How to: Resumé – Judging a book by the cover letter

Columnist offers job-seekers tips

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Karla Hernandez

Junior Brian Bock browses Indeed's listings. Indeed is a site used to search and apply for jobs. Their network allows applicants to create and/or upload resumés for employer's to view. In the attached column, writer DaNita Griffin offers tips for job-seekers. "From top to bottom," Griffin said, "your resumé has to be eye-catching."

Reading Time: 3 minutes

From top to bottom, your resumé must be eye-catching. If it looks irrelevant and fake, employers will not consider it for the position you are seeking as much as another applicant’s.

When you got to apply for a job, look at the job description. How do you know how to start a resumé or application if you don’t know what the job entails or if you will even enjoy it? 

After that, when you actually start to make your resumé, look into a few resumé builders online. Many of these websites will let you create one for free, but often ask for money to download them. You can pay the money or just create your own design. First, put your name someplace noticeable for potential employers. Then, add your contact information: business email (make sure it is appropriate/mature), phone number, and mailing address. You can take it a step further and add a picture or visual graphics to catch the eye. 

A professional summary should follow your contact information. This is a one-sentence summary of who you are. Ask your parents, friends, teachers or others whose opinions you value for descriptive words about you. Make sure to find a strong noun for who you are (e.g. student, an aspiring actor, marketing chief, etc.) and finish it off with how you view the workplace or what you prefer in a working environment. Allow the manager to see how well you can fit in with their employees and what type of person you are.  You will also need truthful adjectives. The stronger and more truthful the adjectives you use, the higher the chance it will catch their eye.

Next, list your skills. Try to keep the list to only a few, aim for six or less. Include skills that would be most important in the position you want. Ask yourself what things you excel at and how they help others. Keep these skills as short phrases or one word —no descriptions.

Now, on to your work history. If you have worked in the past, only include the most recent (within 10-15 years) jobs you have travailed. If you have no past job experience, chores or educational work may be considered. If you were a tutor through a program at school, babysat or labored on a farm, then add it all to this section. Even if you haven’t had what you consider a “real job,” you have worked and gained experience.

Within this section, have subtitles that say how long you were in the position, its name, and where it took place (company/ business and town/city — address). Create bullet points of the main responsibilities and requirements you took part in or volunteered to do while in the position. Limit these descriptions to about five points and write in full sentences. Make sure everything is in an active voice.

Education is as important as work history. Simply explain where you went for schooling (high schools, universities, private/charter schools, etc.). Name the school, its location and something you achieved at that school. Did you receive an award? What clubs/extracurriculars were you a part of? Use only one-sentence, drawing things out may make you seem egotistical or self-centered.

Then the fun part – or the most fun part. The additional information section. This is where you brag. Leave it at two to three bullet points packed with information about you to attract the business to you. List languages you are fluent in or are currently studying. Explain groups/clubs you are a part of that may be connected to school (if still a student) and the community. Perhaps list a great feat you have achieved.  

The cover letter is not required, but if they allow you to submit one, cram it with information about you. How you work, what makes a work environment enjoyable, why you are perfect for the job position; it’s almost like an essay for a college application. 

Never forget that as much as you are wanting a job from them, they want to make an employee out of you. You need to have requirements as well. They need to treat you with respect and help train you to do the job to the best of your ability and their expectations. 

As long as your resumé conveys who you are and tells the truth in the strongest way possible, you can always feel confident applying for a job in the future. 

Editor’s note: article updated for sentence structure and style.