Tuesday, April 12th, 2011
Written by Kentaro Oi
Urban Interns Brand Ambassador, Boston University
The first step that all of us take when thinking about our careers is compiling a list of experiences, schoolwork, and qualifications – otherwise known as the all-important resume.
Although it may seem like a daunting task to gather your professional and school life into a one-page summary, it’s both essential AND doable.
Keep things current - First things first, when making a list of your experiences, try to keep things current. Always begin your resume with the most recent or current job or internship and work chronologically backwards as you list your experiences. Think of it as a backwards timeline.
Start bullets with action verbs - It’s great that you interned at a well known private equity firm, but it would be almost useless without descriptive and relevant bullet points to back them up. Begin each bullet with eye catching action verbs. Each bullet should also explain the reason for your action verb or the impact it had, so they illustrate not just what you did but how and why you did them. Also, try to quantify your results in each role.
Tailor to your audience – Tailor your resume to the type of company or job you are applying for. You may not think that the server position you held at the local diner will help you in the marketing and advertising field. However, your interpersonal abilities and selling skills that you had developed subconsciously are integral in the social aspect of marketing. When editing your bullet points, make sure to tailor them specifically to the industry of the company or the job you are applying for. By keeping things relevant, employers will able to connect your specific skills to those necessary for the position. Save versions under different names, but make sure to erase the detail when sending out (i.e., don’t send an employer a resume entitled, “Kentaro Oi-Marketing Resume.pdf”)!
Pay attention to details - You’d be shocked at how many people don’t align columns, have inconsistent formatting, and forget to spell-check.
Stand out in the crowd - Try to include a little bit about yourself as well in an “Interests” section of your resume. Employers view hundreds of resumes everyday and anything that stands out, such as your passion for ultimate Frisbee or your encyclopedic knowledge of independent film, may get you noticed. Of course, stay within professional lines, and be genuine about it … Chances are, you’ll be asked about it in an interview.