Making a resume: it’s not something that may be on the top of your to-do list for the summer, but it should be. No matter if you’re in the middle of freshman year or packing for college, learning how to make a resume is a life skill that everyone should know. Of course, there are plenty of resources like LinkedIn, where you can have a digital record of your employment and references, but many jobs require a paper or PDF copy that you will need to design, update, and store. Here are our very best tips on how you can create a resume that totally wows (and hopefully lands you the job of your dreams):
-Start with a list of your volunteer and employment histories: A simple legal pad or notebook paper will work for this step. Identify any things you’ve been involved in, such as volunteering at the Humane Society, working a part-time job (even if it’s nannying or babysitting), and anything that you can provide viable references for. You do not need to include your grade point average, or miscellaneous awards, unless they directly correlate with the job you’re applying for. Have a parent or other trusted adult check your list for relevant information, and to help you narrow down what is truly pertinent.
-Nail down your references and timelines: You don’t need to go back to your kindergarten years (please don’t!) to find relevant work history. It’s better to have less information than to try to scrounge around and fill it with things that have nothing to do with your reliability as an employee or intern. When you have narrowed down your specifics, make sure you contact anyone you worked under or for/with that would be a viable reference for you. You must ask their permission in writing, in order to include them on your resume as a personal or employer reference. Double check email addresses and phone numbers on anything you provide. If you’re unsure of when you started or stopped a job, make sure you ask the employer.
-Always be honest: It is never okay to lie or include misinformation on your resume. As we mentioned, it is better to have a sparce, emptier resume that is truthful, than one padded with falsehoods. It will always be found out when you lie on one, and it sets you up for both legal trouble, and failing at a job. Only include experience you actually have, and only add names of people you truly know. Employers can see right through exaggerated lies, and you will always be on your toes, wondering if they will “find out” you stretched the truth…it’s best to always be honest! If you were fired or let go from a job and are embarrassed about it, be prepared with a truthful but concise statement because employers will likely ask you about a gap in work history.
-Design and save/print: There are so many awesome resources out there for resume building. You can google free templates from Microsoft Word if you want to keep things very simple and clean without much effort, but our favorite program is Canva for truly showstopping graphics and designs. They are free for almost all graphic elements, and only $1 for the fancier photos and fonts. It makes it a cinch to drag and drop your information into a beautiful and professional looking resume. Save a copy in Canva, where you can edit it as you add or take away work experience, and save a PDF and printed copy for your own files.
Now, that you have a gorgeous resume, you are ready to go get your internship or dream job! We can’t wait to hear about it! Stay tuned here on the blog for more advice and tips as you prepare for college!