Below are our top resume tips to make your resume sparkle in the New Year:
1. Keep your resume to one page
As a general rule of thumb, unless you’ve worked for decades, your resume really should not be more than one page. Recruiters sift through hundreds of resumes a day, and if there’s clearly information on your resume that isn’t relevant, it’s easy to glaze over it and keep moving. You want to make sure that your resume is finely tuned, shorter, and customized. Which brings us to tip #2…
2. Customize, Customize, Customize
Seek to highlight your most relevant experiences for the job that you’re applying for! You don’t need your high school babysitting experience when applying for a data analyst internship your junior year of college! PRO tip: I like to keep one long word document filled with all of my professional work experience (along with some of my side hustles!), all of this information is formatted exactly the way my resume is, which makes it easy for me to simply copy and paste relevant experience when applying for a new internship or job! Take a few hours from your holiday break to sit down and write down all the professional, and/or extracurricular experience you’ve gained! It’s the best gift you can give your future self.
3. Don’t overdo creativity
Even if you’re searching for work in more creative fields, I would recommend making sure that your resume has simple and clean formatting. A clear and consistent font and logical formatting goes a long way with helping recruiters get a good idea of what your experience is like. It also ensures that when your resume goes through automated computer systems, you aren’t passed over because the computer couldn’t decode all your hard work. There’s plenty of space to flex your creativity in the later rounds of that interview process!
4. Strong bullets and action words!
Don’t forget that less is more. You should be making every word on your resume reflect your strengths. Don’t overload your resume with fillers, but rather make sure that every bullet on there is intentional, and a good reflection of both your work experience, but also what you could potentially bring to the table! Use action words to show exactly how you’ve been able to accomplish something. If you’re looking for work in a field where metrics are not necessarily key, then don’t feel the need to insert numbers for the sake of numbers. However, if you are looking for work where metrics are an important reflection of your accomplishments, definitely do not sleep on them! Numbers paint a very accurate picture of what you’ve been able to accomplish, and can help the recruiter understand your skill sets tangibly.
Proofreading and making sure that your resume is as clear of typos and grammatical errors as possible represents your commitment and attention to detail. If you feel like you’ve stared at your resume too long, then make sure to take a few days break, so that you can get fresh eyes on it next time. Better yet, ask a friend or trusted upperclassmen to take a look at your resume. Often times a different set of eyes will reveal typos you wouldn’t have noticed, or just offers a fresh perspective! Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask someone to do this for you, trust that they’ve asked people before them, and the circle just keeps on giving. Don’t forget that done is better than perfect, so if you’ve stared at the computer screen for too long, asked for feedback from others, and feel good about it, then by all means hit submit!
I hope this advice has been helpful to you with your process; stay tuned for our next edition of career blog advice where we break down everything to do with cover letters.
Michelle Ahn, Campus Philly Program Manager