When sitting down to write your first resume, you might feel as lost as you did on the first day of classes. Luckily, Susan Gordon, an advisor at the American University Career Center, has some tips to let students know what employers are looking for.
Include experience from high school if needed.
While jobs like waitressing and babysitting might not seem very impressive to you, employers like to see commitment and reliability. “I recommend adding some accomplishment statements that focus on transferable skills,” says Gordon. “For example baby-sitters develop supervisory and tutoring skills, cashiers and waitresses hone customer service skills and an ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously.”
Tailor your resume.
Make sure your resume matches the qualifications the employer is looking for, even if your experience is limited. Gordon suggests that students put a profile statement at the top of their resume to catch an employer’s eye. “These can tell an employer in 5 seconds what your most key qualifications are,” she said. It can include your most important job and skills you’ve learned.
Use your extracurriculars to your advantage.
If this is your first time looking for a job, play up leadership experience from clubs you’re involved with on campus or were back in high school, along with significant achievements and awards. Showing commitment to a particular task can say a lot to an employer, especially if the nature of your club ties to the job you are looking for.