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Road to writing a good resume

Misspelled words, poor grammar and horrible punctuation in a resume aren’t the only factors that can prevent a student from landing his or her dream job.

The biggest problem in a resume, said Daniel Van Hoose, assistant director of the Career Center, is pretty simple: effort.

“I can tell by looking at it how many hours they have put into it,” Van Hoose said.

Employers see hundreds of applications at one time, he said, so the people who land the job are those that slave over their writing for more than a few hours and include relevant information.

Another common mistake students make is omitting essential information that shows involvement in University activities.

Cyndi Sisk, assistant store manager for Dillard’s in University Square Mall on Fowler Avenue, said students should include their contribution to the community on a resume.” If you have any kind of involvement in the community, that shows me you’re willing to learn,” Sisk said.

Van Hoose said students are afraid to put activities on paper, because they are worried about keeping a resume short. Length is not an issue as long as the information will keep the employer’s interest and is informative, he said.

One other way to sabotage the chance of getting hired is not including an objective. If students want to avoid the paper shredder, they should write a clear objective that’s geared toward the job.

Don’t think colorful paper, pictures and bold font will make a resume stand out in a stack of boring applications. These resumes warrant unwanted attention and are thrown in the trash, Van Hoose said. He said bold words are acceptable but should be used judiciously and to highlight important attributes.

Students should also be wary about posting images and information on the Internet.

Michael Erwin, a career adviser at, said getting hired can be impossible if students are not cautious about their digital tracks.

A student’s e-mail address on the top of the resume might send the wrong message to employers if it suggests immaturity or obscene material. Creating another e-mail address strictly for business purposes is a good idea, Erwin said.

He also warned about the content of a student’s Facebook page.

“Make sure your digital dirt is cleaned up and you don’t have something on (your profile) that you wouldn’t want a future employer to see,” Erwin said.

Deleting inappropriate comments from friends is a good idea for students who accept a friend request from a possible employer. Make good use of the privacy settings social networking sites offer.

After a resume is submitted, it’s important that students follow up with a phone call, Van Hoose said. A polite call shows initiative and perseverance, he said.

USF students who are having trouble writing their resume can call the Career Center on campus at (813) 974-2171 to set up a meeting with a career counselor, who is assigned by major and is available to help critique, direct and teach students how to express their individual talents to employers. Van Hoose said students can also find resume workshops by going onto the Career Center Web site,