Get Hired – Tips For Your Resume
Posted on December 13, 2014
I love looking and editing resumes because they can be so good, or so bad. And I love making things clear and concise, which is the biggest challenge of resumes. And I believe they are always a work-in-progress. Every time I look at my own resume, there’s a new word I want to replace, or phrase I want to re-write, and I think, why did I not notice this before?!
I’m actually job hunting right now, so I’ve been working on my resume and applications a lot for the past few weeks. So, fair warning, you’re taking resume advice from someone unemployed right now!
But I’ve had the opportunity to look at a lot of resumes before. The major positions I’ve interviewed for includes:
- AIESEC SFU as VP Communications in 2011/12
- Hiring my replacement as Digital Marketing Intern at SAP
- Finding a Marketing Assistant at futurethink in New York
And I’ve realized one thing: Most people’s resumes suck. And yours probably sucks too 🙂
So here are 8 tips to make it better!
1) Design your resume in Microsoft Word (and make it look like InDesign)
- Not having spell checker is very dangerous
- Online platforms sometimes require a Word doc to be uploaded
- Easier to customize and re-edit resumes for each job you’re applying for
- Don’t over design it, keep it simple
- If you’re going to use colour or graphics (sparingly), make sure they’re scannable and still look good when printed in black and white
- Do not use the default font in Word! That just screams, “I’m lazy.” I recommend using a sans-serif font for a clean, more modern look
2) Make it easy for them to see you’re an excellent candidate
- Customize your resume and use the keywords they’re looking for – If you can’t spend an hour on your application, why should they spend an hour to give you an interview?
- Use strong action words
- List out skills
3) Make yourself sound awesome
- Combine your volunteer and work experience!
- List education up top if you are still a student
- Make it clear that short-term positions were meant to be short – add intern, co-op, contract!
- If you need to pad your resume with content, add relevant school courses and projects
- Results focused and use numbers
- How many events, campaigns, people, or calls?
- How big was the budget?
- What were the results of your impact?
- Imagine your previous boss reading your resume
4) Make your job descriptions easy to understand
- Explaining what the company does in a clear and concise way is just as important as explaining what your role and responsibilities were!
- Include a link to the website
- Don’t use abbreviations or technical words
- Make it easy to understand what exactly it is you did
- Less bullets if you have a lot of jobs, more if you have less experience
5) Use your space effectively
- Don’t waste it on unimportant information or unnecessary white space
- Leave out objective, address, references, hobbies
- Could tables or alignment help use your space better?
6) Be extremely detail oriented
- Formatting consistency
- Periods on bullets only if they are complete sentences
- Grammar tense
- All links are working in PDF
- Page numbers are correct
- Customize file names
7) Audit your social media presence
- Hide your Facebook pictures, including ones your friends can see
- Have your LinkedIn filled out
- If you’re in marketing, have a website and bring a portfolio
- Do you still have old MySpace or LiveJournal accounts?
- What comes up when you Google your name?
8) Best practices
- Be as concise as possible! Stop trying to jam in too many keywords or adjectives
- Make sure your skills are highlighted if they glance at your resume
- Contact information on every page
- Page numbers
- Neutral colours
Step back for big picture checklist
- Do you fit what they’re looking for? (Values, skills, competency)
- Are you a leader? (Responsible, takes initiative, hard worker)
- Have you started something yourself? (Unique, passionate)
- Hand written signature for cover letter (scan into the computer and turn it into a vector)
- T-Table cover letter
- The more you do the easier it will be
- Always be interviewing to know your worth
- Get the offer before you decide to say no to a job. You might end up liking it more than you think, but if you don’t take that interview, you’ll never know.