Employment Update: How to Write a Resume

Mark Chung Kwan Fan is going to tell you how to write a resume from the Student Perspective. In addition to being the Orientation Intern for OISS, Mark is also working with the Career Services Network at MSU.

EMPLOYMENT UPDATE

Did you know we’re having an employment event? Life in the U.S. : The U.S. Workplace is on Tuesday, March 27th from 11:30-12:30. We will also provide lunch, for those who register: http://bit.ly/xY5tmS

How to Write a Resume

Everybody should have a resume ready to be submitted. A resume can open doors to an internship opportunity and eventually job offers. Self-promotion is not easy. Whether you’re a freshman or a senior in college, you still have to talk about yourself in the right way when applying for professional opportunities. And one of the key ingredients of self-promotion is the resume. Nail it, and you get your foot in the door. Blow it, and you blow your chances at a better job, better career or even a better life.

In doing my practicum at the Career Services Network at Michigan State University, I have been trained on how to do resume critiques. I have acquired considerable knowledge on how to review and improve resumes for college students. I will be talking about the important steps of how to create a resume and conclude with the resources offered by Career Services Network for resume critiques.

Step 1: Create a unique and simple heading

The heading will contain your name and contact information. This section of your resume usually has a larger font than the rest of your professional document. Contact information should include:

  • Email address (be sure that it is a professional email address and up-to-date)
  • Phone number (Provide only ONE phone number)
  • Current Address (Be sure to include apartment number if applicable)
  • Permanent Address (optional)

Step 2: Resume Content

Keep a consistent format on your resume. Your resume should include:

  • An objective
  • Education
  • Employment history
  • Other experience (optional)
  • A summary, including any other pertinent information or affiliations (Examples: Student organizations, honors affiliations, extracurricular experience, service learning experience, nominations, etc…)
  • Skills

Step 3: Objective

The objective should be a concise statement mentioning the type of opportunity you are applying for (internship, practicum, temporary job, or permanent job), when are you applying for (month[s], semester, summer, year-long), and the field of study (academic department).

Step 4: Education

Things to put under the Education section (Click to enlarge the sample resume on the left):

  • Degree (Spell out your degree)
  • Major
  • Specialization/concentration
  • Grade Point Average (GPA)
  • Dean’s list (if important enough to highlight) / Honors accreditation

Step 5: Employment History

In order to avoid confusion, keep the title of this section as “Experience”. This section may have work experience, internship experience, or sometimes volunteer experience. Under “Experience” I would put whatever experience that is relevant to the position I am applying to. For each experience, I would put the position title and the location of the job. Under each experience, break them down into bullet points to describe your learning outcomes and skills acquired. (see resume sample) The bullet points should be concise statements starting with an action verb in the past tense.

Step 6: Other Experience

For this section, I recommend putting any job experience that is NOT relevant to your course of study such as working at McDonald, summer camp counselor, etc… And again you will describe your learning experience in the bullet point format.

Step 7: Summary (miscellaneous info)

It has been proven that on-campus involvement leads to students’ success. Being involved on campus also helps in acquiring good workforce skills for the future. For this section, there are different ways of naming it: “Student Organizations and Involvement”, “Membership and Involvement”, “Extracurricular Activities”, etc… It all depends on the content of this section and this will vary from resume to resume. Under this section, I recommend putting all your on-campus and off-campus involvement such as your membership to student organizations, E-board positions and so on.

Step 8: Skills

Depending on the importance of this section, it can be moved up in your resume or kept at the bottom. For example, an engineering major might list this section earlier in the resume to summarize the engineers programs they are familiar with, or graphic design majors might move it up to talk about the different software they utilize. Other skills could be language proficiency as well.

Other Resources

  • Create an account at www.myspartancareer.com to see the upcoming career services events for career fairs and workshops. You can also see a tutorial here about how to create an account: Video tutorial
  • Resume critiques are available at 113 Student Services on:

Mondays – 2:30pm – 4:30pm

Tuesdays – 2:30pm – 4:30pm

Wednesdays – 9:00am- 11:00am

Thursdays – 10:00am – 12:00pm

  • Resume critiques are available at the Career Services at the Stadium, 2nd floor of the Stadium, 290 Spartan Way on:

Tuesdays 2-4pm

Thursdays 9:30-12pm

Fridays 10-1pm

Mark Chung Kwan Fan is a first-year international graduate student from the island of Mauritius. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Student Affairs and Administration at MSU’s College of Education. His interests vary from Latin American culture to student affairs in the context of international education. Mark also serves as Orientation Intern at the Office for International Students and Scholars (OISS).

Images courtesy of the Career Services Network (except for the one of Mark on the horse).

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