A resume is typically a one-page marketing tool designed to get you an interview.
Your goal is to use the space on the page to, at a glance, communicate your value and provide evidence of your capabilities. Your resume will summarize your education, experience and accomplishments to present the skills that are relevant to your career objectives. It is up to you to make a connection between your skills and background to the requirements of the job.
Resumes for Co-op and Internships
In your first resumes, include your college and your high school, and any work or other experience that you have had that will allow a potential internship or other employer to form a sense of your skills. If you completed an N.U.in program, make sure you include that as well.
After Graduation vs. Co-op
Your after-graduation resume should be different from your coop resume. It should target specific positions and summarize relevant past accomplishments and results with both qualitative and quantitative statements.
There is a difference between your co-op resume and the one you will use for a professional job after college.
One of the main differences is that your professional resume should be targeted to fit the jobs for which you are applying. How do you turn a co-op resume into a professional one?
- The concept of a targeted resume implies that you must first have a job target. If you don’t know what you want to do, work with a counselor in Employer Engagement and Career Design to narrow your focus. A generic resume that is too broad will not be as effective in selling you to potential employers.
- Your resume is not a chronology of everything you have done! It is an advertisement of your skills and abilities to do a particular job. You do not need to include every job you have had since college. Make a decision to edit down or eliminate altogether any jobs that don’t match your target.
- Utilize every section of your resume to highlight related skills and experiences. This can be especially useful if you did not do co-op or internships in your field, or if you have changed your career focus. Did you take any courses in your field of interest? Create a sub heading under your Education section called Related Coursework that showcases these. Did you do any projects or research as a student? A capstone project or a “middler” year writing paper that relates to your career interests could be described in a Related Projects or Research section.
- When writing the Experience section of your resume, organize your jobs to maximize the related work you have done.Use a section called Relevant Experience to present those jobs related to your target in an organized and unified way, especially if they don’t naturally fall in chronological order. Also, if you participated in volunteer jobs or student leadership activities that relate to your career goals, you can describe your accomplishments in more detail with bullets rather than just listing them. Positions in the Experience section do not necessarily have to be ones for which you were paid.
- You can create another heading called Other or Additional Experience to include those jobs that don’t relate as well to your target but that you still want to keep on your resume.
- Arrange your bullets to emphasize the most relevant job duties and responsibilities. For example, if you want a job as a writer, describe the writing related activities you did first, even if these were not your primary responsibilities on that job. You may have spent less than 10% of your time writing, but list these responsibilities first because that is what potential employers will be interested in. Put peripheral experiences last, if at all.
- Your job bullets should not read like a job description. Do not simply copy from descriptions; rather, they should highlight concrete accomplishments and results. For example, did you save or make the company money? Save time or create a more efficient system? Did you solve a problem or initiate something that added value? How many people did you train? Catch the employer’s attention by showing how you added value to the organization’s bottom line. A generic cut and paste of your co-op job description will not do it!