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Resumes

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Research shows that employers spend an average of 10-15 seconds scanning a resume -- be sure that your most relevant skills and abilities are quickly and easily identifiable.

8 Steps to Crafting a Better Resume

  1. Before You Begin

    1. Think about your experiences and unique skills and abilities.
    2. Review the position or industry and know the associated keywords.
    3. A resume is a professional snapshot, designed to pique a potential employer's interest and land you the interview.
  2. Overall Format & Appearance

    1. No graphics
    2. Proofread: Spelling and formatting errors can get your resume rejected
    3. Length: Undergraduate resumes should be ONE page
    4. Order: Content is listed in reverse chronological order (most recent first)
    5. Font: Use an easy-to-read font such as Times New Roman, Arial, Calibri, Cambria or Garamond. Stick to 1 or 2 font types and styles.
    6. Size: Stay between 10 pt. and 12 pt. Your name can be larger than 12 pt.
    7. Margins: Ideal margins are .75” all around, and no smaller than 0.5”
    8. Tense & Form: Tense should match timeframe (current experiences are written in present tense; past experiences in past tense). Avoid first-person pronouns (I, me, my) or articles (a, an, the).
    9. Be consistent!
  3. Contact Information

    1. Appropriate email address (PSU address is preferred)
    2. No photos
  4. Education

    1. Penn State education listed first
      1. Correct name is "Penn State University" or "The Pennsylvania State University"
    2. Accurate campus location (i.e. University Park, PA not State College, PA)
    3. Graduation date or Expected graduation date
    4. Specify major (and option, if desired)
      1. Proper names for majors are: "Information Sciences and Technology", "Security and Risk Analysis", "Cybersecurity Analytics & Operations", and "Data Sciences"
    5. Include cumulative GPA
      1. Add Major GPA if it is higher than your Cum GPA -- Calculate Major GPA
      2. NOTE: if you prefer to leave your GPA off of your resume due to low cumulative GPA -- Know Your Story
  5. Skills

    1. Highlight relevant technical skills
    2. Employers also value soft skills (leadership, teamwork, communication, project management) -- show these through work experiences and projects/activities rather than listing
  6. Relevant Experiences

    1. Work experiences
    2. Course projects
    3. Personal projects that showcase your skills (i.e. link to a website you designed -- be sure that the URL is appropriate/professional)
    4. Education Abroad Experiences - these opportunities can highlight a variety of career competencies
    5. Use bullet points. NO paragraphs.
  7. Activities

    1. Clubs and Organizations
    2. Volunteer experiences
    3. Include any leadership roles
    4. Include years of experience/service
  8. Name Your Document

    1. Choose an easily identifiable name (i.e. FirstnameLastname_Resume2017.pdf)

Helpful questions to keep in mind when crafting bullet points

  • What impact did you/your project have on the organization?
  • What technology did you use when completing an assignment/task?
  • What did you learn from the experience?
  • What was the volume and duration? (example: Evaluate team performance for 20 employees and conduct weekly one-on-one performance update meetings)

You may also want to create multiple versions of your resume that are specifically tailored to the position or industry to which you are applying.

Additional Resources:

 

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E397 Westgate Building
Email: careers@ist.psu.edu
Phone: (814) 865-4509

Schedule an appointment: appointments.ist.psu.edu

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