Building a resume (finally)..any advice?

Joined
Aug 29, 2007
Messages
1,601
Well, as a junior in college i'm really feeling the pressure of building a resume. I see signs everywhere for "Resumania" and resume building workshops, in addition to roommates comparing them constantly. Unfortunately, I couldn't make the workshops because my schedule didn't allow it. With a school as big as Penn State, I hope to find someone who specializes in just this.

The reason i'm asking this community is I know there are a lot of educated folk, with years and years of experience. I would appreciate it if you'd be so kind to give any hints or tricks as to what recruiters like and what they hate.

Thanks,

Bryan

ETA: I forgot to add, I want to do research with the Veterinary staff on campus but to even be considered they want a resume.
 
Joined
Sep 14, 2007
Messages
571
unless you've done extensive research or alot of related employment, keep the resume to a single page

if so put the most important things on the first page as if you use this a job fairs, the first page is scanned into a computer then "auto searched" for buzz words


if your major GPA is higher than your overall GPA, list it instead but note it as "engineering gpa" or "marketing gpa" or whatever



sorry to hear about your football team, atleast watching them shouldn't be a distraction this year
 

JackHammer

Gold Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2010
Messages
1,542
As one who has been in supervisory positions and responsible for interviewing and eventually hiring potential candidates, I will say to keep it brief. Condense it to no more than 2 pages. I would receive a stack of resumes to go through and any long winded multi page offerings unfortunately went into the trash. Others may disagree with me but when you have one opening, 80 applicants, and many other responsibilities taking up your day, time is of the essence. Good luck.
 
Joined
Aug 29, 2007
Messages
1,601
unless you've done extensive research or alot of related employment, keep the resume to a single page

if so put the most important things on the first page as if you use this a job fairs, the first page is scanned into a computer then "auto searched" for buzz words


if your major GPA is higher than your overall GPA, list it instead but note it as "engineering gpa" or "marketing gpa" or whatever



sorry to hear about your football team, atleast watching them shouldn't be a distraction this year

Unfortunately, I haven't done any research yet, so it will most likely be VERY brief. I'll have to check to see what GPA is higher. That's a great idea though. Thanks!

As one who has been in supervisory positions and responsible for interviewing and eventually hiring potential candidates, I will say to keep it brief. Condense it to no more than 2 pages. I would receive a stack of resumes to go through and any long winded multi page offerings unfortunately went into the trash. Others may disagree with me but when you have one opening, 80 applicants, and many other responsibilities taking up your day, time is of the essence. Good luck.

Thanks for the response. Again, I think i'll struggle to fill up one page.

Here's a question. Before I went to Penn State I went to a community college where I was really active. I was student government president and voted male student of the year by professors and staff at the school. Is it ok to include that?
 

swonut

Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Joined
Jan 1, 2007
Messages
1,414
Agree on the keep it short. Spend some serious time looking at the paper and making sure the big things jump out at you. It is likely that your employer will train you to a large degree, but what is hard to train is a clear, concise writing style and effective information layout. I'd almost view your resume as a powerpoint slide and then build to the visual level first and the data level second.

Also, since you have a very targeted application, it would be beneficial to spend some time with the vet staff getting some inside knowledge of what they are looking for and building some name recognition. Nothing made a resume jump to the top of the pile faster than knowing that the person whose name is at the top already fits in with the group dynamic, is willing to work, and has exhibited some self-initiative to make sure the job was really what they wanted.

Hope this helps.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jan 1, 2010
Messages
1,157
Keep it clean. Simple. Use a standard font like Times. No colors. No pictures. Skip the "objective" portion of the resume. You are applying for the job, they already know your objective is to get one. List applicable experience. If you have had a bunch of little jobs, list only those related to the position. If you are lacking in experience, list what you can but be sure to list your duties as they relate to the job. For example, if you worked at McDonalds, don't list that you made fries, but you should list that you processed and prepared orders as they were delivered, maintained accurate inventory of the products and were recognized as a company asset for your ability to multi-task. You want to be sure to use words from the job posting. I was one time turned down for a job because I didn't list that I knew how to do clerical work like answer a phone or file notes, despite having had seven years of office experience. I was pretty upset at that one, but learned a valuable lesson.

Yes. List your extracurricular activities and achievements from community college.

Good luck!
 

JackHammer

Gold Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2010
Messages
1,542
Unfortunately, I haven't done any research yet, so it will most likely be VERY brief. I'll have to check to see what GPA is higher. That's a great idea though. Thanks!



Thanks for the response. Again, I think i'll struggle to fill up one page.

Here's a question. Before I went to Penn State I went to a community college where I was really active. I was student government president and voted male student of the year by professors and staff at the school. Is it ok to include that?

I'd leave it off the actual resume but mention it at the interview if you manage to get one.
 
Joined
Jan 1, 2010
Messages
1,157
I think that looks fine. I don't case much for centered text, but it does drive your eye downwards, which is what you want. You need to put all of your contact information on there. Phone number. Address. Email. Use whatever address you need to use in order for someone to send you a letter. If you are living at school, use that one. At home? Home address. Don't use any contact information that isn't going to get a hold of you quickly. I stopped putting my home AND cell number on resumes.

What do you mean about labeling them?
 
Joined
Aug 29, 2007
Messages
1,601
I just meant labeling which address was which, but I went ahead and did it for now.

The layout I used was only slightly different from that. My roommate, who made it one of the resume building sessions, gave me an example the "expert" gave him. I think the only real difference was it included an "activities" section.
 
Joined
Nov 5, 2001
Messages
8,655
The first thing I notice on resumes are typos and spelling errors. Those with them are circular filed.
 

Gollnick

Musical Director
Joined
Mar 22, 1999
Messages
28,912
I am, at times, a hiring manager.

First, as an NCG (new-college grad), you get ONE page. I'm not going to read the second page. And if you have three, they ALL go in the bin the moment I realize that there are three... or more. I've had NCGs send me three and four pages. Who do you think you are? Get in the bin.

Later in your career, you can have two pages. Two.

The exception is if you persue a career in academia, but then you have a C.V., not a resume.

You can say what you want about the Christian faith -- whether you love it or hate it -- but you can't deny that it is very big and very complex. Scholars have spend their lives on it. Throughout the world, whole libraries are dedicated to it... buildings full of scholarly books. Whether you believe it or not, you can't deny that it is big and complex... much bigger and more complex than you are. And yet is is summarized in the 110 words of the Apostle's Creed. If this enormous thing called the Christian Faith can be summarized in 110, so can you.

I have a stack of fifty or more resumes to get through. Summarize, man, summarize!

And organize and organize. I can't stand "non-traditional" resumes. The traditional resume is organized in a specific way so that the hiring manager can read and compare them. Follow that format!

The modern idea is to stuff your resume with buzzwords to get through the computer filters. But don't forget that eventy real human -- called a "hiring manager" -- will eventually read it. And if it's a list of buzzwords, it goes in the dreaded bin.

What am I looking for?

I want you to be curious. I want you to be someone who does things and does things and experiments... not just listens to lectures and reads documents (unless, of course, I gave the lecture or wrote the document), I want you to be aware of the world around you, I want you to have a sense of the balance between art and science, and I want you to see the connections in the world. If you have these traits, I can teach you the rest. Finding these traits in a sea of technology buzzwords is not easy. But I have found them and the results have been excellent.
 
Joined
Aug 29, 2007
Messages
1,601
The first thing I notice on resumes are typos and spelling errors. Those with them are circular filed.

I try my best to avoid those. Maybe i'll have some people check over it just to make sure. Thanks!

I am, at times, a hiring manager.

First, as an NCG (new-college grad), you get ONE page. I'm not going to read the second page. And if you have three, they ALL go in the bin the moment I realize that there are three... or more. I've had NCGs send me three and four pages. Who do you think you are? Get in the bin.

Later in your career, you can have two pages. Two.

The exception is if you persue a career in academia, but then you have a C.V., not a resume.

You can say what you want about the Christian faith -- whether you love it or hate it -- but you can't deny that it is very big and very complex. Scholars have spend their lives on it. Throughout the world, whole libraries are dedicated to it... buildings full of scholarly books. Whether you believe it or not, you can't deny that it is big and complex... much bigger and more complex than you are. And yet is is summarized in the 110 words of the Apostle's Creed. If this enormous thing called the Christian Faith can be summarized in 110, so can you.

I have a stack of fifty or more resumes to get through. Summarize, man, summarize!

And organize and organize. I can't stand "non-traditional" resumes. The traditional resume is organized in a specific way so that the hiring manager can read and compare them. Follow that format!

The modern idea is to stuff your resume with buzzwords to get through the computer filters. But don't forget that eventy real human -- called a "hiring manager" -- will eventually read it. And if it's a list of buzzwords, it goes in the dreaded bin.

What am I looking for?

I want you to be curious. I want you to be someone who does things and does things and experiments... not just listens to lectures and reads documents (unless, of course, I gave the lecture or wrote the document), I want you to be aware of the world around you, I want you to have a sense of the balance between art and science, and I want you to see the connections in the world. If you have these traits, I can teach you the rest. Finding these traits in a sea of technology buzzwords is not easy. But I have found them and the results have been excellent.

Thanks for the post, Gollnick.

I can assure you my resume won't be over 1 page. In fact, I kind of had to stretch it get it there (and I did my best not to ramble, too).

I think the hardest part for me is figuring out what to include and what would be better off excluded. Oh well..for now I at least have a solidish foundation from which I can tweak as more information is given/learned.

Let us hope that some of your future applicants stumble upon this thread..
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2004
Messages
5,247
As far as resume building, be accurate 100%. If you aren't sure or can't remember or want to overstate your qualifications, DON'T. HR people do background checks these days. Worse than not getting the job would be to get a job and be fired for padding your resume and end up with a bad reputation. I know it goes without saying, but I'm saying it anyways.

Also, you said that you couldn't make the workshops for resume building. You should call the career development office and get an appointment. It has been my experience that career development offices don't want to do anything other than give you some names of companies to apply to, but if you really seek out their help they will at least go over your resume and give pointers. You are paying a lot for an education, don't take "can't help you" for an answer.
 
Joined
Nov 9, 2007
Messages
2,124
I would agree you must have a perfectly typo free resume; have at least a couple people proof read it for you.

Also it is very important to have some decent references. If you get a research gig at your school be sure to in a good effort and use one of them as a reference. There are lots of folks out there with a great GPA, and it does take something to set you apart.

And when you do get an interview just be yourself; good luck!
 

other memory

Gold Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2012
Messages
1,531
Your first draft is the boilerplate about yourself, the person, not the yes man. It will contain facts about your skill sets and signals that you are a human who thinks for himself. Like others have said, skip the in-fashion buzz terms. The second draft is your tailor made version that will fit the culture of where you are applying. Your third and final draft is a combination of both. Be unique, stand out, but always make sure you fit their bill.

HR always talks uniqueness, but in reality they want conformists. Don't be fooled by HR politics. They are master vetters and they love themselves more than anything. They want copies of themselves.
 
Last edited:

Bigfattyt

Gold Member
Joined
Jun 23, 2007
Messages
18,440
You should check with your career counselor/career services at your school. A major college should have one.

They can be invaluable.

As others have said, proof read, and have more people proof read it for you as well.
 

gazz98

Gold Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2008
Messages
4,264
Another thing to keep in mind. Since the majority of resumes are submitted via email now, many are filtered and sorted using keywords relevant to the position. Being in college, you won't have experience in many of those areas but you might get a few more bonus points by including some relevant words in your resume. "I'm interested in learning x, x, and X" for example.
 
Joined
Jan 11, 2020
Messages
5
hi
I've faced the same problems as the author had...
Writing a resume s*cks as you even don't know what to write...
 
Top