Posted by Tim Chen, OSU undergrad and Career Services Career Assistant

TypingA couple of days ago, a friend of mine approached me about how he needed to write up a resume for a position the night before it was due.  I mentioned to him that the general resume writing process takes time since it requires a lot of self reflection, but we spent the time to sit down and tough it out anyway.

After spending roughly an hour going through a quick draft, I decided that it is possible to create an initial resume in a short timeframe.  I personally highly discourage students go through this process for any job application, but I encourage students use this process as a way to get a generic resume started.  Most students seem to have trouble figuring out what to write in a resume.  It’s definitely easier once a draft has been made.

And with the Career Fair coming up, many students are struggling to figure out how to create a decent looking resume.  I have decided to try and compile a simple must-have list that will give you a jump start in marketing your skills to employers.

The key things a student should include in their quickly written resume:

1)    Identification: the most important information on a resume, the applicant’s contact information.  Students should include their name (in a large font size such as 20), mailing address, phone number, and e-mail address (make sure it’s professional, I encourage students to put their ONID e-mail address on there).  The location of the job does affect the addresses you need.  If the job is on campus or within the vicinity, use the current address.  If the job is back home or out of town, include both the current and permanent address.  Make sure the current and permanent address is bolded so the reader knows which location belongs to which.

2)    Education: unless you have written a resume before, you generally want to place your institution at the top.  Include the name and location of the school, the degree you have received (or intend on receiving), and your expected graduation date.  If your GPA is above a 3.0, list it.  Here is an example of what this may look like:

Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
Bachelor of Arts in New Media Communications
Minor in Chinese
Expected Graduation: June 2011
GPA: 3.2

Depending on your major, if you have taken classes that teach a specialized skill that can satisfy the requirements for a given position, take this chance to market yourself!  This way, if you submit a resume that matches the qualifications of the position, your chances of getting an interview for the position increases dramatically.


Relevant Coursework: MatLab, SolidWorks, AutoCAD, Java Programming

This section can either appear at the end of your Education experience (but before your GPA), or appear as its own section before experience.

3)    Experience: this section covers the bulk of your resume.  Many students believe that only job employment belongs in this section.  This statement is NOT true.  If a student had previous employment, they should definitely include that because it shows that they understand the roles and responsibilities of a job.  If a student does not have previous employment experience, then they need to start brainstorming on any significant involvement.  This includes volunteer work, course work, special projects, and more.  After coming up with the list, figure out which experience contains enough transferable skills to talk about.  The importance of transferable skills is the ability to tell the reader how those skills from previous experiences can benefit the organization.

Generally, I believe that a decent quick resume should include at least three experiences and three bullet points to describe their role.  Sometimes this step is difficult, especially if you feel that you didn’t play a big role in a previous position.  Your best bet is to brainstorm and figure out how to accurately reflect your role—think hard on the skills you used in that role.  For example, if you worked at a fast food chain, you probably learned how to properly handle food, provide superb customer service, and learned how to handle transactions (assuming you worked at the cash register).

4)    Awards, Activities, and Interests: If you still have a little room after listing your experiences, take this chance to talk about any awards you have received, any activities you’re involved in, and possibly what you like to do during your spare time.  This section allows for the interviewer to get a better understanding of what you do outside of your time.  Ideally, advertising your awards and achievements make you look like a star player.  A list of some clubs, organizations, or activities shows that you’re an involved person.  Interests should only come in if you can’t come up with something.

At the end of this walkthrough, you should now have a decent looking resume.  All of the information should fit within a page and appear in either size 11 or 12 font (depending on how much depth you have put into it).  Make sure that you proofread it again and have someone else look over it so that the information makes sense.  Try and stop by Career Services for a drop-in appointment and have a Career Assistant look it over!  Drop-in appointments take place Monday through Thursday’s from 1-4PM in the basement of Kerr (B008).

I hope you have found this walkthrough helpful in getting a start on your resume!

Posted by Anne Lapour, Career Counselor

resumeYes, I know…it’s the winter break.  You’re supposed to be relaxing.  And really…that’s important.  But if you find that you’ve got just a little more time on your hands than you need, why not break out the resume and polish it up?  If you’re interested in a summer internship, it’s time to start looking it over.

Start by watching this great video on “resume basics”, and make sure you’re following all the resume rules.  Then take a second look at your resume, and check to make sure you haven’t made any of these common errors.

Happy editing, and happy holidays!

By Linsey Stripling, Career Assistant and OSU Junior

Even if you're a first-year, come and have your resume critiqued!
Even if you're a first-year, come and have your resume critiqued!

Career Services is a great resource for every student on campus—from the anxious first year to the exhausted fifth year.  There’s just one problem…all the time, I talk to students who DON’T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT US!

As a Career Assistant who spends lots of time at Career Services, I have compiled a list of many of our “Hidden Secrets” that every student should know.

  • Our Location: We are located in B008 in the Basement of the Kerr Administration Building; once you get off the elevator turn right and you can’t miss us.
  • Drop Ins: We offer drop in hours Monday through Thursday 1pm-4pm. This is the time you can stop by and get advice and tips on how to create your resume and cover letter.
  • Beaver Job Net: This is our online database for student jobs, internships, and careers.
  • Mock Interviews: Do you have a job interview coming up? Schedule a practice interview with one of our career counselors and receive feedback on how you presented yourself as a professional, and receive tips on how to improve.

If you are looking for more information on the services that we offer, feel free to visit our website at or you could even stop by our office…now where is that located again?

By:  Silver Trujillo, Career Assistant & OSU Junior

Don't let this be you!
Don't let this be you!

Resumes are a crucial piece to finding the job you’re looking for, whether it’s a part time position, or the dream job you’ve always wanted. When asked how their resume is looking, many people reply with, “My resume is great, it doesn’t need any work.”  But is any resume ever perfect? There is always room for improvement.

Often times people confuse that question with how much experience they have listed, as opposed to the resume layout and format. A person may have tons of experience, but they may not correctly show it on their resume.  A great example is shown below.

Great experience, but not-so-great layout or content:

November-September   Sales Associate    Prestigious company inc.          Corvallis, OR.

  • Talk to people
  • Write reports
  • Check if items are in stock
  • Show new sales associates how things are done

Great experience, great layout and content:

11/1/05-Present                              Prestigious Company Inc. Corvallis, OR

Sales Associate

  • Assist in processing and replenishing merchandise and monitoring floor stock
  • Participate and contribute to the development of customer relation programs offered to clients, prospects and company employees
  • Maintain contact with all customers in the market area to ensure high levels of customer satisfaction
  • Responsible for training new employees by showing them work policies and excellent customer service

Keep in mind that this is one of the many aspects of a resume that can be improved. For more resume tips, follow the link to our career guide.