I have edited resumes for my students, friends, and family members, and one thing I note is that every resume is different from the format to the content. No two resumes are the same and neither should they be. So, how can you make your resume stand out, be professional, and get a read through instead of a toss aside?
Here are 5 ways to make a great resume:
- Be Honest. If you have never worked on the moon, please don’t list it. List your actual work experiences, education, activities, and skill, even if they seem insignificant. And try to list skills, experience, and training/education that is relevant to the career position or job you are applying for.
- Be professional. Make sure your resume is not riddled with emojis, text-talk, and poor grammar. Make sure your email is professional: 🚫email@example.com ✔firstname.lastname@example.org. Make sure your address is up to date also. And make sure you have a consistent format and font. The typical font used for resumes is Times New Roman.
- Make it stand out. Make sure your name is front and center. Make it bold or larger than the rest of the content. Make sure your contact info is right up there with your name. Make sure you print on white paper, or a special type of paper as long as it is white, or play around with your format. Just don’t overdo it and please keep it professional. If you are an artist or model, perhaps you can get away with adding a headshot photo of yourself.
- Maintain great content. Use action verbs to start off with explaining your tasks or duties from your work experiences. Make your objective specific as you communicate your career goals. Don’t list your skills in a generic way. Be specific. For example: 🚫Typing. ✔Type 100 words per minute 🚫 Math. ✔Proficient in Advanced Algebra and Trigonometry. You may think your work experience isn’t diverse, in depth or great. Don’t fret. It is not what you say it, it is how you say it. If you babysit or are a stay at home mom now entering the work force, you provide child care. Find out what strengths you are developing as a result and what things you are learning. Value those things. On your resume, list some of the things you did in providing child care. If you developed or have special skills, list them also on your resume. If you have learned how to apply theatrical makeup even if you learned from watching countless YouTube videos, list it. I had a high school student who didn’t realize that he helping his uncle remodel someone’s kitchen was a skill he was developing and something to put on his resume.
- Lastly, edit your resume. Check for mistakes. Everyone makes them, including me. So, go back over it and more than once. And have someone proofread it and edit it. Get feedback. Another person’s eyes can catch what you missed and give you the constructive criticism you need.
- Bonus Tip: Make sure you update your resume every year. You might have recently changed your address or job, learned a new skill, renewed your license or certificate, etc. and you want your resume to reflect such and be current.
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