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Writers' Center

Eastern Washington University

Application Materials

EWU Career Services

Have you seen the EWU Career Services' information about resumes? They have a fantastic and thorough packet of resume tips, tricks, and samples on their website.

If you still want to read more, check out the info below.

Resume Tips

THE 30-SECOND TEST

On average, employers spend 30 seconds looking at a resume (Forbes reports 6.25 seconds—yikes!). Make yours easy to scan.

KEEP IT SIMPLE

Be concise and direct; don't pack your resume with unneeded information to make yourself look experienced.

Keep your fonts clean (Cambria=good, Comic Sans=not so much).

Avoid color, graphics, and photos.

Exception: If you’re going into a creative field, your resume better show off your design skills. The default Calibri (size 11) will not fly.

WHAT ABOUT PAGE COUNT?

The canned answer for recent grads is you should fill a page, but no more. However, length can vary depending on your experience, and some jobs (like government jobs) want to know the nitty gritty.

LEAVE OUT MENTION OF REFERENCES

This should be a separate document. No need to waste precious resume space with the line, “References Available Upon Request.” Employers already know that.

AVOID TEMPLATES AT ALL COST

They're easy, but resist this temptation. You won't stand out looking like everyone else.

YOUR RESUME IS EVER EVOLVING

Every time you apply for a job, you need to tweak your resume to highlight what that employer wants. Play up the skills and past jobs that are relevant. Always keep your resume up-to-date with your new experience and skills.

PROOFREAD, PROOFREAD, AND THEN PROOFREAD AGAIN

This should be obvious, but you don’t want to lose out on your dream gig because the employer was turned off by a silly typo or your misplaced commas. 

Click HERE for some proofreading strategies. 

What to Include

1.    Your Contact Information

  • This is your “letterhead” that will be used at the top of your resume, cover letter, and references. You want to be contacted, so make sure to Include:
    o  Your name
    o  Mailing address
    o  Phone number (make sure your voicemail message is professional)
    o  Email address (If you don't have a professional sounding email, create a new one. luvsbeer@gmail.com is a red flag) 

2.   Career Objective (optional)

  • One line pitch to explain what is awesome about you/your experience and what exactly it is you want to do.
  • Mainly used by entry-level applicants or those making career changes. Word of warning: Some potential employers pooh-pooh these as dated.
  • Sometimes called “Summary” or “Personal Profile.” 

3.   Skills List (optional)

  • What tools will you bring to the job?
  • Don’t forget technical, transferable, and soft skills. Have years of waitressing experience but never had a “real job”? Actually, your time management and customer service skills are very attractive.

4.   Education

  • You don’t need to go as far back as high school.
  • Begin with your highest degree earned (or are working toward) and work in reverse chronological order. Provide the following details:
    o  Institution where the degree was granted and City, State
    o  Date of graduation (or expected graduation)
    o  Level of degree (A.A.S., B.A., etc.) and field (Electrical Engineering)
    o  Your GPA (if you’re proud of it) and any honors
  • List education before work experience if that is stronger, or vice versa.

5.    Work Experience

  • List employment in reverse chronological order, starting with your most recent job.
  • For each job, provide the following:
    o  Name of the organization and City, State
    o  Dates of employment
    o  Position title
    o  Responsibilities/Job Duties: Not just what you did, but how you did it well. 

You might also include sections such as Memberships, Volunteer Experience, and Awards/Honors. But remember, it's important to keep the resume simple and relevant.