Advice to my Freshman Self: Resumes/Career Services

Posted on Tuesday, March 28th, 2017
Career Services

"When I was a freshman, I had no prior experience with a resume. It would have been beneficial to have my resume completed early-on for multiple reasons. By talking to career services, I found three reasons why having a running resume is beneficial.

The first reason is that the job application process is stressful already. By having a completed resume ahead of time would have relieved a great deal of stress during the application process. I believe that if I had created a strong resume beforehand, I would have been much more confidence during the interview process.

The second reason is that I did not know where I needed improvement. A resume is a snapshot of you for employers to determine if you are the right fit for the position. My resume needed to reflect that I could successfully fill the needs that their position required. If there are any obvious flaws with your resume, there is a high chance you will not get the position.

Lastly, I did not know what I should include on a resume. When I was a freshman, most of my experiences were from high school. I should have gone to the Career Services office for assistance. Career Services says that you should only have high school experiences on your resume your Freshman year. After Freshman year, you should take them off. I was unaware that they recommend not including your high school experiences. There were so many rules about resumes that I was unaware of that would have been beneficial to know about during this application process. Resumes are the first impression that the employer will have of you, so it is essential to have a resume that accurately represents you and your abilities.

Overall, there are countless reasons why you should create a resume as early as possible in your college career. The reason you are attending college is to find a successful career after graduation and having a strong resume is a part of that process. I have included a short guide below with general rules and guidelines for a successful resume. However, I strongly encourage you to visit Career Services and meet with a trained professional who can assist you in creating a high-quality resume.

The main rule of a resume is to have only one page (unless you are an education major, which suggests two pages). If you go over this amount, employers are likely to discard your resume. In order to keep it on only one page, there are certain things to include on your resume.

1. When first creating your resume, the top of the page should include your general information. This Header should include:

  • Name
  • Street address, City, state, and ZIP code of your residence
  • Phone number and email address to contact you

2. After the header is created, you will list your highest level of Education (current or past), which includes:

  • Name of the institution
  • City and State of the institution
  • Degree earned
  • Date/expected date of graduation
  • Cumulative GPA

3. Following your education, you will list your Work Experience, with your most recent employment listed first. A general tip is to include jobs that are either relatable to the position or have transferable skills. Included with the list of experiences are:

  • Business you were working with
  • Position held
  • City & state of the business
  • Months and years you were employed in the position
  • Duties you had in the position (three to five bullet points)

4. You will then create a Leadership & Activities section, which includes your involvement in groups/committees and the leadership roles that you held. The layout of this section includes the same components as the Work Experience section. However, you should only have two or three bullet points for each item listed.

You can find examples of proper resumes on the UNI website at This page also includes resume tutorials to assist you when creating your resume.

It is recommended that you meet with someone in Career Services to discuss your resume. Each person’s resume is unique and these specialists can assist you in creating a strong resume that will make you stand out to employers. You can schedule appointments by calling their office at (319)273-6998 or you can email them at " 

-Derek P. Intern at the Office of Academic Advising