Help wanted: Job searching grads can employ website for resume tips

April 9, 2012

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — If you are a college student preparing to begin your job search with just one version of your résumé in hand, you could be making a mistake, says a Purdue University writing expert.

"Just like cover letters, each résumé should be revised to fit the specific position," says Tammy Conard-Salvo, associate director of the Purdue Writing Lab. "It is always important to tailor the objective statement to the job description. Whether it is a person or software scanning the document, they are looking for keywords and active language."

College students prepping their résumés and cover letters this spring can find suggestions and guidelines at the Purdue Online Writing Lab, known as OWL, at

The Job Search Writing section provides tips on how to make résumés easily readable, what active and job-centric words to use, and format. Specific questions also can be emailed to writing lab tutors by following the link at

"Students should find ways to personalize their résumés," Conard-Salvo says. "The résumé format exists because it is recognizable, but potential employees personally tailor their documents so they stand out. If you are in a creative field, then the résumé can be a vehicle to express creativity."

Purdue's Online Writing Lab provides information on many aspects of writing, including grammar and mechanics, writer's block, style guides, and punctuation. It received more than 180 million visits last year. The site also features topical vidcasts, which are available at

Writer: Amy Patterson Neubert, 765-494-9723,

Source: Tammy Conard-Salvo, 765-494-4102,