Otters tidy up resumes

California State University, Monterey Bay held an event via Zoom for students to learn some tips and tricks on how to improve their resumes on Tuesday, April 12.

The workshop was hosted by the Transfer Student Success Center in collaboration with Career Services.

Career advisor Teresa Martinez from the Career Development Center led the workshop, sharing her advice and services available to students who are preparing professional resumes.

Martinez began by opening the workshop to the attendees. She asked the students about their major concerns with their resumes and answered each question individually.

In the second portion of the workshop, Martinez gave a presentation on each section of a resume and detailed how information should be structured through multiple examples.

Martinez explained when titling a resume, the person’s name should be large, in 16-22 size font and bold. It should be center-aligned on the page. Address, email and phone number can be in a smaller 12-point font and can be abbreviated as “hm” and “cell” to take up less space.

Martinez emphasized the importance of using action verbs when describing one’s experience in a resume. Some examples of action verbs she mentioned are “facilitated,” “assisted,” and “managed.”

Including a LinkedIn profile can also be a plus if it is appropriate.

The order that someone lists the sections in a resume mostly depends on their major. Martinez advised STEM majors to lead with the skills section, but in most cases education comes next.

The education section should go after the header. It is important to only list places where you have received a degree or are currently attending. Martinez also stressed students should never include their GPA unless it is specifically asked of them.

Experience should follow your education. This section is the most important part of your resume as it is where you list your prior work experience that suits the position you are applying for.

Martinez uses a three-step formula to get the best bullet point descriptions when writing experience descriptions: Action verb + what you did = results/purpose.

Martinez advised students to use a strong action verb to describe what they did at their previous job and explain the results or their purpose.

One example using Martinez’s formula is: “facilitated shipments which resulted in a 200% increase in production.”

In most cases, Martinez advised following the education section with the skills section. This is where students can list all their technical and soft skills.

Martinez advised students to conclude with a reference page, where they can list their professional (supervisors, teachers, professors) and personal (colleagues, TAs) references. Most reference pages ask for three to four people, but Martinez suggests being prepared to list six to eight references.

For students interested in scheduling a one-on-one appointment with Martinez to work on their resume, consider reaching out to the Career Development Center at

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