Have you ever wondered how exactly you can fit your entire career on a single page of paper, worthy enough to be hired? The resume you create is the most valuable marketing document for your job search.
Whether you are starting from scratch, or updating an old resume, check out these 8 do’s and don’ts to make sure you stand out from the kid sitting next to you.
1. DO add changes every time
Not a lot of college students know this tip. You want to change your resume every time you apply for a job so it conforms to the position the company has available. Even if you are not in the job hunt, update your resume whenever you change jobs, or achieve an accomplishment. This will help you be ready in the future.
PRO TIP: Your resume and cover letter should be tailored to the position you are applying for.
2. DON’T lie on your resume
Don’t try to make yourself seem better by fabricating information. Stay honest on all of your job applications because lies can come back to bit you. In fact, you can get fired because of it. Be confident in your abilities to perform a job, but don’t lie and say you can do something when you can’t. Instead, tell the employer you do not know right now, but are more than happy to learn and train more on your own time.
3. DO highlight your achievements
List anything you did that made a company you worked for better. Some examples are you identified a problem and solved it, saved a company money, and increased revenue or sales for a company.
4. DON’T write out your reason for leaving a past job
Leave this for an interview question. Your resume isn’t a book about your previous experiences. Instead, it is a glimpse of what you have accomplished in the past. Some employers might ask you about leaving certain jobs, so be ready to talk about it. Again, don’t fabricate the reason. At the same time, never talk bad about another company.
5. DO note your accomplishments
This allows you to brag about yourself. Include a brief list of any awards and recognitions you have received in the past 4 years. Participation in professional organizations and/or attending conferences fall into this category too!
6. DON’T stress the dates
You don’t need to know the exact day you started a job 4 years ago. Instead, focus on the year you started. If you can, also add in the month. There is no real need for an exact day, month, year date for resumes. Plus, who can remember that from a job 3 jobs ago?
7. DO proofread
Having mistakes or typos is a big NO. Don’t be afraid to ask your friends or family to look at your resume. Heck, I am pretty sure I asked my mom to proofread my resume 3 times before actually sending it out. The more eyes, the better.
PRO TIP: Read your resume out loud! Sometimes we don’t catch errors on the screen because we read it as we would say it. If you say it as you read it, you’ll make sure it sounds perfect!
8. DON’T experiment with the format
Unless you are a Graphic Designer and have to show off your brand, don’t try to go all crazy. Skip the wacky fonts, neon colors and designs. Instead, stick to a clean, easy-to-read format that will have your experience catch the viewers eye. With too much going on, the message of your accomplishments may get lost.
Whether this is your first time seeking a position out in the big world, or you are just looking for a new place of employment, having a polished resume will be the key to your search. There are plenty of helpful resources that can help you create a great resume, don’t be afraid to use them!
What are your favorite resume tips and tricks?