Do you know how to sell yourself professionally on paper? If not you should. Having a resume is a critical piece of your professional success. The resume is the first step in securing a position. It is best practice to keep an updated resume on hand. You never know when an opportunity will present itself. Crafting a strong resume does not have to be intimidating. There are resources available online and on campus to help you present the best version of yourself.
Below are tips to help craft a strong resume to show employers you are the best candidate for the position:
- Be professional in presentation. Avoid colored paper, avoid adding your picture, and avoid overly casual email address.
- Make sure your name stands out. Use a font and size that stands out and allows your name to be clearly and easily read.
- Use bullet points to help information stand out and easy to read.
- Use action words to describe your experience. Each action word, should be a verb (in present tense if still employed, in past tense if previously employed) to help the employer gain a complete understanding of the role you fulfilled.
- Don’t leave anything out. No role or responsibility is too small. Give the employer a full scope of your responsibilities.
- Fill the page. Do not leave blank space on your resume. If your information does not fill up one page find things to tell the employer about you. The same rule applies if your information flows over to two pages. Discuss your service experience, describe computer skills, highlight awards, or share a concise mission statement. Blank space on a resume is a definite no-no and should be avoided, so either delete or add information to get one or two full pages.
- Label each page. This very helpful tip can save your resume should your pages get separated.
- Tailor your resume to fit the needs of the job. Use the position description or job posting of to edit your resume. Use the same “buzz” words used to describe the job throughout the resume. Using these words and crafting your resume will allow you to stand out and send the message that the position was created for you. If you are applying for jobs in multiple fields, craft a resume for each industry. You can tweak each resume to highlight relative experience, use relatable key works, and leave out irrelevant information.
- Be truthful. Only include information that can be verified and where you can provide examples or demonstrate your skills. You do not want to put yourself in the position where your ethics are questioned by questionable information on your resume.
- Update regularly. Once you have crafted the perfect resume, it is important to regularly update it with your most current experiences. Each time you gain a new skill or experience…add it to your resume! Get an award…add it! Present at a conference…add it! Publish an article….add it! Create/Develop something….add it!
Resumes evolve. As you grow professional, so should your resume. Each new position is a new opportunity to expand your resume.