Dept. of Experiential Education & Career Management
Resume Writing Tips
Employers usually take between 30 - 60 seconds to review a resume. Since you have less than a minute to grab an employer's attention, your resume must be more than a list of your education and experience. It should be a marketing tool and an extension of your personal brand.
Here is a breakdown of the format recommended for college students and recent graduates, along with some tips to help you create the best resume possible.
College students' resumes must fit on one page. When you overflow to more than one page, it is time to weed out old information. Your resume is meant to prove your professionalism. There will be time later to prove creativity. Make sure not to exceed font-size 12 or go below font-size 10.
- Follow the LIM College resume template, which can be found in the EECM Blackboard shell. To access the template, log in to Blackboard, click "EECM: Experiential Education & Career Management" under the "My Courses" section, and click "LIM College Required Resume Template" in the lefthand menu under "Career Management Resources." We suggest downloading the document to your computer and substituting your information in order to preserve the font sizes, styles, and spacing of the template.
- If possible, once you have perfected your resume, convert it to a PDF file so that the format isn’t altered when you email it. If you cannot convert it to a PDF, you should email it to some friends to ensure it is formatted properly when they receive it.
- Be careful when expanding margins and make sure your resume prints fully.
- Proofread, proofread, proofread! Grammatical or spelling errors could wind up costing you the chance to interview.
- When saving your resume, name it: "Firstname Lastname Resume - LIM College Student" (for example: "Jane Smith Resume - LIM College Student"). Employers who receive your resume through Symplicity or by email can see the file name you use, so be professional!
This is your contact information. It should include your name, address, cell phone number and email address. There is no need to specify in the heading that the number that you are including is a cell phone (as opposed to a home or work phone).
- Tip: Make sure your email address and voicemail message are professional, appropriate and current.
A professional summary can be thought of as a mini version of your cover letter. This is the ideal section to work some powerful keywords into the resume and is usually about three to five sentences in length. Refrain from using "I."
Beginning with the most recent, this should include any college you have attended, with the location, the degree expected and your expected date of graduation. Your GPA and major area(s) of study are optional. Do not include your high school education.
- Tip: Unless you have above a 3.5 it is best to leave your GPA off.
- Tip: Companies like to see what type of degree you are earning. Spell out your degree, as below:
- Associate of Applied Science, Design and Visual Communications
- Associate of Applied Science, Fashion Merchandising
- Associate of Occupational Studies, Fashion Merchandising
- Bachelor of Business Administration, Fashion Merchandising
- Bachelor of Business Administration, Marketing
- Bachelor of Business Administration, Management
- Bachelor of Business Administration, Visual Merchandising
- Bachelor of Professional Studies, Fashion Merchandising
- Bachelor of Science, International Business
- Master of Business Administration, Fashion Management and Entrepreneurship
- Master of Professional Studies, Fashion Merchandising and Retail Management
- Master of Professional Studies, Fashion Marketing
- Master of Professional Studies, Visual Merchandising
- Master of Professional Studies, Global Fashion Supply Chain Management
For students early in their college career or those without much related work experience, it is often appropriate to include a section of relevant coursework. Once you have gained enough experience this section should be the first thing taken off of your resume.
- Tip: Do not list all of your classes. Only include classes that are not reflected through experience and that are relevant to the positions you are applying for.
Beginning with the most recent, this should include the employer's name, city, and state, as well as your title and dates of employment. Describe 3-5 responsibilities and/or accomplishments, using no more than five bullet points to make your resume easier to read. List bullet points beginning with those tasks that you most enjoyed; place tasks that you enjoyed less at the end of the list.
If you were a sales associate, it is recommended that you do not exceed three bullet points and do not include basic sales associate responsibilities. Keep your phrases brief and generalized (e.g. use "Exceeded daily sales goals" instead of "Sold merchandise to customers based on their style preferences") and do not use complete sentences. If you can, include achievements and things you were trained in (e.g. "Trained in Loss Prevention").
- Tip: Watch your verb tense! If you are still employed, use the present. If not, make sure you use past tense.
- Tip: Use different action verbs for every bullet point to make every word count.
- Tip: Brevity is key. Remember, as stated above, you only have 30-60 seconds to impress. If you bore someone it is likely they will not make it through your resume.
- Tip: Try to include exact figures and data in order to quantify your achievements. Be specific!
You should choose to include the below items under the heading of "Additional Information." Be selective - only include those that should illustrate significant qualities such as leadership skills, the ability to work in a team, or initiative.
- Tip: Remember to DO things to build your resume: part-time jobs, college activities, volunteer work, etc.
Skills: List any special work-related skills you may have, such as computer skills and language skills. This may also include more abstract skills such as organizational and communication skills. List only those skills you have mastered and be honest about proficiency. If you have a working knowledge of French, say that instead of "fluent in." If you list any abstract skills, make sure you have a concrete example to back up your statement in an interview and be sure to remove them from your resume when there is a need for space or when you have experience displayed on your resume that exhibits these skills.
Volunteer Experience: At LIM College, you will have the opportunity to participate in many volunteer opportunities. Significant experiences (for example, dressing models at a fashion show) should be included on your resume. This section should not exceed your Work Experience.
Affiliations: If you are a member of any professional organizations, sororities or honor societies, you can include them in this section. Be prepared to speak about your involvement with these groups.
Activities: Include only organizations in which you are an active participant.
Community Service: If you've volunteered at non-school related activities, this is where they should be included.
Interests: This section should only be used if you lack content. Sometimes this may spark a conversation in an interview, but it probably will not get you the interview.
Keep in mind that you are not in high school anymore. The experiences you had in high school led you to where you are today, but you need to continue your participation in college. Unless you had an unusually noteworthy experience in high school, you should not have high school involvement on your resume once you have entered your sophomore year of college. First semester freshmen can list high school accomplishments and honors if they need content.