Articles and Tips from Professionals
Practicing your interviewing skills has many benefits including: reducing anxiety, increasing confidence, and answering interviewing questions effectively. To schedule a mock interview, please contact Career Services
Before the Interview
During the Interview
Our Best Advice: Dress for Success
People start judging you from the moment they first observe you. After the first two seconds they have formed conclusions. Remember, you are marketing a product -- yourself -- to a potential employer, and the first thing the employer sees when greeting you is your attire; thus, you must make every effort to have the proper dress for the type of job you are seeking.
- Use one inch margins so your resume doesn't look crammed or cluttered
- Limit your resume to one page unless you have extensive experience
- Use neatness, organization, and correct grammar
- Gear your resume to the needs of the employer accentuating your most marketable skills and experience
- Remove hyperlinks
- Omit pronouns such as (I, me, we, you, they)
- Use action words that reflect skill development. See Resume Action Words
- List bullet points and sentence fragments to provide concise focus
- Order the most important information first
- Always send a cover letter with your resume even when applying on-line or through email
- Use top quality white, off-white, ivory, or very light gray, bond paper of at least 20-pound weight, size 8 ½" x 11." Darker paper may not photocopy or scan well
- Print your resume on a laser printer. All computer labs and the Center for Career Services have laser printers
- Use abbreviations, except for GPA or states
- Staple or paperclip your resume, cover letter and reference page
- Include more than one type of bullet point
- Use long explanatory paragraphs or wordiness
- Be dishonest or boastful
- Use funny icons or clip art
- Disregard the importance of layout
- Print on a dot matrix printer
- Use resume templates in Microsoft Word. Templates do not create effective resumes based on what we know about employers' opinions. Many employers view this as a quick, easy and LAZY way to format a resume.
Tips and Tricks
- In your first draft, write everything. Then organize and edit your resume to fit one page. Keep this draft!
- If you are just barely going onto a second page adjust the size of your layout, font, spacing, or margins (margins no less than .9). Fill your page with information from left to right instead of top to bottom. 11-point font is generally the smallest font you should use since smaller fonts are difficult to read. If you must go onto a second page fill it at least ¾ of the way with relevant information. On the second page indicate at the top or bottom of the page that it's a continuation of your resume. List the total number of pages (Degenstein, page 2 of 2).
- Emphasize important items by CAPITALIZING, bolding, underlining, using asterisks (*) or solid bullet points (•) to help highlight items you want to bring to the reader's attention. Don't overuse these graphics or they will lose impact. Never use italics or underlining in a résumé that will be scanned. Use one graphic to highlight a word. Do not BOLD AND UNDERLINE a word. It's too much of a good thing! Note: Italics typically makes a word appear smaller as opposed to making it stand out.
- Computers are being used more frequently to read resumes for key words, including: degree information, job functions, industry-specific acronyms, and job titles. List as many of these as possible so your resume will register on these searches.
- Have someone PROOFREAD your resume. If there is a typo or grammatical error on your resume, you may be eliminated as a candidate. Your resume may be the only chance you get to make an impression on a potential employer so make it a good one.
Parts of a Resume
Name, present and/or permanent mailing addresses, telephone numbers including area codes, and one e-mail address. Seniors may get a permanent e-mail address from the Office of Alumni Relations.
- Career Objective
If you are applying for a specific job or within a specific career field, you may want to write a brief objective. A poorly written objective will hurt you! Remember, it's not what the employer can do for you. It's what you can do for the employer! If you chose to include an objective, cover three points: job title, industry and three important skills necessary to do that job well.
- Summary of Qualifications
Usually three to five subheadings specifying your skills, achievements and training. It usually addresses specific abilities you possess that the potential employer is in need of or summarizes many years of work across multiple career fields.
List the most recent post-secondary degree first: Include your degree (Bachelor of Science or Arts), Major/Minor/Concentration/Emphasis, the name of the institution, city, state and the date of graduation.
If you have not graduated indicate when you anticipate graduating (Expected: May, 2010).
Consider special projects, curriculum highlights (accreditation), certificates, licenses, professional workshops/conferences, presentations and study abroad experiences.
List your GPA if it is a 3.0 or better. Consider listing your major GPA if it's higher than a 3.0, but your cumulative GPA is below a 3.0.
If you worked during college you may include the percentage of college expenses you paid. You may also consider listing study abroad or domestic internship programs under this section.
- Relevant Coursework
This section is viewed differently by employers depending on your profession. For some it should only be included if you do not have a work experience or activities section on your resume. In many cases the employer is looking for candidates with specific degrees because he/she knows what courses you've taken to prepare you for the position. For students who obtain their practical skills through hands-on experiences (such as laboratories or scene shops) it is best to include a relevant coursework section.
Provide relevant and positive information about your experiences whether they are part-time or full-time. Do not be discouraged if you have never had employment in your field.
Focus on your skills, accomplishments, and responsibilities that are relevant to your career field (class projects, senior thesis, volunteer work, campus activities and leadership positions, student teaching, practicum, internships or externships). This is what is of interest to potential employers. You may consider including a special projects section instead.
- Two popular formats include a chronological and functional resume.
- Chronological is the most common format for students entering entry-level jobs. List jobs beginning with most recent first.
- Functional can be helpful if you have little relevant work experience or gaps in employment. Cluster your experience under headings that highlight your skills and talents (Leadership, Research, Information Technology, Communication Skills).
- Include your job title, the name of the company/organization, city, state, and dates of employment (month/year – unless you are using a functional resume). Under each position list your responsibilities starting with an action word (created, implemented, assisted, completed) and include the results of your actions.
- A bulleted list is generally preferred over paragraph form. Employers usually prefer not to read through entire paragraphs to find important information.
- For each position you apply for rank order the information within your bullet points from most important to least important. Highlight increases in responsibility or promotions.
- When possible quantify your accomplishments for example increased sales by $9,000 or supervised 130 children ages three and four.
- If you have direct experience and unrelated work experience, you may divide your experience into those two separate sections.
Include university and community activities, organizations to which you belong and activities closely tied to the needs of the employer or career field you are entering. Be sure to list the dates of your participation. Carefully consider which religious, political activities or Greek activities to include. Potential bias could be an issue.
List awards, scholarships, honorary societies, Dean's list, and include dates.
If you have a certification or licensure (teaching, CPA, CFA) that is relevant to the position. You may wish to list "Certifications" or "Licensure" as a heading and include this information. Place this section higher on your resume than other less related information.
- Professional Associations/Professional Conferences
If you are a member of professional associations, (American Psychological Association) have presented at a conference or attended professional conferences you should include this on your resume. Again, place this section higher on your résumé than other less related information.
- Military Services
Identify the branch of service, locations, rank, and dates. Describe assignments, achievements and relevant skills. Avoid using technical terms.
List three to five names with title, organization, address, phone number, and e-mail address. Do not list "References available upon request" at the bottom of your resume. If references are not requested as part of your application, you may wait until the final stages of the interviewing process before providing a prospective employer with your references. Be ready to provide your reference list during or at the end of an interview if not given on resume.
Remember that the resume is designed to work for you as a marketing tool. The purpose of the resume is to entice an employer to interview you. The format should present your qualifications in the best light possible to accomplish this goal.
Online Resume Help
According to a recent National Association of Colleges and Employers survey, responding directly to a company's job postings on their own web site is one of the most effective ways that companies said they recruited college graduates.
- OneWire is a online social network and job portal for students and alum of Texas Wesleyan.
- JobsinDallas specializes in the Dallas career market!
- LinkedIn is a great way to connect with Texas Wesleyan students and professors, and employers you are hopeful in working for.
- Visit MedReps for Medical Sales Jobs and Pharmaceutical Sales Jobs
Disability Employment Sites
Federal Employment Sites
Working Through Retirement
General Job Search Links
Loan Forgiveness Programs
Occupation Exploration Website
- O*Net Online - detailed descriptions of the world of work for use by job seekers, workforce development and HR professionals, students, researchers, and more.