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Professionalism 101

Professionalism 101: The Resume Checklist

Here are some things to keep in mind before sending out your resume.

Hannah Demissie

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1. Avoid spelling errors

Unfortunately, this is a common mistake that everyone makes on their resume, even though it seems obvious that it should not be present. Having spelling or grammatical errors on your resume is going to get it tossed in the trash can so fast. Why would recruiters want somebody if they can’t even proofread their own resume?

2. One page only

If you are in college or left college within the last three years, noting that warrants you to have a resume over a page long. My parents tell me this, my career center tell me this, even recruiters. If you have a resume that is more than one page long it will be thrown out fast. Hiring managers are looking at so many resumes, don’t make it harder and longer for them.

3. Font size

Don’t make your font size small just so you’re able to fit more stuff on your resume. Having a smaller font will make it harder for recruiters to read and make your resume look more cramped. Whoever is reading your resume will see what you’re doing and throw out your resume.

4. State duties and outcomes

It’s not enough just to say what you did, also talk about the difference you made during that time. It doesn’t have to be anything significant or earth shattering, just make sure you’re able to say you did something that you’re able to solve problems, companies want to hire people who are problem solvers.

5. Make different versions of your resume

Make different versions of your resume in order to cater to whatever you’re applying too. Most places are not going to hire you unless you have some sort of experience in the field they are in. So, make sure you tailor your resume to fit their requirements. Now, I’m not saying to lie, but if you have done a job or an internship that relates to something you’re currently applying for, highlight that.

6. Don’t lie

This seems like an obvious one but yet so many people still do it. Don’t lie! You don’t want to be in an interview and be asked about something on your resume that you lied about. You’re going to look dumb and it’s unprofessional.

7. Scrutinize your extracurricular activities

I’m not going lie, when most college students go into interviews they don’t really ask about your extracurricular activities. They’re mostly going to ask you about your work experience. If you want people to really look at what you’ve done on campus don’t list every single activity that you’ve done. Instead list activities where you hold a leadership position or have more responsibility than the average member.

Are you looking for digital journalism training and experience? Are you a journalism major who wants to take your career to the next level? CMN’s Digital Journalism course gives you real-time experience, intense feedback on your writing, exposure to journalism influencers and mentors, and a great place to display your work. You can get academic credit too. Check out the Digital Journalism Course here.

I'm a rising junior at American University majoring in political science. Besides writing for CMN, I'm also a tour guide at American University, a senator in Student Government, and a member of my sorority Alpha Epsilon Phi. You can check out more of my writing on my blog: https://www.thewonkblog.com/

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