Working WildCat: Creating well-crafted resumes

Ariel Hernandez

You’ve found the perfect job. It pays well, has the trendy atmosphere you crave and you are more than qualified. This is the job you were born to do.
A great resume is a golden ticket to accessing this unbelievable opportunity. Here are four tips to consider while creating a resume:

Sample resume
Sample resume

1.Make it visually impactful

A resume is your life story — minus the drama — condensed, so that an employer can see what you have to offer in about 10 seconds.

Make it clear, concise and organized, said Kate Buckley, career advisor at Chico State.

“A resume is the first example of work you do,” Buckley said. “Don’t make an employer have to try and navigate through it.”

Try to limit it to one page and make it simple, yet attractive to read. Avoid unnecessary colors, emoticons and pictures.

2.Make it your own

Templates were a great start in high school and even the early college years, but that’s exactly it: they were a place to start.

Sample resume
Sample resume

Art Cox, career advisor at Chico State, said a template is fine — if you want to look like everyone else.

“Pre-formatted templates give you no flexibility and often end up creating problems for you in the long run,” Cox said.

As time-consuming as it is, it’s often best to create resumes as Microsoft Word documents. It’s okay to borrow an idea; you don’t need to reinvent the wheel, but you do need to customize it.

3.Talk about skills

There are only so many ways one can creatively say they folded shirts, worked at a cash register and brought people food without dumping it in their laps. Focus less on the details of past jobs and more on the skills learned during employment.

Instead of writing “assisted customers select merchandise,” try “demonstrated interpersonal skills by communicating with customers to identify their wants and needs.”

It says essentially the same thing, but emphasizes skills more relevant to an employer outside of retail.


Your resume should be, without a doubt, 100 percent error-free. Don’t let a spelling error decide whether you get a desk in the office or a “Thanks for coming in.”

Your resume should work for you, not against you. Regardless of a lack of work experience or involvement, craft a resume that highlights all the great things you have done, not all the things you haven’t.

Your resume should be powerful.

“Make an employer say, ‘Wow,’” Buckley said.

Ariel Hernandez can be reached at [email protected] or @aj7uriel on Twitter.