"I did send a lot of resumes, but my phone hasn't been ringing off the hook!"
July 3, 2015
Chances are, the first thing recruiters or employers will see from you is your resume. It gives them that first impression of who you are as a person and as a worker, and you want it to impress them. We have some tips on how you can craft a resume that will have companies wanting to give you a call.
Make sure you include all of your contact information in an organized fashion at the top of your resume. Don’t bury your phone number or leave out your email. You want whoever is reading your resume to know quickly and easily how to reach you. Don’t make this harder on them!
Identify and describe what makes you shine. While structure is important in a resume, the goal is to grab attention and get that callback. Stephanie from AT&T says: “Think about what details you want to stand out to the person that sees your resume. What will land you the job? Is it your recent degree, courses and projects you did in class? Is it your work experience, the internship that puts you in a perfect position to apply for this job? Is it your volunteer work in your community or blog you write on the side? What sets you apart? Figure out what that is and lead with that.”
Start strong from the top. Recruiters and hiring managers are busy people, and as much as you would love for them to spend a while reading through all of your material, chances are, they’re skimming to look for what impresses them. Bryan from IBM gives this advice: “There are some common socially accepted features in resumes today, and a general rule candidates should follow is to always highlight the most important characteristics about their background and work down the page in order of significance. Hiring managers and recruiters spend very little time skimming through numerous resumes, and it is important to have the most important information in a prominent position on the page couched in adequate ‘white space.’”
Show all education you’ve received. Employers want to see what you know and what you’ve studied, especially if a degree is required for the position. Generally, this should be toward the top of your resume as one of the first things listed. Ashley, a hiring expert from Cardinal Health, says: “I would also be sure to include any student organization involvement, leadership positions, volunteer experience or extracurricular involvement. If you have a high GPA, I would list this with your Education as well.”
Break the mold when it demonstrates your skills. While certain sections are typical for a resume, others can be added when relevant and applicable. Martin, a hiring expert from Emerson, gives suggestions: “A great example of this is PhD students coming into the workforce for the first time. They will typically have sections for publications and patents to showcase the research they have done. I have also seen sections for awards for sales candidates to show how well they have done at selling a product.”
Keep it clean and simple. Make sure you have room to breathe on the page and you haven’t cluttered it up with unnecessary information. Don’t shrink the margins drastically or remove any header or footer space from the page. You want to include as much as you can to help sell yourself, but you want the reader to be able to read and digest it all easily and without distraction. Keep your fonts simple—no colors or images or word art is needed.
Pack a punch. Sue, hiring expert from Gap, shared two characteristics she thinks make a great resume: “Specific metrics or results attached to a previous job.” and “Positive, enthusiastic, personality-driven language.” Use numbers to show what you’ve accomplished in former roles, and use your words well to show who you are.