Vocate Blog

How to Build Your Resume – Cheat Sheet

Everyone needs a clean 1-page resume that captures their professional development and supports their next step. Here’s our cheat sheet to help you out. Need more help? We’ll send you a personal resume review when you upload it into your profile!

Disclaimer for readers: All advice in this cheat sheet is based on our professional experience and current online resources. You are welcome to use it but keep your own personal context and needs in mind. There is no rulebook, only informed advice.

1. Make sure your resume is ONE PAGE ONLY. Here are a few tips to meet the one-page limit.

  • Change the margins
  • Adjust fonts
  • Adjust spacing

2. Consistency is Key

  • NO TYPOS → red flags for hiring managers and recruiters
  • Make your resume scannable with bullet points (three-four bullet points per position)

They should all be fragments or they should all be complete sentences. If you start one bullet point with a verb, then start every bullet point with a verb. – Formatting Vertical Lists

3. Tailor Your Resume to Each Position/Job Application

  • The more relevant experiences are the ones you should put on your resume
  • If you do not have direct experience, figure out how your past experiences are transferable to the current position you want.
  • E.g. You are applying for a recruiting coordinator position, but have no professional internships in recruiting. Talk about extracurricular activities (Greek orgs, cultural orgs and etc.) that involved you recruiting general members!

4. Prioritize Professional Experience

  • If you do not have professional experience, incorporate leadership, volunteer experience, personal projects or college projects you have done in your coursework.
  • Include your (no labels necessary):
    1. Professional/creative portfolios as hyperlinks
    2. LinkedIn
    3. Phone number
    4. Email
    5. Address written as “City, State ZIP” so this would look like “San Francisco, CA 94118”

    5. Get Your Content and Story Right

    • Demonstrate your experiences how YOU can BENEFIT the company, instead of what you can learn/gain from the company
    • Highlight accomplishments
    • Use numbers to demonstrate results and success of accomplishments
      -> E.g. Published journal article on school newspaper that had over 6,000 views

    • Use present tense for current positions and past tense for past positions
    • Organize your resume by chronological order or relevance to the position you are applying for

    • Every one of your accomplishments should be presented as: “Accomplished [X] as measured by [Y] by doing [Z]”
      -> In other words, start with an active verb, numerically measure what you accomplished, provide a baseline for comparison, and detail what you did to achieve your goal.
      -> Consider the following two descriptions of the same work, and ask yourself which would look better on a resume:
      (1) Studied financial performance of companies and made investment recommendations
      (2) Improved portfolio performance by 12% ($1.2M) over one year by refining cost of capital calculations for information-poor markets and re-weighting portfolio based on resulting valuations

    • Action verbs for your resume: “185 Powerful Verbs That Will Make Your Resume Awesome
  • Alexander Huynh

    PR Intern at Vocate | Senior at USF majoring in Communication Studies and Critical Diversity Studies | Always in the mood for iced coffee and/or ice cream

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