It’s back to school time. Your first few weeks are probably spent getting acquainted with your instructors, learning the syllabus of your courses, deciding which organizations to join, and generally trying to balance it all. And to top it off, the big career fair is just around the corner. Are you ready?

Don’t panic. The best place to start is your resume.

Your resume is essentially a marketing brochure selling your skills, abilities, accomplishments, education, research, and work history – selling you! It’s what distinguishes you from everyone else.

Here are 5 tips on how to help your resume make the cut:

1. Keep it easy to read. Make sure your resume is organized and updated – list your work history and significant coursework chronologically, most recent to oldest.

2. Focus on what’s relevant. Review key words in the job description you’re applying for, then compare them against your resume – do they match up?

3. Get technical. If you’re applying for an engineering role in a technical field, be sure to list any technical work in detail, whether it was a personal project or a class assignment. Show your passion for engineering.

4. Education is important, but don’t forget the other stuff. Be sure to include languages, volunteer and extracurricular activities, certifications or specialized training, awards and organizations.

5. Take action. When writing your resume, concentrate on keywords, action verbs and adjectives to describe your past work and experience. 

Lastly, remember to do your research. In the case of a job fair, be sure to look up the companies you may be interested in – before you attend. If you’re at an engineering fair, make sure that the content on your resume is suited for that technical audience.

Going into a technical career?  Be sure to add a section on technical skills before work experience! Consider listing things like:

  • Hardware
  • Test Equipment
  • Software
  • Operating Systems
  • Networking
  • Languages
  • Web Design
  • Design/Media Software

TI TIP: Always proofread your resume at least twice! A clean and professional resume makes a great first impression with recruiters, so ask a friend or family member to proofread your resume.