The little things can make a big difference.
This goes for everything — design, layout, color (which might apply for certain creative jobs), font, and yes, even language.
Always list your most recent experience first.
Except in a few circumstances (see No. 22), you really don’t need a summary at the top of your resume.
If you’ve had a lot of jobs, this shouldn’t necessarily be a list of all of them. This is a document designed to market you to a potential employer. So…
Make sure that the jobs, experience, and accolades that you do include are relevant to the position you’re applying for.
You’ll also want to make sure you’re not digging 10 years back to that one job you had that seemed relevant… Keep things recent.
Don’t fret! If you’re new to the workforce and don’t have much, or any, work experience, you can still include experience. Think about what you did in school that was relevant to the position. Be specific on your achievements (we’ll get to specific specifics in a moment!), and explain why you’re the right person for the job in your cover letter.
You should have no more than 5 bullet points under any position. Nuff said.
An example of making it specific would be including actual, measurable data. “Implemented new website design, increasing company’s revenue by 40 percent over 6 months” is a lot more specific (and impressive!) than “re-designed website.”
If you haven’t heard yet, we hate to be the ones to tell you… but recruiters use keywords! In fact, some resumes never even make it before employer’s eyes, because they lack keywords. THIS IS IMPORTANT! Look at the job description. Which words do they use most often? Be sure to include them.
This might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people stretch the truth on their resumes, only to find that if they do get the job—they’re in trouble. So do yourself a favor and don’t lie, or else you might end up getting a job that’s over your head!
Again, this is great for those who don’t have much work experience, but also good information to include (if it’s relevant) for those who do. Volunteer jobs, projects, even hobbies if they’re relevant to the position.
If you have work experience, be sure to put it first. Then list your educational experience and achievements (focus more on your achievements than on your GPA!), also in reverse chronological order.
Again, achievements and awards relevant to the position speak louder than a high GPA.
This is a great time to run wild with those keywords found in the job description. If they’re looking for someone with Photoshop experience, be sure to list it as a skill (if it is a skill—remember, DON’T LIE!)
To be clear, this doesn’t mean be cute or cheesy. But, if you’re applying for a creative job, go ALL out. You’ll need to stand out. And feel free to include your interests in the resume, if they are relevant to the position.
These guys are looking at hundreds of resumes. Let yours stand out.
One way to let your resume stand out is with design — and particularly, with font. Don’t fall into the Times New Roman black hole! Use something simple, clean, and modern.
If you worked someplace for only a few months or less, do yourself a favor and leave it off your resume. It might make you seem unreliable to future employers.
If you have long gaps, a few months or so, between jobs, you can employ this little trick: Just list the years you worked there (2012-2013), rather than listing the exact start and end dates.
This is the perfect example of when it IS okay to include a summary at the top of your resume. Here you can not only explain your best skills and accomplishments, but briefly, why you’re deciding to re-enter the workforce.
The theme for your resume should be clarity and simplicity. Keep the “impressive” jargon to an absolute minimum.
Examples: Team player, hard worker, creative genius—whatever! If you’re a team player, tell them how. Don’t fall into clichés and vagueness to describe yourself.
If you start each of your bullet points below your experience with “In charge of ______” this is going to get old pretty fast. Mix it up. But —
Meaning, start each bullet point with the same part of speech, like a noun or verb. Recommended: Start with a verb, as it suggests action throughout your resume.
This is such a simple mistake, but it is a big one — especially if you’re applying to multiple jobs! You’ll either need to change your resume’s file name to fit the job you’re applying for (example: GOOGLE2016RESUMECK.DOC) or just keep it vague (CKRESUME2016.DOC). You just don’t want to make the mistake of sending your GOOGLE resume to, say, YAHOO.
Unless the jobs you’re applying for are remarkably similar, you’ll need to tailor your resume each time you send it out, to include the important keywords in the job description and any other information that should be more emphasized. You’ll also want to keep your resume updated as you gain experience, so you don’t forget to add it in later.
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