Ring in the New Year with These 5 Tips to Make your Resume Sparkle

Start the new year by getting a jump start on your career goals by following these 5 resume tips.

TIP 1: Consider including global experiences in 3 locations on your resume: Education section, Work Experience Section, and Skills/Interests Section (IES Abroad, 2020):


TIP 2: It’s ok (and encouraged) to list an opportunity that was cancelled, postponed, or conducted virtually. This can include (but is not limited to): study abroad programs, employment, presenting at a conference, participating in a business case study, starting a new business, etc. 

Sample Resume Line to Show Canceled Presentation:

Last name, First initial. (Month 2020). Title [Presentation] Name of Conference, Location of Conference. Unable to deliver; conference cancelled due to COVID-19 outbreak.

Sample Resume Line to Show Canceled Internship/Job

Company Name and Position Title. Offer Accepted; Canceled due to COVID-19 outbreak. Month 2020. Location.


TIP 3: Did you have a virtual experience in 2020 that could highlight a skillset and be a conversation starter? Add it to your resume!

  • Accepted an Internship/Co-Op/Full-time Position
  • Served as a Teaching Assistant
  • Served as a Research Assistant
  • Participated in a Case Competition
  • Led a Class Project
  • Added a concurrent degree, minor, or certificate
  • Held a Leadership Role in a Student Organization
  • Developed Software or Programming Skills
  • Started a Company
  • Conducted Undergraduate Research

TIP 4: Top 8 Career Readiness Competencies to list on your resume (NACE, 2020):

  • Critical Thinking/Problem Solving
  • Oral/Written Communications
  • Teamwork/Collaboration
  • Digital Technology
  • Leadership
  • Professionalism/Work Ethic
  • Career Management
  • Global/Intercultural Fluency 

TIP 5: Add your updated resume to your LinkedIn profile and consider including your LinkedIn link at the top of your resume. Ask for LinkedIn endorsements from professors, supervisors, academic advisers, direct reports. Leverage your network to talk about your skillset and what makes you a valuable candidate to the company/organization. 

Questions? Have your resume reviewed by a Smeal Business Career Center coach or student intern. Keep checking back on our website for upcoming events and announcements!


IES Abroad (2020). How to Put Study Abroad on a Resume, Cover Letter, and LinkedIn. Retrieved January 9, 2021, from https://www.iesabroad.org/alumni/market-study-abroad-toolkit/resume-cover-letter-linkedin

NACE (2020). Career Readiness Defined. Retrieved January 9, 2021, from https://www.naceweb.org/career-readiness/competencies/career-readiness-defined/ 

By Jana Jaffa
Jana Jaffa Associate Director of International Employment and Specialty Graduate Programs