March 25th, 2008 Jamie
Now that you know the basics of résumé writing, let me fill you in on some of the most common questions college students have about how to write a résumé. (And don’t forget, you can download the sample résumé at the end of this post!)
How Long Should it Be?
A good résumé will be only about 1-2 pages. There is no strict requirement that it be ONLY one page; you can definitely stray onto a second page if you need to-just remember to keep your wording concise.
Even if you don’t have a lot of experience, try to fill in at least one page. You can always add more details about your previous positions or extracurricular activities to fill the white space.
How Far Back Should I Go When Listing Jobs?
My personal opinion is that you can list anything you did during high school as long as you are still in college. Once you graduate college, it’s better to rely on your collegiate achievements, and let high school go.
Do NOT list anything from pre-high school years, like your reading award in 6th grade, or your babysitting job in 8th grade. I can almost absolutely guarantee that your potential employer does not want to read that far back into your life. In fact, listing that far back will probably make you look like you haven’t achieved much since then-so be on the safe side and leave that stuff out.
Can I Put My Cell Phone # as a Contact #?
Yes, but make sure your voicemail sounds professional! It needs to say at least your first name, and make sure it is appropriate for potential employers to hear.
Same goes for your email address–I suggest getting a secondary email address that is just “YourName@emailservice.com” to use for professional purposes. You could also use your basic school account if appropriate.
What is a Cover Letter? Do I Have to Include One With Every Résumé?
A cover letter is a brief letter stating which position you are applying for, why you are interested, and what qualifies you for the position. It’s a great opportunity to personalize your message to a particular employer and add information about your personality, which may not come through in your résumé.
You should definitely include a cover letter with your application and résumé. It will show your potential employer that you took some extra time to customize your communication for their business, and it also positions you to come across as mature and professional. If you apply by email, include the cover letter as the body of your email, and your résumé as an attachment.
Monster.com has a nice collection of sample cover letters that can help you get started.
Where is that Sample Résumé Download You Promised?
Download your sample résumé right here! Just remember to replace all the sample info with your own info!
Entry Filed under: jobs & working