The 3 F’s of Resume Writing

by Maxine Mitchell, Graduate Assistant

3 tips for students preparing their resumes for summer internships and full-time opportunities:

Please, please, please keep your resume on one page! Choose a form/style that is aesthetically-pleasing to you, and easy to read. Play around with the placement and titles of each section. Utilize shading, spacing and underlining to draw the readers’ eyes to particular words, phrases and roles. The white space on your resume is as important as the content.
While some fields tend to be flexible about resume formats from potential candidates, others remain quite traditional. Take note of your roles of interest, and do a bit of research to learn more about company culture. We strongly encourage you to preview the resume samples available on the Career Services website for assistance, as they reflect the varying academic/extracurricular experiences of students at Penn.

When selecting a resume font (and there should only be ONE), please keep in mind the industry(ies) that you’re applying to. Maintain consistent formatting throughout your resume. Make use of the list of action verbs available on our website to put forth a detailed and concise description of your roles and activities. Prioritize, consolidate, and cut when necessary. After completion, proofread for spelling AND grammatical errors. Career Services offers resume and cover letter critiques – an opportunity for you to get another set of eyes on this important document.

Last, but not least, have fun! There is no one way to create a resume, so feel free to explore formats, styles and fonts!

Career Planning Advice: Tips from “The Godfather”

by Maxine Mitchell, CAS Graduate Assistant

The-Godfather-the-godfather-trilogy-27739859-1920-12001. “I want you to use all your powers, and all your skills.” (Vito Corleone)

Your resume and cover letter are great opportunities for you to display your varied experiences and the skills you’ve gained thus far. Our advice: try not to cram all of them into each document. Using action words and specific accomplishments, create a strong picture of each role you’ve completed. Pick and choose the skills you’d like to highlight, and remember: quality over quantity. The resume and cover letter represent pieces of you that you’d like to potential employers to see – only you can be the sum of all your powers and all your skills.

2. “I’ll make him an offer he can’t refuse.” (Michael Corleone)

In this case, not an offer, but a presentation. A strong resume, an informative cover letter and an articulate, polished verbal expression of your experiences and interests establish you as a strong candidate for potential employers. Dust off that resume, and proofread it multiple times to ensure that there are no errors. Create a cover letter that genuinely connects the skills you’ve gained to the responsibilities that your role(s) of interest are looking for. Develop and practice your answers to tricky interview questions. Be proactive in your job/internship search, and present the strongest and most confident version of who you are.

3. “Someday, and that day may never come, I will call upon you to do a service for me.” (Vito Corleone)

The Career Services Office is here when you need us! Drop in for resume & cover letter critiques, career planning advice, or more targeted questions and feedback regarding internships and full-time opportunities. Career counselors are available for walk-ins and scheduled appointments. Visit our website for helpful resources, and information on upcoming workshops and fairs.