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10 Tips for Creating a Great Resume

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Creating a resume can be daunting if you are new to the process. When creating a new resume, there are some basic steps you should adhere to. Thankfully, we have list of must-haves for your resume needs!

1. Less is More

Though you want to give a hiring manager the best view of who you are, ​less is more​. Employers generally only take about 10 seconds to look over your resume, so it should be short and stand out from others. Here are some tips to keep your resume ​short and concise​:

  • Avoid including unnecessary information and stick to the important features
  • Try to keep your resume to ​one page​ overall (utilize organizational skills)
  • Only provide enough detail to explain your role or position (don't overdo it)
  • You can include an "About Me" section, but it should be small and limited to few outside details

2. Include Relevant Information First

You should try to include your most important information at the ​top​ of the resume page. Things like your name, contact information, and title should all stay towards the ​top​.

  • Keep a header at the top of the page with your name in a bigger, ​bolder​ font
  • Include your title or profession if applicable to the application needs
  • Keep your contact information in a section just below your name header
  • Within your job descriptions, you should order them ​chronologically​ from most recent to least recent

3. Be Consistent with Style

When looking into the individual sections of a resume, you should have a consistent style of presenting your position information.

  • Include headers for each section of your resume (Work Experience, Leadership Experience, Volunteer Experience, Contact Information, Education, Skills, etc.)
    • Each header should be ​bolded​ and in a larger font than the other text in the sections
  • Within each section, you should have the title of your employer, location of position, time served at the position, and your position title
    • Each title should have a ​bolded​ or noticeable name of employer
  • Keeping a short, bulleted list of activities or tasks performed in that position within each section (under the title, location and time) is smart and needed to show off your skills and actions from that experience

4. Include Professional Contact Information

Although not everyone may have a professional online persona, it is often needed in many professions to show availability and inclusion of online platforms for your profession.

  • Try ​not​ to include personal social media accounts unless they are displaying you in a way that a professional would like to see (review your own accounts before deciding to include them)
  • If you have online, professional social media accounts, include those in your ​contact information​ section of the resume
  • If you happen to have a professional, business email address, include that email over a more personal email option
  • Include ​links​ to online portfolios or websites (if relevant for your position or profession)

5. Feature Volunteer Experience

There has been debate over inclusions of volunteer experience in resumes, but employers may want to see your interests outside of the profession when getting to know your character.

  • When listing volunteer experience, include a section dedicated to your positions while including title of organization/business/place, location of position, and time served in the position.
  • If a position title was given for the volunteer opportunity, include that as well
  • Only include ​relevant​ volunteer experience (you don't have to include all volunteer opportunities, only the ones you think will make you stand out)
  • The volunteer experience you mention should show-off your interests ​outside​ of the position you are applying for or your profession

6. Show Off Your Skills

As an optional (but not needed) section, a skills section can be included in a resume to show off an individual's skills, accomplishments, or knowledge of specific programs.

  • Within a skills section, include a bulleted list of your ​strengths
  • Skills could reference specific programs or online websites you have knowledge and experience with
  • Keep the list to a ​minimum​ so it doesn't take up too much space of your overall resume layout
  • Only include ​relevant​ and ​important​ aspects of your character or behavior within your skill list (can relate to your profession or just overall personality)

7. References Should Be Separate

Although some online resources recommend that you include references in your resume, it's best to make them available on a ​separate​ page or a ​separate​ document all together.

  • Include a ​range​ of reference sources, professionals being ​best
  • Keep the reference list to a number of at least ​3
  • Include the reference's name, title, employer, address, phone number, and email address
  • Keep the reference page within the ​same design​ as your resume (header of your name and contact information should be the same)

8. Design It for Your Profession

Depending on what professional field you are going into, your resume should reflect a design that ​matches​ the profession:

  • If your field includes aspects of ​design​ (like Journalism, Strategic Communications, Art, Digital Storytelling, etc.), you should make your resume using design programs.
  • If your field includes aspects of ​business or data​ (like Business, Marketing, Accounting, Engineering, etc.), you should make your resume using simple document style programs.
  • Utilize ​online programs​ to the best of your ability when looking into the design you need for your profession.

9. Utilize Keywords and Verbs in Descriptions

When creating a bulleted list of activities completed for each position mentioned in your resume, you should pay attention to wording.

  • When describing your activities in a role, start the bullets with a ​verb
  • Avoid​ using phrases with "I"
  • Try not to include ​too much​ description or actions for each position (keep them to a minimum of 1-3 bullets)

10. Include All Needed Sections

Double check that your resume includes all ​needed​ sections for employers within basic profile information and added details to you as an individual.

  • Name (including title or profession if applicable)
  • Contact Information
  • Education
  • Work Experience
  • Leadership Experience
  • Volunteer Experience (if desired)
  • Skills (if desired)
  • About Me (if desired)
  • Depending on the space provided for your resume (depending on what design you choose to base your resume off of) you may need ​more or less​ of these sections

<!--StartFragment-->I am a current senior studying at the University of Missouri - Columbia with a major in Journalism and a minor in Sociology. I have interests in photojournalism, documentary journalism and design fields. <!--EndFragment-->

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