Resumes: Building Your Golden Ticket to Success

Guest Blogger: Liza MacIntosh ’13

Writing your first resume can be a daunting task. As a freshman in college writing, I remember staring at a less-than-full page of activities wondering if my professor would notice the 14-point font size and awkward spacing that I hoped would increase the length. Yet, after four years at Elon, filling a single page with noteworthy experiences and accomplishments has become easy.   However, getting that page to stand out in a pool of a hundred other resumes has become the greater challenge.

resume_fluentI wish I could say, “During my first two CUPID Studio class sessions we reviewed the rules, all the dos and don’ts, of resume building,” but it’s not that easy. There are countless ways that you, as a future job-hunter, can assemble your resume to reflect your hard-earned skills while showcasing your personality.

The first step in building a standout resume is acknowledging its purpose. What do you want this piece of paper, or PDF, to accomplish? Most likely, your first answer is, “to get me an interview”, but think a little deeper.  What industry are you targeting? What information do you need to convey to this employer to make them want to know more about you?

Once you have brainstormed these questions, you can begin writing out your accomplishments and experiences. If you’re applying for a specific position, use key words from the job description that the employer might consider important. Also, if you have a lot of experience in various fields, tailor your resume to reflect the specific position that you are applying for.

resume_bacheloretteThere are a few additional things to remember when building your resume. Being thorough is great, but too much information is not. Also, remember that spell check is not always reliable. Have a friend or family member read over your resume before you send it to employers.

It’s no secret that the job market is a jungle with fierce competition, but an original, well-written resume should enable you to secure interviews more often then your competitors. Remember, an employer looks at a resume for an average of 15 seconds. Make your resume count.

To get your creative juices flowing, check out some examples of original resumes here. For some funny quotes about resumes, check out this Pinterest page.


What creative concepts would you try in your resume?

Do you have any other tips for people building a resume?

If you’re still confused about where to start when writing a killer resume, check out’s formula:



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