The Resume: Your Professional Brand
Applying for a club, campus leadership, internship, or job? If so, you already know you need a resume. But, what you may not know is that your resume is more than a list of accomplishments and positions. Rather, it is your professional brand. Your resume is your opportunity to tell an organization who you are and why they need you. Get it wrong, and your resume might end up in the trash. Daunted? Don’t worry… the Hegi Family Career Development Center is here to help.
Your resume should reflect your education, experience, skills, and interests by focusing on what you have achieved, demonstrated, and learned. Employers want to see a history of success demonstrated on your resume – they also want to see that your successes are relevant to them. To that effect, make sure to spend some time reviewing the position you are applying for BEFORE you begin to write or edit your resume. Then, tailor your resume using the job description’s wording, qualifications, and required skills. Remember - your resume must be error free and all information must be accurate. At the end of the day, it’s a representation of who you are, so take it seriously!
One page, really?
Yes, really. Employers prefer that undergraduates keep their resumes to one page. Alumni, graduate students, and applicants to grad school with extensive relevant experience may need two pages to adequately describe the most important elements of their background. In that case, make sure to put the most important information on the first page of your resume.
The Resume: An Art and a Science
Use formatting and placement to highlight key information and to draw attention to your strengths, impacts, and transferable skills. Think of the top of your resume as its “prime real estate”, containing the most relevant information you have to convey. Usually, this is your educational experience at SMU. Make sure to list Southern Methodist University, your graduation month and year, and your major(s) and minor(s). Then, depending upon the position, list Experience, Leadership, Involvement, Service, and any other relevant information. These sections of the resume can and should be tailored to the position, with headers resembling the experiences that are called for.
The templates and examples to the right are a great place to start. But, you always need a second pair of eyes to take a closer look. We get that. Come stop by during our Career Express Drop In Hours on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 1:00 to 4:00 pm to get our feedback and take your resume to the next level.