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Resume Remedy 2008-05-14 13:05:04

Recent Graduate Résumé, Remedied

TeamSugar memeber fashionhore has just graduated and is looking for her first job out of school, ideally in print journalism. She's hoping to make herself stand out from the other recent graduates, so she shared her résumé in my Résumé Remedy group. I think she already has an edge against her competition — she has a lot of relevant experience in her field, while many college students aren't sure what direction they want to take and explore various unrelated internships. The trick is to leverage all of her great experience and showcase the varied skills she learned through each job.

Check out my advice, and of course your own suggestions are welcome! Just

  1. Overview: Before we get into specifics, the general organization needs a little polishing. If she's going to include an objective, which I don't think is always necessary or beneficial, it must be more than letting the employer know that she wants a full-time job with them. Stating the obvious as the introduction to her résumé isn't making a good first impression. The qualifications section seems out of place, and it would be better to include those pieces throughout the résumé. She may consider changing the "employment" section label to experience — I think it has a more professional feel to it.
  2. Feature the jobs, not the dates: Employers are looking to measure an applicant's qualifications, so she needs to rearrange the job titles and dates and introduce each experience with the title that she held even if it's "intern." The same goes for the education section.
  3. Formalize: The résumé feels casual to me. Pay attention to details like spelling out Bachelor of Arts, capitalizing her areas of interest in school (Journalism not journalism), and extending each of her experiences into bullet points instead of two lines that feature short factual sentences. The goal is to draw the employer's eye to her capabilities, and if they're not separated it's likely the employer will miss something important.
  4. Get specific: She made the most of her time during college and has plenty of relevant experience that would be impressive to a potential employer in her field, but she needs to divulge more about her time spent and the tools she used. For example, in her current position she "Writes various dance articles while on deadline" which is obviously important to working in print journalism. But she needs to make those points really hit home by adding depth.
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