Your resume is your advertisement of yourself that you’re sharing with the work world. Its purpose: to get you an interview. Here are five things to keep in mind when crafting your resume that could help get you through the door.
1. Sell yourself
Your resume is your introduction to a potential employer, so make it memorable. Students need to promote their personality, interests and values right from the beginning. Focus on trying to showcase yourself as you would in a 30-second elevator pitch.
2. Make it attractive
You would never wear sweatpants to a job interview. Neither can your resume. Consider the design: the font, the amount of white space between sections, the headings you choose and how you display them. Also, be hyper vigilant when proofreading for typos and grammatical errors. Look at multiple samples of resumes specific to the field(s) you are interested in to get an idea of how to make your resume look professional.
3. Keep it short and sweet
Students and new grads often worry they don’t have enough experience and pad their resumes with unnecessary information. Don’t do it! Respect the intelligence of the reader. They know when you’re writing filler. Write in bullet points, avoid long sentences and consider two pages as an absolute maximum.
4. Know your audience
Don’t create a single resume to send out to everyone. To stand out, cater each resume to the specific needs of the position you’re applying for. Learn about the companies, read their websites, learn their language and use it in your sales pitch (resume).
5. Be (selectively) creative
You may not have as much experience as you’d like; neither do most of your peers. That’s why you can focus on other areas of your life that exhibit your best skills. That summer you led a canoe trip or the year you volunteered at the hospital could make all the difference in getting you that interview. While a sports award is worth including to show discipline, tread carefully. Be highly selective when including hobbies and other items of personal history.