Sprucing Up Your Resume
Your resume is still a very important part of the job searching process. This piece of paper will not only be read by managers and hiring agents, but it will also be a big part of your job search online. In fact, keywords from your resume will be searched on these major career sites. The more stacked your resume is, the more likely you will be contacted by the employer of your dreams. It’s a two-way street, which is why I would be remiss if I didn’t dedicate a chapter to the importance of sprucing up a resume.
You already have a basic resume drafted. That’s a good start. However, you need to be able to tell a story in a way that captivates the reader. These people go through millions of resumes per day. Why should yours be the one that stands out to them?
Here’s how you can take it to the next level:
1.Tailor Your Resume to the Job Description: Many students will try and cut corners with their resume. They want to make just one resume that they send out to hundreds of companies. That’s a fine approach, but it’s not one that is going to help you stand out. Every company wants to know why you specifically want to work with them and not some other brand. Therefore, tailor your resume to the job. Change which job experiences you highlight, as well as your summary at the top. If you are applying to a job board in your industry, leave out the irrelevant work information. Put in the extra 5-10 minutes. It will pay off in salary, job selection, and your happiness in the future.
2.Keep it To One Page: No matter how accomplished or experienced you might be, there is no reason to have a resume that is longer than one page. This tells the recruiters a few things – you don’t know how to be brief, you go over the top when it’s not needed, and you don’t know how to communicate a story. We all love stories that get right to the point. These people don’t have time to flip through three-pages of your experience. They want to see if you can boil that experience down to one-page instead. That’s the most impressive thing of all to them.
- Allow Your Personality to Shine Through: More important than the job listings and accomplishments is your personality and authenticity as a working adult. Again, go back to these value and passions. Be sure your resume communicates them in some way. Mention your dreams or what you hope to accomplish in your current role. Talk about your future courses you are going to take to augment your understanding. If you’re a humorous person and you feel that’s important for the job, allow your descriptions to have a funny overtone. Resumes don’t have to be mundane.
- Focus Above the Field: You have to assume in some cases, reviewers are only going to look at the portion of your resume that appears in the top one-third of the document. They may not even scroll down. Remember, these people might go through 200 resumes per day. Therefore, stack your most important information and storytelling at the top. Don’t waste the top of your resume with a huge font and your name. Get right to it, but frame it in a way that is aesthetically pleasing to view. Don’t overwhelm the reader.
- Make the Recruiter’s Life Easier: As mentioned, these people are tired. They look at hundreds of resumes every day. Make their life easier by investing in a nice, organized resume template. They don’t want to go digging for years worked at a place. It should be organized neatly in one column. There are plenty of PDF templates you can buy online for organizing your information. Again, it’s worth the $10 if it means your information is going to be easy to review. Think about the recruiter.
- Update the Resume Weekly: No one likes to review an outdated resume. Be sure to update the resume frequently so recruiters know you are putting in the extra effort. Include something in the resume that implies you have reviewed it recently and are also active in the industry on a weekly basis. Try and enroll in classes or list new skill completions that are recent.
What You Should NEVER Do with Your Resume
Although this goes without mention, here are a few things you should never do with your resume:
- Forge it: lying never, ever pays off. These people will find out you are lying. Many of them will look up your accreditations. If they catch you lying, not only will they not hire you, but they will also tell other companies in your industry you are a liar. You could be blackballed before you even begin.
- Stretch the truth: instead of lying about past experience, spend your time creating an engaging story. Every person has a story, and to the right company, that story is interesting! Don’t lie about what you did; captivate the reader with details about your story instead. Never lie.
- List unprofessional social media sites: let’s say you put all of your attention into your LinkedIn and Facebook. Do not list your Instagram or TikTok information if the employer is going to find highly unprofessional content.
- Rush it: recruiters are so good at reading through resumes that they know when they are reading a rushed one. There is no reason why you need to rush this process. Slow it down, check out what your competitors are listing, and try to have fun with it.
Honor Society Resume Mention
If you don’t have an association ties or recognition for your academic work, being able to add Honor Society to your resume will really help you stand out against the competition. Once you become a member with our platform, you will be able to state your participation that indirectly implies you are an accomplished, driven individual. You can never have too many professional groups listed on a resume!