An Online Student’s Guide to Resume Do’s and Don’ts

man filling out resume

It seems unfair, doesn’t it? You’ve spent the last few years working days and nights to graduate college on time, writing and researching your assignments until your eyes hurt from staring at a screen. Now you’ve graduated, you’ve got big plans for your future, and there’s still one thing left to write – perhaps the most important assignment of your life.

Let’s face it, some people just aren’t great at promoting themselves. So when it comes time to writing their resume, critical details might get left out. That’s why people turn to resume agencies and consultants. Ashford University students and alumni have a better option, a dedicated Career Services team that can help put their accomplishments on paper. By accessing the “My Career” section on the Student Portal, you can view resume samples and templates, and upload your resume to have it reviewed by a member of the team.

To speed things up, Forward Thinking asked Career Services Specialist Greg Lewis about some common (and uncommon) questions students might have going into a resume review session.

FT: What are the easily fixable errors that people make on their resumes?

Greg Lewis: The most common errors typically regard the formatting of the resume. Often, the content of the resume is not aligned properly or line spacing is inconsistent. The key is to have a consistent format throughout the resume that is easy for the reader to locate the information they need. For example, avoid using paragraphs to describe your previous work history. Instead use aligned bullet points that briefly describe your job duties and accomplishments. Consistency is critical.

FT: Should I include links to my social media profiles on my resume? If so which ones? What about my personal website?

Greg Lewis: I would recommend including a link to your LinkedIn profile if the profile is complete. Career Services Specialists are available to assist students and alumni with their LinkedIn profiles to make sure they are complete and appropriate. Regarding a personal website, I would only consider adding the link if it is relevant to the job or industry you are pursuing. For example, if you were interested in journalism and you had a website that housed your writings, then it would be appropriate. You do not want to include a personal website if it is going to raise a red flag or cause the potential employer to make a judgment about your character or personality.

FT: Is a one-page resume still the norm, or are two pages acceptable?

Greg Lewis: A one-page resume is still the norm, but it is fine to have a two-page document. However, if you go on to a second page, be sure to have enough content to fill out the complete page. Consider what is most relevant to the job you are seeking when you decide what to include on your resume.

To that point, if your resume is more than one page long, you can also avoid getting pages mixed up or lost by adding headers to the top of the second page. But, as Lewis mentioned, try to keep things consistent when it comes to font and spacing. Lastly, keep three points in mind when proofreading your resume: make it relevant, keep it concise, and prove you’re worth it.

 

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Written by Jason R. Latham, Content Manager for Bridgepoint Education.

 

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