Advanced Resume Advice

We asked our alumni to offer some advice for students entering the workforce.  Here’s what they said:

  • Home Address – It is not necessary to put an address anymore, as long as there is a phone number, email address, and potentially a candidate’s LinkedIn url. **Note on LinkedIn profiles – this is business professional site and should reflect as such (i.e. professional looking photo, electronic version of resume, etc.). It is not Facebook.
  • Summary/Profile – This section is more for seasoned professionals who have had a good bit of experience (25+years), and 1 or 2 sentences highlighting their skills can be helpful. For an undergrad entering the workforce, stick with a clear and specific (if possible) objective statement.
  • Involvement in programs that are selective – If a student has been chosen from an applicant pool to participate in a program/performance/presentation that is highly selective, they should include wording such as, “Selected to…” or “Chosen for…” In doing so, though, the program should also be reflected on Gettysburg’s website as being selective/distinctive.
  • Leadership – It can be helpful to include those experiences such as Captain of a sport or President/Chair of an organization, etc. These types of experiences span all industries and are important to see on a resume.
  • Co-curriculars – Keep in mind that while you might know what your extracurricular activity is about, we might not. Bring that committee position, leadership role or participation to life by helping us understand what you accomplished or what you learned through the experience
  • Coursework – Don’t take too much space outlining prior course work (we look more for experience, internships, advanced project work than course names).
  • Length – Keep resume to 1 page while you’re in school or if you recently graduated.  You’ll need several years of post-grad experience to justify a 2-page resume.
  • GPA Requirements – We have very strict GPA cut-offs and we assume people are not above those cut-offs if they don’t include their GPA.
  • Fonts – Don’t use Times New Roman font – pick something different so your resume doesn’t get lost in a sea of others that look just like it.  Garamond, Cambria, and Calibri are all more interesting than TNR.
  • Accomplishment Statements – Don’t simply list your tasks in the “experience” section.  Make sure to list a key accomplishment or improvement with each job/internship (answer the question “how did I leave this job/internship better than I found it?” or “What was the impact of my working in this role?”).  Use numbers or quantifiable metrics whenever you can.
  • Spelling – Spell-check, spell-check… and then ask your best friend to spell-check!