Resumes

A resume is often your first chance at making an impression on a recruiter or hiring manager. You want to make sure your resume is organized, free of grammatical errors, and highlights your relevant skills and experience. Just as every person is different, everyone's resume is also going to look different, based on career objectives, experience, education, and involvement.

We recommend you start working on your resume early in your college experience so you can determine where you may be lacking in the Spartan Ready Career Competencies. See the information below to get started! If you need help creating, updating, or reviewing your resume, call 864-503-5392 for an appointment! Career Services and we will be happy to help! 

Getting Started

Research

Before you begin, spend some time looking at the job posting(s) you are interested in applying for. Understand the common qualifications, experience, and skills for these types of jobs. Look for "buzzwords" (i.e. results-oriented, communication skills, team player) and think of ways you can describe in your resume any relevant experience and skills that apply.

Brainstorm

Make a list of your various experiences and skills. You probably won't list everything in your resume, but you can look through and see which experiences are most relevant to your career field. Use to following chart to help you brainstorm!

Honors/Awards (Include dates)

Examples:

  • Dean’s List
  • Chancellor’s List
  • Athletic/Conference Academic Honor Rolls
  • Honor Societies
Experience (Include dates)
  • Part-time/seasonal employment
  • Volunteer experience
  • Internships or job shadows
  • Leadership roles (i.e. team captain, president of a student organization)
  • Research
  • Public speaking engagements
Skills
  • Languages
  • Certifications (Include dates)
  • Computer/technology skills (i.e. programs, software)
Relevant Coursework, Projects, or Assignments (include dates/semester)
  • Research assignments
  • Projects that demonstrate your competencies (i.e. creating a marketing plan, building a database)
Extracurricular Activities (include dates)
  • Clubs or organizations
  • Sports
  • Committees

 

 

Sections and Formatting

resume sections

Objective or Summary
  • Provides a brief summary of your relevant experience and skills
  • Your objective should change with each job you apply to!
Education
  • List the school, degree, completion date, and any minors, concentrations, or cognates
  • It is a Bachelor of Arts (or Science), not Bachelors or Bachelor’s!
  • Know the official title of your major (i.e. Business Administration, Information Management & Systems, Exercise & Sport Science)
Honors or Awards
  • If your awards are academic, you may want to include them in the education section
Relevant Coursework
  • This is a great section to add if you do not have an internship or relevant experience
Academic Experience
  • Provide details of relevant projects or assignments that relate to your career field 
Relevant Experience
  • List jobs and experiences that directly relate to your career field
  • By creating a separate section just for relevant experience, it highlights the experiences that show you are qualified for the position. Be sure to put this section towards the top of your resume!
Additional Experience
  • Other part-time or work experiences that don’t quite relate to your career path, but demonstrate you can maintain employment and have developed some of the career competencies   
Involvement
  • Don’t use acronyms! Employers don’t know what SGA or CAB are!
  • Give a brief description of the organization.
Leadership
  • You may want to highlight leadership roles that you have held with campus or community involvement
Skills or Certifications
  • The skills you list should not be soft skills (i.e. Communication, Team work, Time Management). Although these are important, you should be describing soft skills in your bullet points in other sections (see below for more information on bullet points!).

 

Formatting

Font
  • 10-12 point font (Except for your name at the top of the page, this should be the largest text on your resume)
  • Use a professional font that is easy to read
Margins
  • Keep your margins between 0.5” and 1.0”
Length
  • A typical resume for a college student is one page. If your resume goes onto two pages, look through and see if there is anything that needs to be removed. Try making your font and margins smaller to see if that helps!
  • If your resume goes on to two pages, make sure your most relevant information is on the first page (preferably the top half)
Contact Information
  • You should include your name, phone number, e-mail address, and address on your resume. Your contact information goes at the top of your resume.
  • Use a professional e-mail address (i.e. not SpartanFan31@email.com). Your school e-mail address is fine!
Format
  • Keep formatting consistent throughout your resume. If you bold and italicize section headings, make sure ALL section headings are bold and italicized. 
  • Make sure everything is aligned. Use the tab key instead of the space bar to align text!
  • Don't go overboard with bolds, fonts, underlining, etc. 
Section Order
  • The average time someone looks at your resume is 10 seconds. You should make sure your most relevant information is at the top half of your resume (i.e. internships, leadership, education, or other experiences that directly relate to your career field).
  • Your sections may change with different jobs you apply to!
Section Information (Bullet Points)
  • As you describe your employment history, involvement, and other experiences, use short, bulleted lists (not paragraphs) to describe these experiences
  • Start each bullet with a strong action verb (i.e. Managed, Collaborated, Organized), followed by the task and/or the result.
  • Use numbers when you can!

Examples:

  • Oversaw 25 children between 3rd and 5th grade during after-school program; provided a safe and interactive learning environment
  • Handled 60+ calls daily to set appointments and resolve customer service issues
  • Monitored over 100+ patrons of pool, primarily children, ensuring safety in and around pool area
Saving Your Resume
  • Save your resume as a PDF! This ensures that no formatting will be changed when you upload or e-mail it to an employer
  • Save your file as something descriptive (i.e. Cochran J Business Analyst I) instead of just “My Resume”.
Paper
  • If you are going to a career fair or into an interview where you will physically be handing in your resume, use resume paper! Stop by Career Services to pick up a stack!
Resume Checklist

First Glance

  • Is the resume easy to skim? Can you review the resume in about 10 seconds?
  • Is there an equal balance of white space and text? (Not too clustered, but no big blank gaps throughout the page)
  • Is the resume consistent? Are all section headings, job titles, tabs and spacing consistent down the page?

Resume Sections

  • Is the objective statement tailored to the employer and job title you are seeking? Does it include a summary of your experience and strengths?
  • Are the most relevant experiences listed towards the top of the resume so the reader sees those first?
  • Does each entry for prior jobs/experiences include the organization, location (City, State), your position/title/role, and the date range (Month Year) that you were were involved?
  • Are your roles and responsibilities identified using bullet points that use strong actions words? Do they describe what you accomplished on the job?
  • Would an outsider be able to understand the campus organizations you were involved with? Are all acronyms and abbreviations spelled out?
  • Have you highlighted all leadership roles in your experiences?
  • Did you use present tense for current/ongoing experiences, and past tense for past experiences?
  • Are entries listed in reverse chronological order, with the most recent opportunity listed first? 
  • Is your resume free of grammatical and spelling errors? Are the correct things capitalized? 

Overall

  • If you were in a hiring position, would you consider this this candidate for an interview?
  • Have you sent your resume to Career Services for a final review?
  • Do you have a cover letter? (ALWAYS send a cover letter if requested.)