fakazaka: Check www.Canva.com. Nice templates over there which you could use.
rilakkuma1: I’m a software engineer but I review college student resumes for my workplace as well as hold resume workshops.
Start with a resume template. Seriously, do not try to create a template yourself (unless you’re looking for an artistic kind of job, in which case a resume is a great way to show off your creativity). I’ll let other people link some good template sites.
Resumes have some variation between professions so I’ll talk about how it’s typically done in software. These are the common sections:
1. Contact information. At the top of your resume is your name, email address, phone number, and mailing address (I often advise people in software to leave off the mailing address because no one is going to send you mail, but this varies between professions. If the job you’re applying for is in nearby your current address, it’s good to at least list your city so they know they don’t have to pay for relocation).
2. Education. What college did you attend? What did you study? When did you graduate? What was your GPA? Some people choose to list courses that they took that are relevant to the job here. I would only do this if you really need to take up some space, or if the courses are things they wouldn’t expect you to have taken (for example if you’re an English major applying for a Chemistry job, it makes sense to list your Chemistry courses).
3. Work Experience. What places have you worked? These should ideally be things related to the job you’re applying to. If the only place you’ve worked at is Burger King, go ahead and list it, but keep it short. If you have more relevant work experience, don’t even include Burger King. I’ll talk more about how to describe your work experience below.
4. Projects. This section is optional but is a good option if you don’t have much work experience. This section allows you to talk about things you’ve done related to the job you’re applying for, but that you weren’t paid for. It can be school projects, personal projects. I encourage students to attend hackathons and describe their hackathon projects here. This section doesn’t work for every type of job though. Projects should be described in a similar way to work experience. See below.
5. Skills. Ideally, everything in your skills section should also be described in other parts of your resume. But this section is good for letting people skim the resume. I tell students to include programming languages and frameworks they know. If you know any foreign languages, this is a good place to put that. But it can also include soft skills like public speaking. This section will depend greatly on what kind of job you’re applying for.
6. Other stuff you want to include. Option are things like “Volunteer Work”, “Activities” (if you want to say you were on the debate team), “Honors/Awards”, “Certificates”, really whatever you want to include but can’t find a place for.
How to talk about work experience:
People have a tendency to list job responsibilities on their resume rather than what they specifically brought to a job. In software, I’ll often see students do something like:
Super Software Company – Software Engineering Intern
* Fixed bugs
* Completed tasks in a timely manner
* Maintained an organized environment
* Attended weekly planning sessions with a team of engineers
This tell me NOTHING about what you did at the company. Everything you listed was implied from the fact that you worked at a company. What I want to see is something like:
Super Software Company – Software Engineering Intern
* Worked on a document storage product used by over 40 small businesses
* Added logging to document upload process to solve multiple upload related bugs
* Refactored login page to be asynchronous, reducing page load time by 40%
* Added autosave functionality to document creation flow
This tells me a lot about what you brought to the team, what your skills are, and what things I can expect you to do if I hire you. This is a much stronger work experience section. Notice that I’m very specific about what I’m working on (“a document storage product”, rather than “software”). I talk about specific contributions I made. And I use numbers to back up the impact of the contributions (“reducing page load time by 40%”).
Hope that helps. Happy to clarify anything.
Edit: formatting bullet points
thenamesbootsy: There really isn’t such thing as a perfect resume. They should be tailored to each individual job you are applying for. I would Google this though because the internet is full of helpful tips and sample resumes that you can copy from but here are a few things I’ve learned. Keep it tight but readable. You want your resume to look replete with all of these things that you’ve done but don’t want the hiring manager to have trouble reading it. They read these things so fast sometimes. If you go over one page, the next page should be at least a half page or another full page. Cut it back if you only have a couple lines on page 2. I like to put my name big and bold at the top and under it my email, phone, and address. Then I sometimes put a summary portion. This should illustrate 3 traits you have and 3 skills you have. For example, training staff on a certain software is a skill but attention to detail is a trait. After that my main subheadings, in this order, include work experience, education, certifications and trainings. Some people include “additional skills” on theirs and that’s cool too but I personally don’t need that section as my industry is heavily based in certifications and trainings. Most of your resume is going to be personal choice and tailoring it to the specific job you are applying for. I hope this helped but don’t take it from me, you really should just Google it.
AnOddOtter: To add to what other people are saying, check with your public library. Their reference librarian may be able to work with you one-on-one for free. If they don’t offer that service they likely have resume resources available through their digital resources.
illbeyourslave: You can head over to r/resume and check out the ones posted there (or post your own) as well as the comments people give on how to improve them and resources in the sidebar.