more than one language. Include your proficiency (English: Native, Spanish: Fluent, French: Intermediate, etc).
Hard Skills: These are very specific things that you can learn such as MAC and PC software knowledge, Photoshop skills, social media, etc. You can research for a full list online and add all the skills that you are confident you can handle.
Soft Skills: These are about your personality traits and how they can affect your interpersonal communications. They’re important because the hiring manager wants to know that you will be able to manage certain situations in the best possible way and get along with the rest of the team.
It’s not only what you say, but how you say it
Remember to use action words in your description and make sure you note your accomplishments, especially in terms of actions completed and results delivered that are measurable and trackable.
For example, while you were the Social Media Manager in your Journalism Club in High School, you achieved a 25% increase in followers (even if 25% means you got 15 students to like the school’s Facebook account) or you were able to improve student engagement and participation in school events during your time as School Mascot.
One size does not fit all
Customize your resume to the job offer or description even if it means having different résumés for different job opportunities and use keywords that are industry specific.
Do your homework on the company you are applying to. Research it, understand their mission statement and core values. Having an understanding of who they are, what they do, and where they want to get will help you during the potential interview and give you an idea of how to tailor your résumé and who to address your initial email to.
Try to find a specific person within the company to address if you are emailing directly to them (HR Hiring Manager). Use professional language like “Hello” or “To Whom It May Concern” for your first email. Don’t say “Hi” or “Hey” during your initial emails (unless you are addressed that way). Be mindful that every company has a very specific culture— some are formal and some are more casual. Follow accordingly, but always respectfully.
More Tips on Building the Perfect Résumé
For the Template, use the Chronological Résumé. It’s a great format to use as it goes in order from most current experience to least.
Keep your résumé simple and clean. Stick to black and white and if you like, choose one color to make some headlines stand-out, but do not make too extravagant. Serif fonts are always preferred.
Stick to a 12-point font. Although you may make the headlines slightly larger. The minimum could be 10-point, but no lower or it will be difficult to read.
Limit your resume to one page. This one is extremely important, because like mentioned before, Hiring Managers get thousands of résumés and don’t have time to read all this information.
Check your spelling and grammar. Read it many times and have your parents, friends or a trusted professor check your work and let you know if they found out mistakes and if they can provide suggestions.
Don’t exaggerate or lie. Focus on the things you’re good at and the skills that make you unique and how they might relate to the position you are applying.
Hopefully these tips will help you start your first résumé! Remember, landing that perfect job is hard work and it takes time, but as long as you continue to move forward, work hard and keep trying, you’ll achieve your goals!
Do you have tips for crafting a killer résumé? Let us know what you think by tagging us on Instagram @glamandgowns, and Faviana’s Instagram @Faviana_NY and Twitter @FavianaNY.