There is only one thing that you can take with you into the business world that companies are going to care about, and that’s your resume. Sure, they’re going to want to hear about you and your skills and how you want to change the world, but there is only one thing that gets you from being unemployed to your dream career. That’s your resume.
A two to three-page document that lists all your achievements, accolades, job history and education is what comes between you and your dream job, so it makes perfect sense that this is the document to behold above all documents. It’s your first impression, your announcement to the world that you are the best person for the job that you are applying for. There’s not a more important thing in the world when you are moving from college to the world of employment, and unless you write it right, you’re not going to get anywhere. There may well be thousands of jobs on job sites and advertised during job fairs, but there are millions of applicants. When you are applying for jobs at a rapid rate, you want to be able to stand out and be counted as someone to take notice of. When your potential employer reads your personal statement, you want them to want to read more about your education and your work experience. You want to have the resume that will make employers nod, smile and pick up the phone to contact you immediately.
The snag? Not many people out there know how to write a resume that sells. Seeing as you and your skills are what you are marketing, and no one knows you better than you do, you need to get hot on it and start writing the best possible resume to send out when college ends. With these seven tips, you can have the best written resume of the bunch, and nail that dream interview you’ve always imagined you would get.
More Than One
Your resume is not going to be the same document that you send out for every job, if it is, you’re doing it wrong. You need to tailor your resume to fit the job description and skills list for each job that you apply for. This doesn’t necessarily mean rewriting your resume twenty times, but it does mean tweaking it to fit twenty jobs. All you need to do is get the keywords from the job description to appear in your resume (obviously, they need to make sense!), and you will catch the eye of the company who is hiring.
Awards & Accolades
Is your dream job one that wants you to have graduated with honors? Would they appreciate a careful thinker, a valedictorian of the class? What about the awards that you’ve received in your time at college? Any achievements and accolades that you’ve received over time while you were a student need mentioning. Include industry-specific language, too, so that you can impress.
Businesses like statistics, so it stands to reason then that numbers are going to attract attention. Did you have a role that enabled you to increase the money that you made for a company by a certain percentage? Make sure that you include those little facts. Employers want short, sharp facts and the more numbers that you can present, the better off you will be.
Check & Check Again
Bad grammar could be the killer of your dreams, and that’s not an overreaction. An employer who reads a comprehensive and concise resume wants to see that you are articulate. Bad grammar and spelling on a computer just show the employer that you don’t care as much as your resume said that you do. You need to utilize the very many grammar and spelling checkers built into your computer and online so that you don’t get caught out by English-isms. Take your time and check everything twice, like Santa.
A cover letter attached to your resume doesn’t have to be a monologue about your life since emergence from the womb. It does, however, have to be short and sweet, detailing who you are, a brief look at your skills and what you are seeking in a company. It can be a way to show a prospective employer how you plan to meet their expectations and integrate well within their company.
A busy, messy resume is one that is immediately discarded by a recruiter. You need to be able to format your resume so that it looks clean and concise. Your job roles should be in chronological order starting with most recent and working backward. Your education should be listed in the same way. You should have the appropriate headers and text sizes so that your words are spaced neatly and are not overbearing. There are plenty of templates online to use, so you shouldn’t be short of guides. All you have to do is seek them out.
It’s Not All Technical
You’d include your software and work skills on your resume, but there are some softer skills that you should also be including. Talk about times in your roles where you were a team player, a problem solver or someone who was able to take direction and roll with a project. You need to come across as an independent, experienced and educated professional who is ready to take on anything and is open to new practices.
Your ability to write a good resume is simply your stepping stone toward an interview for a role you’ve been waiting for. If you don’t know how to write a resume, then you need to get your head down and into some research. You are the biggest asset that you have, and your resume is your place to sing your own praises and be the best professional version of yourself that you can be. Take your time and write about you; there are people out there just waiting to read it.