When it comes to creating or updating our resumes, it can bring out feelings of confusion.Oftentimes people are not getting seen by potential employers simply because of a poorly written resume.
Recently, the Director of Career Services at Globe University in Minneapolis, Elaine Vandenburgh, led a workshop for students to improve on their resumes.
In the workshop the students did an activity where they were given 30 seconds to look at a fake resume. After 30 seconds they had to tell what the top qualifications were for the candidate. Most of the students found that this activity was difficult because the fake resume was not organized, nor was the information clear and concise. This reminded the students to put themselves in the shoes of the resume reader as they create and update their resumes. This activity also revealed 6 great resume tips to help anyone get hired:
1. Make sure everything is organized and clear. Someone needs to be able to take a quick glance at your resume and determine if it’s worth reading further. If your resume is not organized, clear, or concise, most likely it won’t make the first cut.
2. Put the most important information on top. A “summary of qualifications” or “professional summary” or “related skills” are good places to put this information. The fake resumes had these sections listed on the second page or sometimes not even at all.
3. Unless you have related experience, keep your resume to one page. Enough said.
4. Make sure the resume matches the job description. Not necessarily word-for-word, but make it easy for the hiring manager to take a job description and pick up your resume and see that you are a good match. If a job description says that you are looking for 1+ years of customer service experience, then make sure to put that on the resume if it applies to you: “Over 2 years of customer service experience.” The job descriptions will give you clues as to what are the company’s top priorities when looking for candidates.
5. Think of your resume space as prime marketing space. Everything you put on your resume should be placed with purpose and intention. Avoid putting things on your resume that are assumed or don’t make you stand out from other candidates. This means never put “other duties as assigned” or “references available upon request.” Everyone has done other duties as assigned at previous jobs. It is assumed that if you go in for an interview, you will bring a list of references. Don’t waste your prime marketing space on these assumed unimportant phrases.
6. Avoid paragraphs. Short, concise bullets work much better and are easier for hiring managers to see if you are a good fit. Chances are high that if you have paragraphs on your resume, it will be skimmed over anyway.
With these small changes to your resume, you are going to be more confident that your resume will actually be seen by the right people, which in turn hopefully turns into an interview!
Follow Globe University – Minneapolis on Facebook and Twitter!