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July 12, 2010 / Suzie

Suzie’s Guide to Beefing Up Your Resume

I’m going to be frank: a resume can make or break a job offer. Right now, the competition is so high and the job opportunities are so low that we cannot afford to skimp on a disorganized, ugly resume. But for some of us, it isn’t the lack of organization or eye rolling fonts that is losing us the job: it’s content. Some of us just don’t have the work experience that our peers do.

Let’s think about the job market: even internships are highly competitive, and a lot of them are not even paid! It’s not uncommon for seniors to graduate with less than three internships and jobs combined.  So when your experience is lacking, you’re not the only one. However, there are lots of other students ready to fill that position at your dream job. That’s when you have to dig, deep, to find some personal assets and experiences to make your resume count. Here are some ideas:

  • Work study
  • Volunteer organizations
  • Honors society
  • Research
  • Student clubs
  • Sports teams (especially leadership)
  • Jobs and internships

It’s not enough to simply list your experiences though. Nowadays, recruiters can electronically scan your resume to look for buzzwords. That’s why you must tailor your resume to the job offer. Here’s an example:

  • “Increased student interest in the fitness center with a personally designed flyer.”
  • “Designed a flyer that increased fitness center sales by 20%.”

Which sounds better? The second one. Why? Because it has a concrete figure and the buzzword “sales” in the description.

Of course, skills are another area that can always impress a recruiter. Take three years of Spanish? Sounds like you have intermediate Spanish skills. Can you crunch numbers on an excel sheet? Then you can perform analytic spreadsheet tasks! Never forget to include these on a resume.

One final note: I encourage everyone to make their own resumes, and then offer it to other people for revision. I believe it is a waste of money to spend $100-$300 on a site like or to write the resume for you; most recruiters say that these resumes are too flashy. Write the resume yourself and then take it to your college’s career planning office—it’s what they’re there for, and it’s free!


I’m willing to offer edits to five resumes for free. Send your resumes to and I will offer edits and suggestions. Please note that if your resume is selected for review, I will anonymize it (or leave your name upon request) and then post it on this blog. Last day to enter: July 19th, 2010. Must be a college student or recent (2010) graduate to enter.



Leave a Comment
  1. V.A. Luttrell / Jul 12 2010 3:50 pm

    I highly recommend you take Suzie up on this offer! She gives great advice! 😀


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