Resume Preparation

"The purpose of a resume is not to get the job
but to secure the interview."

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The resume is a well-organized profile of your background and experience. It is a picture used to market the skills and abilities you have developed and refined during your college years. It is a document that a prospective employer can review at a glance to learn of your qualifications and, if written properly, can be an effective tool in securing those very important job interviews.

Below is a list of suggestions you should follow while constructing your resume:

  1. Your resume should be a positive, truthful presentation of your education, experience, and skills relative to the position you are seeking.
    • Always accentuate the positive—never the negative.
    • Include the academic achievements, employment, volunteer experiences, and additional activities that depict your personal qualities, capabilities, and skill areas that best market you for the position you are applying for. This requires knowledge of yourself and a good idea of what the employer is looking for.
  2. Your resume should be complete. A one-page resume is best for college graduates, but two pages are acceptable as long as they have relevant information. Conciseness and clarity are a MUST! Every sentence and phrase on your resume must provide worthwhile information to a particular employer.
  3. Your resume should be letter perfect. An employer will evaluate you as a person when scanning your resume, a neat resume = a neat person, well-organized resume = a well organized person, error-free resume = a careful person, and a professional appearance = a competent person.
  4. Make your resume as readable and pleasing to the eye as possible. Have uniform margins and consistency in your format. You may use centered or left-handed headings for any of the formats. White space, capitalizations, underlining, boldface, and indentation may be used to direct the reader.
  5. Learn and use terminology in your resume that is common in the field you are pursuing.
  6. Always write out or explain technical terminology and abbreviations used in your resume. Don’t leave anything to the employer’s imagination. If what is written leaves a question in the reader’s mind, the result will, most often, be a negative reaction.
  7. Your resume will not be perfect after your first attempt at organizing your academic and work experience, special skills, etc. The first time you prepare a resume may take as long as 6 hours. Be prepared to write a series of resume drafts before you are satisfied with how you have marketed yourself. Make sure you enlist the assistance and support of your Career Services. They will want to read your resume and offer helpful suggestions regarding its construction.
  8. A resume should be written for each type of position for which you are applying. Remember that it should be targeted for job descriptions of positions that you have specific interest in.
  9. Double check for spelling, typographic, and grammatical errors, and have at least one other person check your resume. This point cannot be stressed enough! Any error will relegate the resume to the wastebasket.
  10. Use ONLY a laser printer for the final copy. Inkjet printers are not acceptable. The final copy must be neat, professional, well organized, and easy to read. The Career Center has a laser printer and will be happy to assist you in presenting a professional laser copy of your resume.
  11. When printing, use 20-pound bond paper and purchase additional paper for the cover letter. White, off-white, cream and pale grays are accepted colors for most areas. Pastels are not recommended. Resume paper may be purchased in the Bryan College Bookstore.
  12. When sending your resume and cover letter, send it flat in a 9x12” envelope which may be purchased in the Bryan College Bookstore. Never fold a resume!
  13. If you fax a resume, make sure that you send a hard copy to the employer the same day.

Remember, the first impression is a lasting one—you don’t have a second chance to make a first impression!