Creating a resume can be a daunting task if you’re not sure where to start. First and foremost, make note that your resume can be a ticket to begin and continue a fruitful career. It is oftentimes your first impression for prospective companies. A resume can either land you an interview or be tossed aside with thousands of other resumes lacking the appropriate content and liveliness an organization is looking for in their next hire.
Your resume represents YOU! You should be proud of it and look forward to submitting it to your most desired positions. Here are some key things to consider when creating your masterpiece:
Choose a format and look that matches your personality.
Do your research – there are plenty of resume templates to choose from; resumes with colors, images and photos, and distinct areas. Choose one that catches your attention and excites you to use as your own. Adding a personal touch, such as a professional photo, is acceptable and gaining popularity. As a rule of thumb, your resume should look clean and organized. Stick to one to two lines for each bullet representing your experience. Aim for one page and consistency in fonts and colors, if you choose to stray from the typical black and white format. And, think back to English 101. Using improper English and incorrect spelling could cost you an interview.
Consider an opening summary.
Employers want to know what you are seeking, why it is important to you, and how you would be the best fit for a position. Opening summaries give you the opportunity to showcase your desires in a company and role. If you are considering multiple roles, tailor your summaries to the specific roles. It is appropriate to have multiple resumes if you are seeking various positions that require different strengths and skills.
Incorporate Key Words
When reviewing the job description of the role for which you are applying, pick out key words that are required in the role and for someone to be successful. Make note of them, and when crafting your experience, incorporate as many key words as possible. This will increase the chances of your resume getting through the company’s review process – whether that be computerized or human.
Focus on your most impactful experiences.
When choosing what to highlight from your college or professional career, choose only those of which you are most proud. Aim to be concise in your description and powerful at the same time. Focus on your performance in the position and how it relates to the role for which you are applying. For example, if you are interested in a position that requires an ability to meet deadlines, craft a bullet that highlights your percentage of success in doing so in prior roles or experiences.
Don’t skimp on leadership experiences, strengths, certifications, awards, and other accomplishments.
Your resume should tell your story. Outside of required tasks and duties, a potential manager and team wants to know how you have spent your extracurricular time. This provides a deeper insight into who you are as an individual and what is meaningful to you, and ultimately if you are a good fit for the role and team.
Invest in someone to review your resume, in addition to performing regular self-reviews.
Having an extra set of eyes review your masterpiece is crucial. It provides great perspective. You don’t necessarily need to spend money having someone review your resume for you, although there are plenty of resume writers that can help. Conducting a self-review of your resume every six months to a year is good practice, especially as you gain experience and continue to grow. You’ll want to be prepared with a resume you are thrilled to present to a future company or manager when new opportunities present themselves.