Writing a resume can be a bit scary because you just graduated college, you have learned so many different skills, and you are now ready to score the perfect job. The question now is how can you summarize everything you have become from the moment you graduated high school, graduated college, and transition it to a one-page letter that screams you are the best person for the job. Well, I think I can help with that. Let’s think of your resume as the first time you give a stranger your Instagram handle. It’s the only real proof of your professional history, so it is important to communicate the journey properly. The most important thing to know when constructing a resume is to highlight your recent professional accomplishments throughout your career to exemplify what makes you special for the job.
A resume that is written very strategically needs to be relevant to the role you apply for, must stay consistent, and also needs to be easy to understand. Think about it like selling yourself. Below I will explain step by step how to organize a resume that will help you become more attractive and get you a great job.
Step 1: Choose a great resume format.
A chronological format: If you have a great work history that’s really strong and attractive, this is for you. This format typically focuses on your work history with your most recent position to your least recent position. It’s the easiest form if you ask me, and employers like this form because its straight to the point and they are able to know the timeline you worked at each position, and in reverse chronological order.
A functional format: This format might be for my girl bosses who just graduated from college. You may not have actual work history but don’t let that discourage you, there is room to explain the skill sets you have learned over the years. You can still highlight your accomplishments and professional experiences, rather than a “work history”. By highlighting your skills here you can still show that you are ideal for the job.
Step 2: The font and size.
The font and sizes of your resume are important because you want your resume to look organized and have enough space for the interviewer to read it. I suggest you use a font that’s between 10- 12 so the interviewer isn’t stressing their eyes to read. I personally would advise you use Arial, Calibri, or Times Roman. But it all depends on the type of job you are applying for. Some creative roles might require you to use other fun fonts, but for the most part, these should work. Also try not to use too much underlining or bullets, unless its next to some sort of achievement or description you really want to highlight. The goal here is to be consistent with whatever font and style you use throughout the resume and try not to be to fancy. Keep it cute and professional.
Step 3: Spice it up with important keywords.
Keywords are descriptions of your skill set that industry insiders and recruiters use to describe themselves and others within that specific profession. This helps the employer get insight on whether or not you are familiar with the job duties. Recruiters will usually use this to screen through candidates for the job opening, and since a lot of people are fighting for the same job position, make sure you are adding the appropriate keyword and skill sets so that your resume gets found.
For example, a keyword in the sales industry would be prospecting. There is absolutely no way you could talk about a sales role without plugging in a word like prospecting. This is just a little example to get you thinking about how to sell yourself through every step of creating the perfect resume. A small tip in addition to the keyword is paying attention to the timeline of your previous roles. It’s always great to show that you stayed in a position for at least a year because it shows that you have a certain level of grit and commitment, and you care.
Step 4: Make sure your job descriptions are fire.
Selling your job description is the one shot you get to sell yourself and go make sure the interview is thinking they have to meet you in person. Make sure to add all the awards you received, certain benchmarks you were able to hit, publications, participation, volunteer experience, interests and factual numbers. Numbers are so important in this stage of the resume process because there is a difference between saying I was able to sell an estimated about from January – April causing a 15% increase for the company. Than just saying I sold a lot of memberships. Really make sure that you are taking the time to think about metrics because that’s really what separates the real from the fluff.
Step 5: Proofread and edit.
You did all this work writing a great resume so why not put the finishing touches on it. Read your resume out loud and make sure this outlines why you are the best person for the job. Make sure to double check the spacing, check for consistency, make sure your bullet points are aligned properly. Read your words slowly and make sure you aren’t stumbling over words as you read them so you are cautious of where to place your commas and apostrophe. Be on the lookout for your contractions and possessive tenses so you aren’t confusing “there” for “their”. Also, check for the usage of verbs to make sure you are using your verbs properly. Did you put a period after every sentence? If so make sure you are consistent throughout the whole resume. Lastly, ask a friend to read it and give you feedback on it. And if all fails, try grammarly, a free online grammar check software that will make sure you are ready to receive the call back for an in-person interview.
Comment below if you have any questions.