Creating your resume can be difficult. It’s especially frustrating when the Microsoft Word templates restrict formatting (or is it just me?). With job markets in the state that they are, it can be stressful searching for a job, but I decided to gather a few tips and tricks to show an employer why you would be their best option. Show them how great you are!
1.) Use buzzwords - Be creative in describing your accomplishments and talents. If you want to go above and beyond for your interview, research the company. If they have a slogan or words that are used more than once on their website, steal them and put them on your resume. It’s not cheating, it’s edging out the competition. It will make the company realize that you’re a great asset to them. Keep it professional and don’t be ridiculous.
2.) Add quirky facts or accomplishments – Everyone in your line of work will have similar resumes, similar school backgrounds, jobs, and internship history. Adding an interesting fact – maybe you won a spelling bee. Maybe you won a hot dog eating contest. Maybe you’ve hiked the 46ers or met the mayor. Not only do these diversify your resume, they are great conversation starters. You’ll have something to break the ice and something the interviewer will remember.
3.) Keep all of your jobs – This is a relative statement. If you had 8 different jobs while you worked your way through college or high school, they might not all be necessary. But if you include jobs that are only related to your field, it may be a short resume, and the employer may realize that you have no jobs listed before you were 25. Even silly jobs like babysitting or restaurant jobs say something about you. Seemingly unimportant jobs like these show you’re a hard worker and can deal with a wide variety of people. Just don’t go overboard. There are a lot of articles throughout the internet that tell you the various lengths that your resume should be. There is no right answer. Keep your resume as long as you need it. You don’t want to miss out on a job because you omitted a job from your resume.
4.) Use effective job titles – Employers notice job titles right off the bat. Spice up your titles to make them pop on the page. For example, I had two internships while working on my undergraduate studies that were related to my field. Instead of writing “Internship” as my job title, I said “Assistant Editor” and “Managerial Intern”. Emphasize the importance of your role in past positions. Make your achievements the focus of your resume.You don’t need a long, drawn-out list of what you did every day,but include your accomplishments. Brag about yourself!
5.) Try alternative resume formats – If you’re a graphic designer or an artist, play with the design of your resume. Refrain from using colorful fonts or colored paper, but make the page visually appealing. Maybe try a video resume. People have been uploading video resumes to YouTube and allowing employers to find them that way. In the age of technology, why not give it a try?
- Use funny fonts – Comic Sans was only okay when you were using AIM. Stick with Times New Roman, it’s classic and professional.
- Make jokes – Jokes and sarcasm don’t work well in interviews and they definitely don’t work on paper. You don’t want to risk the chance of sounding offensive or immature.
- Use colored fonts or paper. This isn’t Legally Blonde. Pink scented paper is unprofessional.
- Include personal views and opinions. Things such as political views and religious views just shouldn’t be there.
- Lie. You don’t want to get trapped in a lie. It could potentially lose you the job opportunity and if not, you may get stuck with tasks you’re unable to do.
- Assume you’re perfect. You need to proofread! Proofread! Proofread! There is nothing worse than handing your interviewer a resume with misspelled words.
Lastly, get your resume critiqued at the Career Center on the 3rd floor of Saint Joe’s. Note that Walk-ins are 15 minute quick meetings for resume, cover letter and quick questions.
Don’t forget to attend Resume Critique Week from March 25-28th. Get in there and ask how you can make your resume better!