Career Talk: Perk Up Your Resume

By Marissa Kameno, Graduate Student at Quinnipiac University

In the job application process, resumes are the pinnacle document that applicants need to perfect. Any typo, grammatical issue or poor description can land that resume that you worked so hard on in the trash.

We want all of our chicsters to land their dream jobs and internships, so we've compiled our tips for cleaning up your resume!

1. Cover the basics
  • At the very least, every resume should include a set of basic elements, which includes your name and contact information. This information should be toward the top and highly visible. People want to know who you are and how to contact you. Email and phone number should definitely be included, though many resumes have an address as well.
  • Work experience: Any jobs you've held, even internships, unpaid work and unrelated jobs will help to prove the skills you've acquired and a history of good work ethic.
  • Education: Most positions will require college experience, so including your college and degree program, even if isn't complete, will be useful.
2. Your resume should reflect your audience

In the job search process, it can be difficult to customize your resume to every employer. However, it's important that your resume emphasizes the correct skills and experiences that relate to the company you're applying to. The more creative the position, the more abstract your resume should be.

An application for a finance position in a large organization should be extremely conservative (i.e. with Times New Roman text), while an applicant for a design position in an agency should have a colorful, highly visual representation of their work experience.

The content, too, should be indicative of the position. The best way to approach this during a large-scale application process is to break up the types of jobs you’re applying to and have several versions of your resume to accentuate complimentary skills.

3. Maximize the space

Most resumes for individuals with less than 5 years of experience will likely be constrained to a single page. When you're trying to add everything, this page can be filled very quickly. It’s important to remember that this one page is not meant to encompass everything you’ve done, but rather the elements that will be most important to a potential employer.

If you are applying to a nonprofit, perhaps it will be most impressive to list volunteer experience and other nonprofits you’re involved with. If you’re applying to a highly-technical position, it will be more appropriate to list certifications and specialties. Any of this can be expanded on during the interview process or in the cover letter, but for this one resume piece the focus should be on what will get you in the door.

Want to read more about perfecting your resume? Check out these links for ideas:


Image courtesy of Michal Marcol /

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