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Breaking into the professional job market as a student can be challenging. The few openings intended for current students are often highly competitive. Following the advice of our resident experts can help you get a leg up on that competition and garner valuable job experience that can bolster your prospects for the rest of your career. This student resume has been picked apart to provide you with specific examples that can improve the quality of your resume.
Make a strong summary
While it is sometimes acceptable to use a simple mission statement for entry level applications or an application for a new position in the same company, this tactic fails to take advantage of the benefits that a good summary can offer. The summary is typically the very first piece of communication between you and a hiring manager. Using this opportunity to make a strong first impression is a great way to get the employer interested in you as a person, rather than another faceless applicant. You want to avoid making this section too long, but four to six lines should be enough to allow you to represent yourself. Combining a brief description of some of your best attributes and attitudes is the best way to go.
Use bullets for any list
Lists are an excellent way to present a large amount of important information very efficiently. The pitfall that many run into here is using a format that is difficult to read. Bullets are the best way to split apart the entries in a list, reducing any burden on the reader. This will prevent your resume from being overlooked. Wrong: UCen Maintenance June 2013 to CurrentUniversity of California, Santa Barbara ? Santa Barbara, CA General maintenance and repairs around the University Center. Jobs range from changing light bulbs to repairing broken equipment. Snack Stand Operator July 2011 to September 2011Rosaria Pizza ? Mission Beach, CA Cashier at a pizza and snack stand for a summer camp in Mission Beach, CA. Handled money and dealt with children ranging in age from 4 to 15 years old. Volunteer Landscaper June 2010 to September 2010The Learning Adventure ? San Diego, CA General landscaping around the school. Jobs included pulling weeds, mowing, edging, watering and sweeping. Awards and Recognition Right: UCen Maintenance June 2013 to Current University of California, Santa Barbara ? Santa Barbara, CA
Snack Stand Operator July 2011 to September 2011 Rosaria Pizza ? Mission Beach, CA
Volunteer Landscaper June 2010 to September 2010 The Learning Adventure ? San Diego, CA
There are two other important takeaways in this example. Any bulleted list should aim to have five to eight entries. Also, the bullet format will make it clear to you if any list is lacking information or too long to maintain interest. If you find yourself with a list that feels empty, try to think of some specific examples of challenges you have conquered.
References do not need to be listed
Unless an employer makes a specific request to include references on your resume, you should exclude this entry. The computer age has made certain aspects of job hunting a bit more universal, so every employer is able to safely assume that you will provide references if and when they request them. This will usually happen in the form of an official job application. The professional guidance doesn’t stop here. QuintCareer’s Resume Builder can provide detailed help for every aspect of your resume.