So you’re looking to apply what you’ve learned in class to the professional world. Often, all that stands between you and your dream job or internship is a resume. So what exactly should a resume look like? What will increase the likelihood of being selected? Here are some helpful suggestions to keep in mind.
Information gathered from recruiters reveals that a majority of employers prefer a resume to be limited to one page. It may seem difficult at first to compress all your information down to a page, so here are some helpful guidelines to maximize your space.
- Half-inch margins are acceptable and preferred (Any narrower and it may not print properly)
- Font size can be brought down to 11 if necessary
- Consider removing the objective (Employers on average only spend six seconds looking at a resume, and you want this time to be spent on your accomplishments rather than an objective statement.)
- Be conservative with indentations
- Bullet points are easier to read and are more aesthetically pleasing than paragraphs
There is a general formula when it comes to constructing bullet point statements. Each point should begin with an action verb, followed by the purpose, and concluded with a result.
- For example: “Communicated with customers all promotions and specials to provide excellent customer service.”
Now that you have a basic format set up, it’s time to fill it with information.
- Contact Information
- Provide information such as your GPA, graduation (or expected graduation) date, as well as the name of the academic institution you are attending
- Specify any degrees you have earned or are in the process of earning
- Experience in reverse chronological order (most recent experience first)
- Professional, internship, volunteering, leadership, projects
- Technical (e.g., Microsoft Office, Adobe Creative Cloud, etc.)
- Known languages
- If you’ve taken any courses relevant to the position you are applying for, disclose them here
- Awards (scholarships, dean’s list, special recognition received)
Some things to note when filling out your resume:
- The Cal State Fullerton Career Center recommends not providing your full address. It is often unnecessary and could potentially compromise your safety. The city and state of residence should suffice.
- Be sure your email address is professional
- Make sure there is consistency in your format (Don’t have random periods at the end of certain bullet points, either every point gets a period, or none do)
- Instead of writing something like, “attention to detail,” on your resume, demonstrate that skill by having a clean and polished resume
Another tip: keep a master resume that grows as your experience and education expands. Continue adding skills and projects, and don’t worry about the one-page limit. You will rarely use this resume when applying for a position. Still, you will use it to tailor your resume for different recipients.
Consider the position you are applying for and take only the relevant information from your master resume to submit. This way, you keep a record of all your experience/projects ready to be sent out to employers.
Finally, be aware of the resources available to you. The CSUF Career Center website offers 24/7 online virtual resume feedback. The process is free and available to all students. Simply navigate to VMock – Instant Resume Feedback from the Career Center’s website and upload your resume.
Drive-Thru hours are also available for quick in-person resume & cover letter reviews in the career center office.
Mon & Thu 10:00 a.m. – 2:45 p.m.
Tue & Wed 10:00 a.m. – 6:45 p.m.
Fri 10:00 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.