Resumes play a vital role in applying for jobs, and building one can be intimidating. Thankfully, there are resources on campus to help students with their resumes, such as the Career Center and the Center for Professional Excellence (CPE).
Butch Gardner, director of the (CPE), said that a resume is like a marketing tool or a movie trailer. Applicants are trying to quickly market themselves for whatever they are applying for.
“We tend to want to put everything that we’ve ever done on a resume,” Gardner said. “(But) most professional hiring managers are not interested in what you did in high school.”
Gardner also suggested students avoid putting pictures or personal information on resumes.
“Contact information is the most personal you want to get,” Gardner said. “Which is name, phone number, email address, and physical address.”
Brian Harrington, Director of the Center for Professional Excellence, said that an important tip on tweaking a resume is making sure there are no spelling or grammatical errors.
“Every tiny little thing that you do wrong in a resume is just one little check mark against you,” Harrington said.
Harrington said students with extracurricular activities on resumes set them apart. He said numbers also catch employers’ eyes.
“Incorporate numbers into your bullet points, because it represents a quantifiable result,” Harrington said. “A recruiter is going to stop and read a bullet point more likely if it has a number on it.”
Senior Braden Bowman recently took a senior seminar class for communications majors and learned about building resumes and cover letters.
“Research your potential employer first and know what the business stands for,” Bowman said. “What kind of company you’re hoping to work for depends on what your resume looks like.”
The Career Center has free resume building software available online called Optimal Resume.
“All you do is go and put your information in the space where the current information is and switch it out, and it becomes your document,” Gardner said. “I can tell right away when they’ve used the Optimal, because my time spent on those resumes is going to be cut down.”
All Harding students and alumni also have free access to Handshake, a website where users can find jobs and schedule appointments with recruiters.
For more information on resume building, email the Career Center at firstname.lastname@example.org or the Center for Professional Excellence at email@example.com.