Employers and recruiters look at a ton of resumes each day. Flipping through documents that all look vaguely the same can become tedious and boring, which is why you want your resume to stand out among the masses.
Resumes are going to look different depending on the positions you are applying for. Some companies may prefer a basic, straightforward format, while others may want you to get creative. The information you include on your resume will also look different depending on the position. That’s why it’s so important to research the company and their application requirements beforehand so you can begin to curate a resume that both fits with the company and shows who you are.
You may be wondering: where do I start? Don’t worry – I have some tips, tricks and resources that will have your resume prepared in no time.
Tip 1: Organize the information on your resume appropriately
Most companies will want to see your name and contact information at the top of your resume. I like to make my name a little bigger so that it stands out as recruiters flip through their pile. Next, include your education with the year you graduated or are expected to graduate. Employers and recruiters will want to see this right off the bat so they know if and when they can hire you. Below that, include relevant experience, with an emphasis on relevant. This means cater your resume to what you’re applying for and only put experience that either directly relates to that position or has strong talking points for an interview. Finally, include any skills, certificates or honors that are relevant to the position.
Tip 2: Keep the design simple and be consistent
Use fonts and colors that make the document easy to read and professional. Keep font, font color and size consistent throughout the whole document. Make sure your fonts match or pair well together if you use different fonts. I like to pair a serif and sans serif together for my headings and body. Make all of your headings, subheadings and body/bulleted text match each other. Use black throughout the whole document aside from headings.
Tip 3: Use active language
Avoid passive language — You led the team. The team wasn’t led by you. Use active verbs that are unique and have power as they will catch employers’ attention. Here is a list of active verbs to make your resume powerful.
Tip 4: Look at resume examples for your industry
Some companies will want a basic resume with black letters, simple fonts and bulleted points. Other positions might call for you to showcase your creativity through your resume with colorful letters, unique layouts and even pictures. There are many resources out there with free resume templates including Google docs and Microsoft Word. Here are some more sites:
Tip 5: Keep it concise!
Make your resume one page. This is standard for pretty much any position. Recruiters do not want to flip through a multiple page resume, so find a format that allows you to fit all of your information on one page.