Short, clear resumes make good impression on employers

Ryne DiPerna

In an ever-tightening job market, experts say the way to land that post-college career is by making your professional resumé stand out.

“A resumé is the means to the next step,” Ed Navratil, president of Navratil Associates Inc., a manufacturer’s representative agency, said. “You need to have pertinent information to show that you’re qualified for a job. You’re basically selling yourself.”

When reading new resumés, Navratil first looks to see if the potential employee was involved in any extracurricular activities or held a part-time job.


• For contact information: Students should emphasize their name by making it the largest font size on the resumé. The contact information should include your address, phone number and e-mail address.

• For objective: The objective should state your career goals. What do you wish to accomplish for the employer? Make sure these goals are realistic.

• For education: List all education in chronological order, starting with the most recent.

• For skills: In today’s technology-driven world, it’s important to list any specific computer skills that you might have. Other marketable skills, such as being fluent in a foreign language, should also be listed.

• For work experience: List work experience in chronological order. Separate this category into two parts: Related and unrelated experience. Be sure to list any internships you may have had.

• For references: Include references on a separate page. Include as much contact information for references as possible.

“It’s important to look at someone who can multi-task,” he said. “Grades are important, but I look for someone who’s involved in extracurricular activities and someone who can understand the value of a dollar.”

Navratil suggests that when writing a resumé, it’s important to keep it “short and sweet.” He said employers don’t have time to mull over resumés.

Hobson Hamilton, assistant director of Kent State’s Career Services Center, agrees.

“(A resumé) should be brief as possible while also making sure it has enough information that you really want to highlight.”

According to Hamilton, resumés should, at minimum, include headings stating an objective, educational background, technical skills and work experience. Hobson said it’s important to stress relevant experience over unrelated experience. The relevant experience is essentially what employers are interested in. Students lacking relevant experience should include all of their relevant course work. Hamilton also suggests “isolating the degree” on the resumé by making it stand out in bold typeface.

“The headings should be in all caps and bold,” Hamilton said. “You should use a regular font such as Times New Roman. The goal is for it to be easy to read and well organized.” Using contrasting fonts makes the important information stand out.

Hamilton also stressed the importance of having three to five references. The most important references to have on a resumé are former or present supervisors followed by professors and instructors.

Contact student affairs reporter Ryne DiPerna at [email protected].