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How to Prepare a Top-Quality Resume

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Have you seen an awesome summer job opportunity advertised? Or perhaps you’re planning to pick up part-time employment when you’re at college? Whether working at your local comic book store or in the student canteen, the first stage of applying for any job is preparing a professional and well-structured resume. A resume is your opportunity to present your best self on paper, and ‘sell’ yourself to any potential employer. It should be easy to read, concise and attention grabbing for all the right reasons. So how can you do that? Here’s how…

Name and Contact Information

Right at the top of the page, list your full name, current address, telephone number and email address. You don’t need to title your document with the word ‘resume’: employers know a resume when they see one! Make sure the email address you list is a professional sounding one; emmalovesJB@gmail.com is fine for connecting with friends, but not employers.

Personal Statement

This paragraph (2 – 3 lines) is the very first thing a potential employer will lay their eyes on, so make it count. It should contain your motivation for applying for the job, your relevant career goals and a very brief summary of your applicable skills and experience.

Education

Note the high school you attend and list any academic awards or honors you’ve achieved. You worked hard, right? Here’s where you can show off about it!

Experience

Have you had previous work experience? List it here including the company name, your job title, the period of time you worked there and a brief mention of your key roles and responsibilities.

Skills and Qualifications

Any language skills, first aid certificates, computer skills or other training you’ve done either in school or outside of school is important to note in this section.

Other Experience

Here you can list volunteer experience, extra-curricular activities, hobbies, sporting achievements and anything else you’ve accomplished or been involved with. This can show potential employers not just that you’re a great worker, but also that you’re a great person…one who they should definitely hire!

Your resume should be a maximum of 2 pages long. If your resume runs over this length, it’s time to edit…edit…edit! Ask yourself: which bits of information are completely necessary and which bits are just nice to have? Remember, be succinct and to the point.

Another tip: When it comes to resume writing, headings and bullet points are your best buddies. Potential employers will likely scan over your resume very rapidly, looking to quickly assess your suitability for a position at just a glance. Clear sections and bullets will help break up text and avoid bulky paragraphs of writing.

And, of course, always proofread and get someone else to check the spelling and grammar of your resume before you send it out. An employer is unlikely to be impressed by your – ‘excelent experiense’ – if you’ve spelled it wrong!

So, you’ve finished your resume. You’re done, right? Not quite…

Ideally, any resume you send out should be specifically tailored to the job position you’re applying for. Often this can feel like a drag but think about it this way: if you’re applying to work at a movie theatre and you already have 2 years of experience working in a similar position and helping to run your school movie club, then this should be your resume’s focus, not the babysitting experience you have. Then again, if you’re applying to work with kids then it would be the other way around. Make sense?

You should also refresh and update your resume on a regular basis to ensure it is always up-to-date. This will mean you always have a relevant resume to hand at a moment’s notice… because you never know what opportunities life might throw your way.

Writing the first draft of your resume will always be the hardest but we promise you: it will be worth it. Take your time to read the job description clearly and stick to the advice given here. From everyone here at Getting Into The Ivys… good luck with the job hunt. You can do it!


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