Creating resumes perplexes the vast majority of students that I coach and mentor. Microsoft Word proficiency is the first barrier I encounter when working with a student. A professional looking resume often requires the ability to manipulate and create columns, page breaks, text boxes, borders and a host of other elements. Many students simply lack this skill set. In today’s digital age, there really isn’t an excuse for Word to be an obstacle for a college student. If it is, not even a well-crafted resume is going to fix this student’s problems.
Once students are able to conquer Word, they find themselves at a lost on what to include in their resume. Every single student I have worked with always leaves relevant information off because “I didn’t think that was important”. They have no idea what recruiters, internships and scholarship committees are looking for. To be fair, there are those professors that spend so much time on research and in the classroom that they don’t know what the industry looks for either.
Students have a tendency to infallably rely on “professionals” they know personally. The path to landing a job in the media is HIGHLY individualistic. Just because the young lady that recently graduated was able to obtain a tv reporting job at a local news station doesn’t mean she is an expert in resume writing. Copying her resume will not produce the same results. She may have had a standout demo reel.
And of course there is always laziness. A big part of my job is convincing the student to put in the necessary time and effort. A polished and professional resume takes SEVERAL iterations until it is complete. Over the years, I have reviewed hundreds of resumes. Below is a sampling of resumes that have been proven to work and resumes that have left students unemployed in media accompanied by a change in major or career.
Journalism / Media Resumes Proven to Work
Journalism / Media Resumes that lead to unemployment