Winter Resume Contest
Crafting a good resume is essential for all job seekers, especially those who are entering the workforce for the first time. Every year AccessComputing and AccessSTEM participants get the chance to engage with staff and get feedback on their resumes. To incentivize participation in this activity, we offer prizes to the resumes we thought were the strongest. We looked at formatting, grammar, content, and how well the resume reflected the student’s success. Below are some common themes that we found as we looked over the submissions.
Some resumes simply had too much content. Make your resume concise by limiting each job’s duties to three or four bullets, cutting irrelevant positions, and making use of white space so that your resume is easier to read.
If you include an objective statement make it as specific as possible. Consider whether an objective statement adds anything to your resume, or if you could include it in a cover letter.
Depending on the field you are in, consider including a skills section. This could consist of programming languages, software, or other specific skills you wish to highlight. Pay special attention to the skills directly related to the job to which you are applying.
The length of your resume is important to consider. Should it be one page? Two pages? Consider keeping the resume to one full page or two full pages rather than including partial pages. For those with many years of experience, it may be longer. All information you include should have a purpose, not merely “fluff” to make it longer.
The best resumes have an organized and consistent flow. Utilize bold and italics to emphasize what is the most important. Use bullets under each job entry to outline your specific duties. We were impressed with the following:
- Including a “conferences, publications, and presentations” section can show off accomplishments outside of the classroom and work.
- Putting technical skills into a side column can prioritize the information employers are looking for.
- Formatting a work experience section uniquely—for example, one of our winning resumes included the job’s “goal, value, and contribution.”
The resume submissions reinforced the amazing academic achievements and skills of the AccessComputing and AccessSTEM team members. Whether it was highlighting their GPAs, internships, scholarships, and publications, or how they’ve entered their careers, we are proud of everyone’s accomplishments.
DO-IT staff are always available to help students revise their resumes and give feedback. University career centers are also a good resource to go to for in-person help.