Keeping a Neat and Updated Resume

In this article, Mackenzie Roberts defines what a resume is and provides tips for creating one that will leave a lasting impression.

By Mackenzie Roberts — November 9, 2022


Keeping a Neat and Updated Resume

What is a Resume and Why Do They Matter?

Throughout your life, you will have to provide an updated resume. Resume Genius defines a resume as a formal document that provides an overview of your qualifications, such as work experience, skills, education, and accomplishments (Conrad Benz, 2022). A resume allows entities such as employers or colleges to get an idea of what kind of person you are and if you are a good fit for the position you apply. A resume with relevant information can place you above other applicants and make you stand out.

What Goes on a Resume?

A resume is usually one page, though some may allow or require more. Every person will have a resume that includes information unique to them. However, most places look for relatively similar information from you. First and foremost: your name, address, phone number, and email should display at the top of your resume. Making this information visible guarantees that any committee reviewing your resume can contact you easily and provides multiple means of communication.

Layout and Formatting

Though there is no specific way to lay out your resume, I have found a template that has worked well for me and will use it to guide my suggestions. One way to begin your resume is by stating your objective. For what are you applying? It is a good idea to communicate this clearly. Following the objective, list your education, such as your degree or degrees, and where they were obtained. I often include my GPA to further demonstrate my work ethic. This is optional, however. If you feel it may not help your case, leave it off. Depending on the position you are applying for, it may be beneficial to list any relevant courses or projects you have completed.

Following education, many will list their experience. Experience is an excellent space to put any qualifications relevant to your application. List your title and where you obtained this experience, and add a few bullet points vaguely explaining what you did, such as managed, filed, or operated. Experience is also a good area to add any volunteer work you have done and impress those reviewing your resume!

Don't Forget Awards and Honors!

The lower half of your resume tends to be more personal. Here, you'll list any honors, activities, scholarships, or accomplishments you think are worthy of mentioning. The leftover over space is an excellent opportunity to list any other skills. Perhaps you speak another language or are proficient in using computers and other technology. Avoid listing skills that may seem too vague such as 'good at communicating.' Stick to skill sets that will make you unique and that other applicants may not have!

Other Tips for Resume Neatness

Your resume should be simple, organized, and easy to read — bold your name and headings, such as 'education, experience, honors, and skills.' Utilize bullet points to list any items you need to under your headings neatly. Bullet points will organize more specific information, but be careful not to go in to too much detail. You want to avoid any paragraphs on your resume. Try to get your point across quickly yet efficiently.

Avoid using crazy fonts that may distract the reader. I prefer to use Times New Roman on my resume. Utilize the different tools on whatever document producer you are using. Always double and triple-check for spelling and grammatical errors to avoid looking unprofessional. Another thing you should avoid is lying or embellishing your skills and qualifications. What you put on a resume is up to you. Include relevant information that will make you stand out but is true.

Keeping Your Resume Updated

Once you complete your resume and have a base, the hard part is done. It is important to update your resume now and then. The last thing you want to do is use an updated resume that does not represent your experience and skills. Keeping it updated after gaining additional experience, education, or training will make it easy the next time you submit an application. Instead of trying to remember what you have accomplished, you will already have it because you kept on top of it! It is vital to avoid large time gaps when making updates, as this may appear as a red flag to those who view your resume.

Concluding Remarks

These are all suggestions based on my personal experience. I needed a resume on many occasions and struggled when attempting to create one from scratch. Eventually, I swallowed my pride and made an appointment with career services on campus. They were able to help me use the correct language and provide suggestions I would never have thought of on my own.

If you're working on a resume and struggling, check out what services, support, or workshops your college or high school provides. If you have a resource similar to career services, utilize it! Their experience will help you create a neat and professional resume, making you stand out to employers, colleges, or whatever position you may be applying for.

Here is the link to a standard resume template that I have used in the past! Keep in mind these are all suggestions and your resume should be unique to you: Click Here

Mackenzie Roberts

Mackenzie Roberts

Mackenzie Roberts is a senior at William Penn University majoring in History and Political Science. On campus, Mackenzie is an active presence, enjoying her roles as Student Ambassador and the Department Assistant for Social and Behavioral Sciences. Mackenzie loves college student life and expanding her knowledge on various topics.
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