Creating a resume can be a daunting task. It is an outline of your background, skills, and accomplishments and anything else that can get you noticed by recruiters. It also serves as your first impression to a potential employer. Considering all of this, it can be easy to get overwhelmed, but don’t be intimidated! Here are a few tips to help you tell your story and showcase your talents.
Do not list every job you’ve ever had.
While it is important to explain why you are the perfect fit for a position, you do not need to provide a thorough career history. You only need to list your relevant experience so the recruiter can picture you in the role that you are applying for. It can be one of the most important sections of your resume because it represents you and your achievements. Each point should be succinct and explain your expertise. Consider including these main points:
- What you did in the position
- Why your actions were important and necessary
- How it brought a positive change
Take a look at this example:
Original: Worked on the renovation and rebranding campaign, including a completely redesigned website
Updated: Assisted in the redesign of organization XYZ’s website as part of the rebranding campaign resulting in a 35% increase of website traffic
Bonus Tip: Include numbers, facts, and figures when you can. Numbers represent effectiveness and quantify your abilities to get the job done. It will help the recruiter picture what you can achieve.
Read the job description and use it to your advantage.
Some candidates submit the same general resume for every job application, but they are missing out on an opportunity to make their resumes stand out even more.
Before submitting your application, be sure to read the job description thoroughly. In it, you will find an assortment of keywords that serve as a guide to what the recruiter is looking for.
Within the “Basic Requirements,” you will find the skills and education qualifications that the recruiter is looking to match. If you meet or exceed these points, make sure to include these keywords (skillsets, majors, etc.) in your resume. Many recruiters use keyword searches when reviewing resumes and if the basics are not in yours, there is a chance that it will be overlooked.
Bonus Tip: Make yourself stand out even more by including keywords from the “Preferred Qualifications” section of the job description as well, if you can. Recruiters often find their top applicants by searching for the listed preferred criteria.
Be strategic with what you include.
There is no need to include high school information or list all of your completed courses in your resume. Once you’ve entered college/university, high school experiences are usually not pertinent and your coursework is not always helpful. Only include experiences that are relevant to the role you are applying to. References and headshots are also not necessary. A recruiter will ask you to provide them, if needed. Providing too many lists can cause your best points to get lost and cause a recruiter to miss them. Be concise and try to keep your resume from being too lengthy.
Bonus Tip: Include a portfolio if you have one. There is no better way to show off your work than for a recruiter to see it firsthand. Include a link to your online profile on your resume.