If updating and perfecting your resumé isn’t one of your resolutions – make it one. Now is a great time to make your resumé sparkle!
The resumé is a constant point of discussion here at TalentEgg. Many students and new grads don’t have the work experience required to fill up a resumé. Some have so much work experience they could fill multiple pages, but it often has nothing to do with the job they’re applying for.
The reality is that most employers still require you to submit a resumé when you apply for a job. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t show off your potential in your resumé. Not all employers want the same thing from a resumé, but here are some general tips I’ve picked up.
Keep it to One Page
Your resumé should be short, easy-to-read and packed with information. Each word should be carefully chosen to showcase your experience and abilities. You don’t have to include everything you’ve ever done, just the stuff that’s relevant to the job you’re applying for. Don’t make it easy for employers to skip over you because the first page of your resumé doesn’t include everything they need.
Create a Different Resumé for Each Role You Apply For
You don’t need to start from scratch each time, but you should tailor your experience and skills to match important keywords in the job description each time you apply. Scrap any unrelated details.
Be Specific About Your Achievements
To avoid just listing your former responsibilities and duties, be specific about the results you achieved. For each point you add, ask yourself questions such as: How many times did I do this? How often? By how much did the company’s bottom line increase? How many clients did I interact with? How many co-workers were in the group I led? Figures like these are an easy way to help employers decide if you meet or exceed their expectations.
Think Functional Rather than Chronological
As a student or new grad, you probably had long gaps between work experience while you tried to balance school, finances and gaining meaningful work experience. That’s okay! You have two options. Put your past roles in order of relevance to the job you’re applying for, or put the one you think says the most about your abilities at the top and move down from there.
Be Yourself, But Keep it Clean and Simple
Although a creative, non-traditional resumé will make you stand out, be sure the person doing the hiring will really appreciate it before you go in that direction. Usually a resumé prepared in a word processer, such as Microsoft Word, printed in black ink on a white sheet of paper will do. There are hundreds of great looking templates out there, or you can start from scratch and create your own.
Talk to profs, fellow students, co-workers, bosses – anyone working in your area of interest – about what generally works and doesn’t work for resumés in your industry. You’ll probably find that everyone says something different, but hopefully you can discover some personal rules of thumb to hold yourself to when applying for internships, summer jobs and entry-level roles.