Did you just graduate from college or maybe you are looking for a career change? No matter what stage of life you may be in, developing a stellar resume is essential for any job. Tailoring a resume to fit your dream job or to align with a specific job posting can set you apart from other candidates and bring you one step closer to a more fulfilling and successful life.
Building a resume may seem like an intimidating task but there are plenty of resources and tips that can make the process and experience a bit easier.
Revise for every application: While it is certainly easier to create a general resume to use across similar job applications, using the same resume every time you apply is not recommended. Every job opportunity is unique and it is important to adjust the order of your skills and reword your descriptions for each job posting. Think about what information is relevant to include for the specific opportunity and omit the information that isn’t necessary.
Stick with bullet points: Most resumes are read in under 10 seconds. With the minimal amount of time hiring managers spend on initial resume screenings, it is important to avoid writing out lengthy paragraphs, instead opt for brief, concise bullet points. You want your resume to be skimmable. Avoid putting everything on your resume and stick to the experience and skills that make you most marketable for that specific job.
First is best: Since employers don’t take much time to read resumes, it’s super important to list your strongest and most relevant qualifications first. This makes you more memorable and hooks them into reading the rest of your resume. Make sure you are listing your jobs in chronological order starting with your most recent or current position at the top.
Connect your skills: Your resume needs to allow an employer to easily identify your skills set and experience, but it also needs to show how those skills specifically relate to their business/job opportunity. Make sure you describe your skills in a way that relate directly to the job. You want to convince the employer that they need you.
Make your information measurable: Providing specific data and numbers as they relate to your accomplishments and experience is extremely important. For example, instead of saying “Raised funds for X company,” think about making it more specific, “Raised over $4,000 for X company.” Not only is this more eye catching, it also gives the employer a better idea of how much you can accomplish in a given period of time.
One page: The length of an ideal resume it a heavily debated topic. If you are fairly early in your career, a good rule of thumb to keep your resume to one page and certainly no longer than two. Keep it short, sweet, and to the point!
Avoid 1st person pronouns: Although you’re writing about yourself, avoid using pronouns like “I” or “me”. These pronouns make your resume sound less professional. Instead of saying something like “I trained people on a daily basis,” simply state, “trained people on a daily basis.” It gets the same point across and saves some space!
Research key words: There are definitely magic words that can make your resume more impactful. Employers are looking for a list of key adjectives and action verbs to grab their attention. This article is a great resource for “go-to” words.
If you are still in school, check with your advisor or career center for helpful tools and resources to start building your resume. For those looking for a career change, you can solicit help from a professional resume expert or reach out to contacts in your targeted career field. There are also many websites that provide quick and easy tools to assist you in your building your resume template!
When applying for jobs, it’s important to be prepared and that starts with your resume. You are completely in charge and have the ability to build a resume that will get you hired. What you put in to it is what you’ll get out of it so keep working hard and that dream job will be right around the corner!