Formatting Your Resume

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Have what you need to fill your resume, but don’t quite know how to do it? Formatting a resume can be difficult for many first timers and can also be what helps employers decide whether to pass or trash your resume. Like the rest of Manhattan’s young elite, Nate Archibald is looking for an internship to get him in the door with the Upper East Side’s business tycoons.  With the help of Brenda Knott, Controller and finance manager at Ovation Food Services, Archibald will learn how to create a clean-looking resume to get the attention of high profile companies.

Problem One: The Lines

“Using these lines in between each area of your resume is very distracting.  It separates your resume into sections when it should be showing employers how your experience, education, volunteering, etc. work cohesively.  Try using bold or italics,” Knott says.

Problem Two: Honors

“Everything on a resume should be bulleted or indented.  Listing your honors like that doesn’t emphasize each point enough, and therefore does not look like you have as many accomplishments in that area.  Definitely bullet it,” Knott says.

Problem Three: The Header

“You’ve crammed a lot of contact information into a small area.  Your contact information is one of the most important parts of the resume. Choose one address, one phone number and one email to be contacted at. Looking at this resume, I don’t know the best way to contact you. As an employer, I’m just going to move on to the next one,” Knott says.

Problem Four: Consistency

“Without consistency, your resume will look sloppy.  For example, in your work experience you have your first point bolded then use parentheses while the next point is bolded then italicized.  Seeing as the rest of the resume is bolded and italicized, you should use this format.  The same should apply to your education,” Knott says.

Problem Five: Skills

“While skills are often fitted into the bottom of many resumes, it should still look neat and fit in with, once again, the consistent format of the resume.  The hyphens and parentheses are not very neat looking.  Again, bullet everything,” Knott says.

When an employer is looking at hundreds of resumes, it only takes them seconds to decide if they want to take a second glance, and a poorly formatted resume can be the reason you don’t make the cut.  Apply these tips to your resume and you’ll be good to go. Does your resume need a facelift too? Be the next Nate Archibald and send your resume to editorial@collegemagazine.com, subject “Rejected Resume.”

Sophomore > Communication > University of Maryland

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