July 17, 2014

When in Washington: Resume Builders and Blunders

By: Greta Pisarczyk

GretabwWashington is a very large pond. If you’ve been busy trolling the DC network, it’s now time to snag a job.

Resume 101

Resume writing is a timeless topic, and the essential points are worth repeating:

Your resume is your profile in print and the essential hook to create a perfect first impression.

Now is the time to revamp your resume to make certain it correlates very clearly to the job you NOW seek. Draft more than one version tailored to distinct jobs.

Like you, your resume should be dynamic and frequently updated to reflect every aspect of your latest accomplishments and ever escalating awesomeness.

Accentuate and make room for your most recent, relevant triumphs by deleting the outdated or irrelevant.

Proofread, proofread, and proofread again. Guess what: if you drop the last “d” from “detail-oriented,” you’re not detail-oriented. And spell check won’t save you when you type “our” instead of “are.”

Organize your resume in a conventional, easy-to-read format. Claire Kittle Dixon speaks to this point in her recent post “The Six Second Résumé.”

Situate your most recent and relevant work experience first. List key accomplishments first within each section.

Look to “How to Write a Resume: Internship Edition” for Brit Vorreiter’s quick-and-dirty resume dos and don’ts (with memes).

Beyond the Basics

Your fledgling resume is a creative space to draw an intriguing and persuasive professional portrait. Highlight unique experiences and accolades.

Craft a compelling narrative, and nix the fluff. Omit extraneous information—detailed descriptions of various administrative duties at your sophomore summer internship are irrelevant to future employers. In fact, flowery verbiage can come across as unprofessional, unpolished, or worst, contrived. Clear, concise, action-oriented phrasing is advantageous.

Highlight achievements using descriptive action words and quantify whenever possible: “Revamped and automated scheduling process to reduce input errors by 50% and shorten client wait time by an average of 3 days.”

Try this new motto on for size: It’s not what you know, it’s what you show. A solid resume should show that you possess requisite experience, skills, talents, and education. Demonstrate outcomes rather than activities. Focus on your track record of success—specific, measurable accomplishments that demonstrate broadly applicable skills and experience.

A great, polished resume is your essential lure in the vast DC career pond!

Build Your Resume with AFF

Entrepreneurial young professionals know that in a competitive job market, the best way to distinguish yourself from your peers is to augment internship/work experience. Pursue solid resume builders with AFF to develop professional credentials and accelerate career advancement.

Here’s how you can build your resume with AFF:

Submit original articles to Doublethink magazine—“the flagship online publication for emerging liberty writers”—to get published, get noticed, and even get paid! Click here to find out more about how you can get published with AFF.

Contribute short pieces on professional development, liberty movement trends, or public policy topics to “Free the Future,” AFF’s professional development blog.

Volunteer at AFF events to build your resume and your network. AFF volunteers have the opportunity to learn leadership and organizational skills, and interact with featured speakers and other young professionals.

Stay tuned for more tips on how to make the most of your summer internship in DC!

Interested in learning more about AFF opportunities for students? Contact Greta Pisarczyk, director of student outreach for America’s Future Foundation, at Greta@AmericasFuture.org.