Report From the Trenches: Writing the Perfect Resume
By Professor Jane Kinney-Denning, Director of Internships and Corporate Outreach
This is the time of year that students who are about to graduate or who are in the middle of their graduate coursework are looking for their first entry-level jobs and summer internships. Perhaps the most essential tool you have, in addition to your excellent degrees and strong work ethic, is your resume.
In working with students over the past 14 years to guide them in their job and internship searches, I have reviewed more resumes and cover letters that I can even count! Students come to me with a variety of experiences and diverse backgrounds and my main goal is to encourage them to use their resumes to showcase, in a clear and uncluttered format, the strong skills that they have to succeed in today’s competitive publishing marketplace. This means putting together a resume that the potential employer does not have to “figure out”. Your resume should present a clear chronology of both your academic and professional experiences — this can be accomplished simply by starting your resume with what you are doing right now…if you just completed your degree or are still in school, your education goes first and is then followed by any professional work experience you have (and, if you don’t have any, time to think about interning!).
In today’s marketplace, where technology has and continues to impact every aspect of the book, magazine and media industries, it is also essential to include a section on your resume that showcases your technical and social media skills and, work on developing those—constantly! Remember that your resume is not a static document. As you acquire new skills and experiences, add them to your resume — it will need to be reorganized and content streamlined or deleted if it not relevant to the positions you are applying for. If your interests and talents are varied and you would like to move throughout the industry in different directions, you might want to consider preparing two resumes—for example, if you are applying for a position that involves eBooks or magazine Apps, prepare one resume that focuses on your technical and design skills and if you are interested in the editorial or marketing side of things, also have a resume that focuses more on your editorial and management skills.
Once you have the basics included and a format that you like, updating your resume will not be an overwhelming prospect. Updating your resume is something you need to do on a regular basis as you move on and up in your career. For more tips on how to write the perfect resume, check out the article from the blog DailyWritingTips entitled, 44 Resume Writing Tips by Daniel Scocco. It is a great resource and gives some good advice on preparing your resume. The only thing I would add would be to pass your resume by people whose opinion you trust—a Professor, a classmate, a friend—the more eyes you have on the resume before you send it out, the better.
Another interesting article I want to share, “This is Why Your Resume was Rejected” from The Recruiters Lounge. Click here to see the larger version of the interesting info graphic to the right that shows how resumes (in this image, CV=Resume) are received, reviewed and rejected!