As a jobseeker, you have a responsibility to convey your job experience as cohesively as possible that will connect you with the job you are interested in. This is often easier said than done as resume-building is the most tedious stage of the job application process. Although resume-building is frustrating, time-consuming and redundant, it is a cost that comes with a reward. And that reward is learning the skills you’ll need to draft a resume for every job you’ll apply to. Below are the steps to help you if you are stuck on beginning your resume.
Put yourself in the job recruiter’s role.
There is an unwritten rule that restricts jobseekers from writing a resume that extends past one page, or do not write your resume like it’s a status report. However, if there is a rule more important for job applicant than the ones listed above, it would be this: tailor your resume accordingly to the job you are applying for. The cliché that “recruiters go through millions of resumes, make your resume stand out” is redundant but, nevertheless, true. You would want to highlight your experience that will express the urgency for recruiters to hire you. If you are applying for a position for graphic design, convey your experience through your resume by creating a template that is creative and engaging. Journalists, create a resume similar to a newsletter or a report. If you are applying for jobs like accounting or analytics, numerical statistics and graphs are a great to draft an interesting resume.
If you were a job recruiter, you’ll want to catch a jobseekers resume that is intriguing and visually stunning, while hitting key points in the actual context. Which gets me to my second point…
Do not make too much of a generic resume.
For terms-sake, a generic resume is a resume that highlights key points enough where you can use it for any job you are applying for. A generic resume is, truthfully, ineffective. There is a common misconception that your resume is there to list your previous job experience to employers. But as lifehack.org puts it, “you’re selling yourself, so sell YOU, not your experience.”
Ways to sell yourself for instance are to use power words. These words structure your sentences in a way that makes it dynamic and descriptive. Avoid using boring power words; for example, if you led a project, instead of saying led, use orchestrated, or organized, or spearheaded. This way you’ll give your sentence following your power word more structure.
Another pro tip is to use numbers. If you were previously in charge of designing graphics and illustrations for your company’s social media platforms, convey that in percentages! For example, “increased engagement by 75% of viewership for our company’s Instagram account…”
Employers love numbers and using numbers will strengthen your resume by emphasizing what you did and how it impacted the company you worked for.
Dear, college graduates.
Hello, college graduates, I am your friend. But truthfully, you are fresh in the job market and inexperience…and that’s okay! Although your school may have provided courses and career centers that will prepare you for the ‘nasty’ world you were cautiously alarmed about, nothing will prepare you for a greater experience than facing it yourself. This is your 5-year trial run; your resume will get increasingly better the more times you have people review it. Be wary of criticism as it is nothing but constructive.
Draft a resume with confidence as if it were clutched inside your palm and chuck it at people with an open mind that “no resume is perfect.” If you have changed your overconfidence of creating the perfect resume to creating a resume that fits for you with an open mind of necessary changes, you resume will shine with confidence and employers will see that.
If you are lacking any necessary experience, spotlight your volunteer work in your resume. Put your education at the top of the page instead of the bottom because employers will see this and know that you are a freshly new graduate. Nowadays, education does not substitute experience. So, spotlight your interests, awards, experiences, and skills that will strengthen your resume.
Make a standard resume.
For an employer, a resume that is sloppy, disorganized, and unmotivated is unpleasant to look at. A majority of employers can spot something off if your resume does not have the same font sizes, or the spacing is not consistent. You should always review your resume more than twice before attaching it to your application. Make sure your margins are correct, the fonts aren’t awkward (Georgia, Arial and Calibri are good generic fonts; avoid fonts that are too large or are in cursive), and space out your bullet points enough where it does not look like a clutter of black mass.
Finally, the most important pro tip of all is to avoid the pursuit of perfection. If you are applying for 2-3 jobs a week, you are going to have 2-3 different employers with opposing views. Your rate of success will increase if you note the things that you previously done that didn’t work. Your success is predicated on the fact of the trials and tribulations you will endure. You can avoid sloppiness and other things based on a poor first-view of your resume, but craft a decent resume based on the mistakes you previously made. Bridge the gap between your fears and your confidence to drafting in great resume; use your fears as fuel to draft a resume that fits.