Your Summer Resume Checklist

First impressions are everything, and oftentimes, a resume if your first impression to an employer or a recruiter.  Taking time to make sure you are putting your best foot forward is essential to a successful career.  Summer is a great time to reevaluate your resume.  Almost halfway through the calendar year and with an influx of fresh graduates entering the job market, it is important to make sure you are completely up to date in order to stand out among candidates. This means taking advantage of all of your resources including job recruitment software available to you, being in contact with your recruiter, and asking for feedback on your resume.

When it comes to basic formatting, making sure your resume is aesthetically pleasing.  This starts by limiting your resume to one page.  Making it easy to see everything at one glance.  Also when choosing software or program for which to write your resume, use a word processor to make it easy for recruiters and to make sure it is compatible and easily uploadable to any websites as well as ATS software.  It is also important that it is clean and polished and in a simple font, as to not overwhelm your potential employer.  By utilizing Times Roman or another Serif font, it will ensure that your resume is looking spiffy and clean.  Keeping it simple does not mean it has to be boring though; we want you to stand out! Look online for some simple and professional design templates to base your resume off of.  In turn, this will add a little style as well as creativity to your resume building process.

With the addition of many new candidates on the market as a result of various graduations, maybe even your own, it is important to update your education and work experience as well as any other information stated on your resume including awards or honors earned. Taking time to reflect on your college career or your last couple years of work and finding times where you stood out, are definitely worth mentioning on your resume. Make sure your accomplishments are quantified when necessary as that will show your previous success very clearly.  Using specific keywords with these resume builders will stand out to recruiters and could often be searched for using applicant tracking software.

Make sure that all of the sections are clearly labeled and that they are placed in an order that will highlight your strongest credentials. Highlighting your strongest credentials by putting them at the top of each section will make it hard for employers to just skim over.  Also, don’t be afraid to make your resume specific to a company or field.  If you are looking to work for a specific company or in a specific field, it’s important to adjust your resume to emphasize skills that they are most looking for.  Explore the company’s website, find buzzwords that they utilize in their content and incorporate them into your own resume or cover letter.  Most of the time recruiters will also be using their job recruiting software to find keywords to find jobs as well as candidates.

Finally, make sure your resume fits your career goals.  This means taking time to evaluate where you want to see yourself in a year, five years even ten years and then ask yourself, what can I do to get there? How can I build my resume? What personal and career goals will get me to where I want to be?  This could also help you find the career path that you’d like to take.  Summer is a great time to evaluate your career, future career goals, and update that resume!

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