So you’re a college student with two years to go, or a high school sophomore still trying to figure out what electives to take. You’re either picking out a major or working towards a drivers’ license. With all these things on your plate, it’s understandable that creating a personal resume is probably the last thing on your mind. But it shouldn’t be.
Just like any skill, resume writing takes practice. You need to begin honing this skill now before you actually have to start handing resumes in to potential schools and prospective employers. Even certain college scholarship programs require resumes for students, or student sample resumes. After all, what good are your skills and achievements if you can’t point them out?
Plus, having a resume on-hand is very helpful if you’re at an event and meet someone who could offer you a summer job or an internship. Granted carrying one in your pocket all the time isn’t exactly practical, but there’s no reason you shouldn’t have a couple copies handy in your car. It shows prospective employers that you are resourceful, responsible, and goal oriented – skills employers look for when accessing potential candidates.
So now that you understand the importance of having a resume, how do you go about writing it? First, look at some online sample resumes. You can find then by searching online for a How to Resume Guide. There’s no need to go out and buy a book when there are literally thousands of free online resume tips. Since you won’t have a lot of professional experience under your belt, look for Entry Level Resumes.
Now that you’ve seen some resumes, it’s time to start a bulleted list of things you want to include in yours. By compiling a list, you’ll essentially be creating a resume outline that will make putting it all together and organizing it a cinch. Jot down your career objectives, academic honors, personal achievements, areas of study, and extracurricular activities. If you have a high grade-point average or won a scholarship, be sure to include it.
Don’t just list clubs you were a part of or classes you took. Sure, it shows that you have an eagerness to be involved, but did you make an impact? Did you assist a professor in a cutting edge experiment? Were you the driving force behind your club’s record-breaking charity fundraiser? These types of things show employers that you’re not a person that’s who’s content with mediocrity, and that you could be an asset to the company.
Once you’ve finished your list, find a free resume template in your word processor or online. Keep it simple and don’t use fancy fonts – they’re hard to read and distracting. Showing a bit of personality by using a modern design or printing on a fine sheet of paper is fine. That actually works in your favor because it shows that you’re detail-oriented and eager.
Once you find a template you like, simply fill in the blanks with the material on your list. If you’re unsure of how to word something, it’s okay. Just use this as a draft. Hand it out to your family and teachers, and ask for their opinions. Just say, “Does this sound like me?” Then submit it to a website that offers professional resume services for a final critique. Sure it may cost some money, but your future is worth that kind of investment – winning a job or a scholarship will certainly pay for it in the end.
Once you have your critique, have your resume printed professionally on high-quality printer paper. This can be relatively inexpensive when done in bulk. Store copies in a manila folder or envelope, and the next time when someone asks, “Do you have a resume?” you’ll be able to smile back and say, “Why yes, I do!”