Hello, beautiful people! I hope you learned something from our Breast Cancer posts last week! I was really excited about them so I hope you all were too. This week’s topic is going to be us giving you a few pieces of advice on how to build or better your resumes.
So I’m in grad school, like everyone knows at this point. My initial piece of advice is to figure out whether or not you need a resume or CV. In academia , CV’s are important and can be longer than resumes. They give detailed information about your education, accomplishments, publications, etc. These don’t change depending on what you’re applying for like resumes do. But I won’t go into too much detail about them. If anyone has any specific questions, ask me on Twitter/FB @MacScientists.
Onto resumes. My first piece of advice is to keep it to one page. This is important. Employers look at these to get a snapshot of your experience to determine whether or not you fit the position you’ve applied for. If you make it too long they’re not going to get to everything on it when they’re screening all of the applicants. Short, sweet, and to the point is the goal for a great resume.
Next, tailor it to the job/fellowship/program you’re applying for. I can’t stress this enough. Do not put that you worked retail for one summer if you’re looking for a STEM research based position. You want to focus on the things that are relevant to the job you’re trying to get. Resumes have no room for fluff. Again, fluff gets you nowhere in the job hunt. It’s great you worked retail, but focus on instrumentation you’ve been trained on, internships you’ve had, teaching assistant positions you’ve held, etc.
Check your spelling/ grammar and have someone proofread it. I decided to combine these because they can theoretically go hand in hand. Typos are a no no for employers. You want to show you care about getting this position and typos show you rushed and didn’t take a few minutes to look over your work. This can also be avoided if you let someone else look at your resume for you. A second, or third, pair of eyes can’t hurt. The more feedback you get can really be beneficial to crafting a great resume.
Keep it updated. Don’t just make your resume once and not touch it again. It’s easier to update it as you go when you get new responsibilities at your current job so you aren’t scratching your head months/years later trying to remember what you did at work. If you keep a document that has everything you’ve done and accomplished up-to-date, editing it won’t be as hard and you can delete the things that aren’t relevant.
Which goes to another point I got from a FB friend, use action verbs. You don’t want to be nonchalant about the things you’ve done so use words that will stand out. Some phrases to avoid “organized”, “responsible for”, or oversaw”. Try “executed”, “addressed”, or “delegated” instead. Passivity is the last thing you need to be on your resume.
These are just a few I have but there are plenty of resources available to give you more advice and even templates for resumes. Monster.com is great or even Career Services at any university is always helpful. The ultimate goal is to market yourself well on one page to get your foot in the door. Grab their attention on paper first and then wow them in the interview.
As always, if you all have questions don’t hesitate to contact me via social media!
See you next week for Macademics !