10 Tips For Those Just Starting To Build A Resume

10 Tips For Those Just Starting To Build A Resume

How to stand out and be professional at the same time.


A resume is something every single job on the planet will request. You all have one, or you at least know how to outline one and what to put on it.

Your resume should tell your potential employer everything relevant about you in one page or less. If your anything like me, that can be hard. So, I've compiled some tips that maybe will help you out, especially if your just getting started in the workforce:

1. Match your resume to your cover letter

In one of my classes, I learned that sometimes people put all of their focus into making their resume look so bold and flashy, that they forget they should be putting the same amount of effort into their cover letters. This is a huge mistake. If you use Microsoft Word to outline your resume, they probably have the same template for a cover letter. Utilize that, because not everyone does and that could give you an edge in the hiring process. You should also be rewriting your cover letter each time and tailoring it to the specific company and position.

2. Make a list of *all* your skills

One great tip I learned is that different companies might expect different skills, even if you're applying for a similar position. By making a long list of all your personal traits and skills, you can highlight your best aspects for a tailor-made resume. Read their expectations and qualifications very carefully, because they usually hint what they are looking for. For example, if they say they want someone who is proficient in AP Style and Microsoft Excel, you should probably include in your skill portion that you know AP Style and how to use Microsoft Excel (only if you actually are, don't lie on your resume! That's unprofessional).

3. Your experience section should reflect your traits

I know this seems like common sense, but when you are describing your responsibilities this is your chance to showcase those traits. If you say you're fluent in AP Style, then obviously you should write your resume in AP Style and not a different format. If you say you have leadership skills, include a position where you were in charge of a project or in a managerial position.

4. Short skills section

Those generic descriptors (motivated, hard-working, self-sufficient) are unnecessary. Keep it short and sweet, only the most relevant information here. This is where that list comes in handy because you can cherry pick your skills that are the most beneficial. Plus, your work experience and your samples will display even more skills that you have. This is just supposed to be the part that can catch the hiring managers attention, it's the part that shows them almost immediately if you're worth even a second glance.

5. Don't just describe your job, identify your accomplishments

The hiring manager reading through your resume probably doesn't care that you wrote an article for Odyssey once a week. However, they probably do care that you racked up 500,000 views on one article or that you have an average of 3,000 views per article.

Give them the numbers and the physical proof, that's what they want. Anyone can say that they worked a Twitter page and have experience running an account for someone, but only you can say that you increased the follower count by 30 percent in the three months that you were there.

6. Update your resume as you go

If you're applying for an entry-level, try to clean out anything older than five years, within reason. You don't need to include your high school volunteer job that you did to get your National Honor Society hours. However, if you've been working at the same grocery store throughout both high school and college, that's a good inclusion because it shows commitment.

When you get older and join the workforce, 10 to 15 years of experience should be fine. This is because higher level positions clearly expect you to have more than a few years of experience. Plus, when you get older, the length of time that you were at a position shows expertise in the field.

7. Proofread

This should be clear enough. Read through your resume and then read through it again. Let multiple pairs of eyes check it, too. When you're 100 percent sure that it's free of mistakes, read through it again.

8. Margins and white space

Use standard one-inch margins, but remember that you shouldn't be cramming all of your text into single space to the point where it looks like a block of text in jibberish. White space is important, it makes it neat and readable. Include it and if it means your resume ends up going a little bit over one page, that's OK. Once your resume gets to two pages, that's when you need to start chopping.

9. Name your file accordingly

If you name your file "resume.docx," guess what... it's gonna get lost. If you name your file "firstname_lastname_resume.docx" then when it comes time to pull resumes for interviews, people are gonna be able to find it easier.

10. Save it in every format imaginable

There's nothing more terrifying than the thought of having to completely redo your resume. All that hard work you put into it and the perfectly crafted descriptions disappearing is my personal worst nightmare.

Save it as a .PDF, copy it onto a flash drive and email it to yourself.

Note: Take my tips with a grain of salt. I'm not a hiring manager. I don't know everything that goes on behind the scenes. This is what I have been told, and what I've researched. Remember that every position and field will expect different things. When you're more experienced and an expert in your field, it will be different.

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For Dispatchers, First Responder Is More Than Just A Title

It is training, education, and mental health.


There has been a lot of talk with Congresswoman Torres out of California putting forth a bill that changes the classification of 9-1-1 dispatchers from clerical staff to first responders.

There are those who see it and say, why change it? It's not like they actually respond to the scene, therefore they cannot be first responders.

I can see the argument there, my husband is law enforcement and he is a first responder. He arrives on the scene of accidents and other things I don't want to see. Before he gets there, in most cases, a dispatcher has already talked to someone on the scene and has a full description of the problem. I have great respect for the responders on the road, but trying to get information on a distraught screaming person on the phone takes more talent than doing so in person.

Aside from what dispatchers deal with on a daily basis, the other thing is training. There is no nationwide or even statewide standard for dispatchers. Each agency is left to its own training since they are not recognized as anything other than clerical staff. It means that the 9-1-1 dispatcher that answers your emergency call may have anywhere from 1 day of training to 6 months of training. They may not have dealt with a suicidal caller until the first day out of training.

Education is important for dispatchers and sadly lacking. The reason why education and training are not done is because of funding. As a clerical staff, dispatchers do not fall under first responders and are not eligible for a number of grants and resources that are available to law enforcement.

The #Iam911 movement has been doing its best to get the word out about dispatchers and what it is they do. The Within The Trenches Facebook page has a plethora of stories that will break your heart if you are not prepared for them. These are just single events that dispatchers have had to deal with. When they hang up that call they start right back into another one.

The most important thing to realize is that dispatchers are not out to get first responder status for the discounts. It's not all about the name, even though recognition and appreciation would be nice. It the behind the scene benefits that matter the most. It is about having a standard across the nation and state for 9-1-1 operators and radio dispatchers. A secretary could do my job, with 6 months of training. That training is not required by anything other than the agencies preference in some states.

There are benefits of being labeled a first responder, this label helps them in areas that most people try not to think about. Stress management and PTSD are issues in a dispatch center. Dispatchers face high levels of emotional distress with the calls they take. A study showed that peritraumatic distress was high in dispatchers and showed up in an average of 32% of potentially traumatic calls.

Dispatchers are in dire need of resources that will get them training, stress management, and equipment that is needed. As a dispatcher, I want to talk to someone who knows what they are doing, who is trained and has the resources they need to carry out the job. First Responder status improves on what agencies are already doing.

If you have ever called 9-1-1 or ever intend to call 9-1-1, this should be at the forefront of your mind. When it comes to an emergency, it's not the time to say I wish I could have. Be prepared, help dispatchers prepare for when the emergency is yours.

The time is now to make a difference.

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If An Opportunity Scares You, Take It Anyways

If you think you aren't ready, you'll learn along the way.


Life has a funny way of throwing things at us when we're least expecting, and when we're least ready, for that matter. And for that reason, a lot of opportunities go wasted.

They go wasted because we "aren't ready" or we're "too scared" or we think "we aren't prepared."

Quite frankly, too bad.

Take that opportunity. You won't know how brave you truly are if you do not take advantage of an opportunity that scares you.

If you are offered this opportunity, odds are somebody thinks you are qualified for it and not only just qualified but they think that you are suitable for this position.

I came across a quotation a while back by Richard Branson that states

"If someone offers you an amazing opportunity and you're not sure you can do it, then say yes - then learn how to do it later."

And if that ain't the truth...

Lately, life hasn't been too kind. It's been throwing bad news after bad snowball of junk at me week after week. It's been so bad that when good news comes or a great opportunity, it's almost weird and I'm not sure how to go about the news or opportunity.

Let us recap: I'm a full-time engineering college student working part-time to help pay off tuition and prepare for living on my own. I'm graduating in five-years when it should have been four, but I'm chugging along. I still live with my parents because, honestly, it wouldn't make sense to move out now and live farther away from campus.

Suddenly, good news came through. I found a house to rent for summer in my dream city and I got a part-time job a few weeks back. My grades have been so much better even though I'm stressed as all heck and still barely have time to finish school work before it's due and another assignment comes whipping around the corner at full speed.

Even though this was all news I was hoping for, I did not know how to take it when the time actually came. I was nervous, terrified.

My new job; I went on three days of training then was sprung out on my own for my first seven-hour shift by myself. And when I say myself, I mean I'm the only one working in the store for the whole shift. It's slightly nervewracking.

The house; I had found an affordable house in my dream city to rent out for the summer months. It has parking, washer, and dryer, everything but the bedroom is furnished. Sure, it's a lot smaller than I had hoped, but it is what I can afford at the moment.

I still don't have an internship lined up, and I have no idea what this summer will entail. But, I'm going for it.

I have a bad habit of just jumping at things and figuring them out along the way.

I buy plane tickets months in advance then figure out where I'm staying a week before my flight takes off.

I sign myself up for running races and swim meets hours away and figures out the day before who in my family will go with me or how I'll get there.

It all seems to have worked out in the past, right?

So far, yes, it hasn't been too bad.

Now, these opportunities have been minor as compared to has what just been thrown at me. I mean, a house, for the whole summer. This is my first time living on my own and thousands of miles away from my parents. To say I'm nervous is low-balling the emotions I've been feeling.

I've been pushing aside the "what if a better house comes along?" and the "what if I can't find a job for summer?" I've been pushing aside all of the 'what if's' because this is what I have wanted for years, and I'm going to make it happen.

If an opportunity ever seems too big or like you aren't ready, you would not have been proposed the opportunity if someone or some part of you did not think you were ready.

Take that chance.

Take that leap.

Learn along the way.

You'll regret not taking it.

If it doesn't go as planned, it was a lesson learned, but you'll never know if you do not try.

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