College is an important time for students to learn various academic and life skills. Learning to write a killer resume for job opportunities is one of those skills. Many students don’t know the basics of how to start writing a resume for job applications, and that’s okay!
An important rule of thumb when applying for jobs is to provide a cover letter with your resume. Not only does this help you stand out among applicants, but it also provides you with a space to share more about who you are to the employer.
Write something that is clear and that tells the employer about who you are, what you love to do, your experience and your passions.
The Resume and Cover Letter should reflect the experiences that relate to the skills of the job you’re applying for.
Your Cover Letter should always have a brief introduction, an elaboration of a job experience that relates to the intended job application and a thank you note to the employer.
Your resume is like your calling card. It tells the employer what they need to know about you, your experiences and how to contact you for an interview.
Without this key information, many employers don’t even continue reading the resume.
Be sure to make your name clear, legible and visible at the very top of your cover letter and resume.
Provide all your contact information clearly and visible at the top of your resume. Make sure any phone numbers and email addresses that are listed also work, and get voicemail set up in case you miss the call.
Having your contact information and general location helps the employer quickly access your general geographical location. This helps to determine the fit for the job immediately regardless of the work experience.
If you are on Social Media, links to your profiles can also add value to your overall resume. Social Media is a new way that employers learn more about the applicants and to get an inside look on who they are. With that in mind, always be mindful of what you post on social media as it can come back to affect your future job prospects.
This is one of the most important things for your resume and cover letter. Make sure to double check your grammar and spelling on your resume.
Be sure to choose a Font and Font Size that is easy to read and nothing cursive. Clear fonts like Calibri or Times New Roman are general ones to use. A good size for fonts is size 12.
If you are duplicating resumes and cover letters for various job applications, take a second look to ensure that you write the correct organization and company name. Nothing is worse than addressing the company you’re applying for as something else.
Formatting of your resume is also very important. Remember that the employer is human and also looks at multiple resumes a day. You want to make sure your resume stands out in design and is pleasant to the eyes.
White space (which is the spacing around text and images) is an important design element to keep an eye out for.
Try and keep your resume to a maximum of 2 pages, and your cover letter to a maximum of 1 page.
The order of which you list your experience and education depends on the job you are applying for. If the job seems to need more academic backing, then be sure to place your education at the front of your resume. Alternatively, if the job places more importance on previous job experience, place it before the education.
In listing your work or volunteer experiences, make sure that the experience is relevant to the job. Skills that are transferable from one job to the other are great to list as well.
If you are looking for work on campus, Alexander College has Student Worker opportunities on campus. In addition, there are also a ton of Volunteer opportunities that you can add to your resume. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
If designing a resume from scratch isn’t your strong suit, try downloading free Word templates to work with. Canva is also a great resource to design resumes.
This will require some practice at first, but find a resume template that suits the job you’re looking for. The resume design does wonders to show an employer who you are and allows you to be creative.
Here is an example of a simple Word Resume template that you can practice with :
1234 Alexander St., Vancouver · 604-123-4567
email@example.com · linkedin.com/JaneDoe · www.janedoe.com
(Briefly state your career objective, or summarize what makes you stand out. Use language from the job description as keywords.)
Summary of my experience:
Dates (January 2018 – June 2019)
Student Worker, Alexander College Vancouver
Describe your responsibilities and achievements in terms of impact and results. Use examples, but keep it short.
Associates of Arts, Alexander College
It’s okay to brag about your GPA, awards, and honors here.
We hope that this post will help you towards creating an incredible resume and cover letter. Best of luck with your future job applications!