As a college sophomore, I can already tell you that having a resume is probably one of the most essential things to have during your first year. Unfortunately, it can be hard to find someone to help you get started, which is why I’m here! Below are a few tips on how to write your first resume.
Make a list
First things first, make a list of your accomplishments before you start your resume. This must be the first step you take especially if you do not already have a resume. Put down your college GPA, any athletic or academic honors, workshops you’ve attended, leadership positions you’ve held and your skills and interests.
Organize your list
After composing a list, you are ready for the next step, which is to organize your first resume into 4 categories:
- Education & Honors
- Relevant Experience
- Leadership Experience
- Skills & Interests
Once you’ve organize your resume, you need to elaborate and give more information on the information you’ve provided, but always in a concise way. This may seem kind of contradictory, but it means that you must give rich details about your relevant experience and leadership experience, in a straightforward manner. Try to aim for 2-3 bullet points for each topic, or perhaps one long (but not too long) bullet point. Always provide the time period in which that experience occurred, and the location. And always use strong action verbs, for example, pioneer.
By now, you have all of the content and it is time to think about format. Focus on aesthetics! The way your resume looks at first glance plays a HUGE role when you are applying for an internship or a leadership program.
What you need to do is make your margins small (0.5 inches), your font size 11 using Times New Roman, capitalize the titles of your categories, bold the titles of your experiences, italicize the time periods and locations. Also center your name at the top of the page in a larger, bolder size, along with your email, address and phone number right below and slightly smaller.
One more important tip before you giving your resume to a recruiter or professional: always ask at least two people to review your resume. This is a must because typos and grammatical errors are unacceptable. Having a second (or third, or fourth) eye on your resume will allow and mistakes come to light.
I wish all the best of luck to you on composing your first resume!