Editor-in-Chief Rosella Eleanor LaFevre shares her tips for a good resume.
My resume is my badge of honor. I’m constantly updating the thing, and I love any opportunity to show it off — although I’ve never had a resume T-shirt. Now that I’ve started my own magazine and advertised for writers and editors on Ed2010.com, I’ve been receiving lots of resumes and it’s shocking to me how many of them break the rules that I’ve had drilled into my head. Here, I’ll provide you with 8 tips for a stellar resume.
1. Be brief!
Even editors-in-chief keep their resumes to one page. If you’re lucky enough to have a lot of job experience or education credits (which includes all workshops), congratulations but keep it short! That’s pretty much the rule I’ve heard is to keep your resume to a page. You can, however, play with margins and spacing, as I have (notice how little space is to the left and right on mine).
2. Remember contact information.
Be sure to include all relevant contact info at the top. This is where you list your address (I’ve erased mine), phone number (erased this too), email address and any blog or portfolio URLs.
3. Skip the objective.
Some people recommend you write an objective at the top of your resume. I have two reasons why I don’t. First, it takes up too much space. Second, your objective is always going to be to get the job you’re applying for and this is much better stated in your cover letter (more on these to come).
4. Avoid personal pronouns.
Now, I must admit, I’m not sure why you’re not supposed to use personal pronouns like “I.” But I follow this rule anyway. This is why there are sentences on my resume that read, “Write for the national College Magazine…”
5. Include telling details.
When you write that you’ve interned at Motivos magazine, you should include some kind of identifying information. Is the magazine international, national, regional? What’s the circulation? Does the website you write for get an amazing number of page views? This serves two purposes: educates an editor on a market they’ve never heard of and sometimes it impresses them.
6. List experience with the most recent at the top.
You should list your experiences in order from most recent to least.
7. List your skills.
This includes things like knowledge of AP style, proficiency with different blogging platforms and CMS, and photography.
8. Don’t be afraid of a little color.
I’ve heard some people say you don’t need a colorful resume, and certainly, printing it on pink, scented paper is a little distracting. I, however, think a little color is nice hence the dark red tones on my resume.
(This was originally a post on LaFevre’s personal blog Vered’s The Penny Jar.)