Are you trying to land your dream job? I am. I want to be a magazine editor and, in the past four months, I’ve made a huge leap in progress.
I’ve loved writing all my life and, for half of that, I knew I wanted to be an editor too (you know, have a salary to depend on while keeping the creative juices flowing). This series will help you get your foot in the door.
It all starts with the resumé. Actually, it starts before the resumé. If it’s not too late, get involved in extra-curricular activities in school, or volunteer work. Employers like to see your dedication.
Using tips from a professional publisher, I recently revamped my resumé. Here are some tips to help you structure yours.
Create a header at the top of the page and provide your name, address, phone number and email. Setting your personal information off from the rest of the text allows potential employers to easily identify your resumé and reach you. It also adds a rather professional look!
Do not have an “objective” section
This is what your cover letter is for. Your resumé should be only one page and this wastes precious space!
If you are a recent graduate, education should be the first item on your resumé. List your post-grad work and then your university degree or college diploma.
First list your related experience and then other experiences in a separate section. Your resumé should demonstrate a hierarchy.
List the name of your job position, the time spent there, the location and, if there’s room, add a couple descriptors of your achievements. You can always elaborate on the relevant experience in your cover letter.
I want to be a writer and magazine editor, so I listed any experience I have with magazines, newspapers and writing. This is not the space to list your summer job at Taco Bell (unless you’re applying for the position of head manager, of course!).
Now you can mention any jobs you’ve recently held. They may not be relevant to your field of interest, but they show that another employer has shown interest in you and that you committed to that job or employer for a certain period of time. Many skills are transferable, as well, so employers may want you to expand on these experiences in an interview.
This is a great place to provide a short bullet list of your proudest or most relevant achievements.
A simple line of hobbies separated by commas allows your potential employer to understand your personality and interests.
It’s up to you whether or not you want to write, “References available upon request,” or provide the names and numbers.
Once your resumé is complete, save it as a PDF. My design teacher reports that a surprising number of employers will disregard a resumé sent as a Word document.
“Please don’t put your resumé in Arial or Times New Roman font,” a student in the human resources program at Sheridan College said. “Everyone uses them—they’re so boring. I see too many resumés a day…if a resumé doesn’t catch my eye in the first 15 seconds, I’m not interested.”
Go to Page 2 for a basic resumé template and stay tuned for further instalments of the How to get your dream job series. Up next: How to write a cover letter.