Welcome to step two of our new series: How to get a new job. Today we are going to go over resumes. A helpful reminder, resumes give your potential employer a quick insight into who you are. The point is for them to want to talk to you more (you’ll learn all about that next week in our article about interviews). For now, focus on highlighting your achievements and not listing every single thing you have ever done.
Ditch the template. There are hundreds of online templates that are as pretty as can be, however many websites screen for templates and do not allow them to be uploaded. No one is going to hire you for your pretty resume, it is better to have quality content cleanly stated in black and white than creatively thrown onto a page. (This is true of most fields-- if you are going into graphic design or a more artistic field creating your own way of formating it may be helpful).
Make it brief. Your resume should not exceed two pages. If you have been working for less than a decade, it should really be a page. There are creative ways to do this, take your margins out to 0.5 all around, use a 10 point font, and get your header to two lines, your name and under that your phone number, email, city, and linkedin.
Spice up the action words. Use varied words in your bullet points to create an interesting read that shows who you are. Do not repeat the same words over and over again, especially the classics like “oversaw”, “helped”, and “facilitated”.
Make it constant. When it comes to resumes, consistency is key. You can use periods or not, but make sure you do the same with every section. Likewise, make sure you use the format for each section of the resume-- especially with the date and location, many people do not keep that consistent and it really changes how a resume is seen.
Ditch the objective. An objective is not necessary because they know that you are applying for the job, so if all that you’re writing is “Hard working looking for a job in accounting” there’s no need to put that. Instead, you can include an overview of who you are as a person and highlight your best assets to that job.
Include your awards. This is especially true for young people who may have just finished school. Include honors and awards that you have received in one section, this is absolutely relevant to your resume. Make sure your potential future employer knows!
Bullet Point Help. Don’t feel pressure to write a lot about every job that you have had, just include what skills you have learned and gained from that experience. If you worked in a restaurant for a semester, include one bullet point on ways you learned to deal with people, they don’t need to know about every detail of the day to day if that does not match what you are now applying for.
Tailor it. Like any good suit, your perfect resume must be tailored to the occasion. I often recommend that people have two resumes for the different types of jobs they are applying for. I work at a college reviewing resumes, so many students will have a bunch of food and bev or retail experience in addition to their internships. I recommend that they make a food/bev resume and a professional resume focusing on the different aspects of their experience. This helps keep it to one page and bring out the best of who you are.
Be you. Take all of this advice in, but produce the resume that best reflects who you are. Don’t lie or feel pressure to add certain things (or take them off). Your resume is suppose to be a reflection of who you are, so let yourself shine through!
Good luck with your resumes! Definitely have another set of eyes (or more) look through your resume to make sure that you are being consistent, clear, and representing the best parts of yourself. I know you’ll get that job!