Milton Berle once said, “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” This quote is relatable when it comes to building your resume. Since your resume is the first step in finding a job, it’s important to feel confident from the beginning. Whether you have an established resume or are writing one for the first time, creating a resume that captures a hiring manager’s interest is difficult. Below are some helpful hints of what an employer is looking for and how you can grasp their attention.
Choose the right format
Use a classic clean layout!
- Although the fancy layout is an attention grabber, it takes away from the content, making it distracting to whomever is reading it. Information is not always placed in a logical way, making the reader have to search for the true information they are looking for.
Provide basic communication! There are many things’ individuals provide on their resume that are not necessary. This includes your full address, date of birth and a headshot. Leave all that for the interview. Instead, here is what you should provide
- First and last name (no nicknames)
- Professional Email
- Phone number
- Bonus Option? Your LinkedIn URL
This a controversial factor. This used to be something that was taught and drilled into many people. With the changing generations, most employers do not feel this is necessary anymore. However, if you feel inclined to put in a summary, be sure to keep it short, sweet, and relevant. Do not just take up space. You want content that will make you stand out from your competitors.
List Relevant Work Experience & Achievements (certification & awards)
Place your history in reverse – chronological order (most recent at the top). This allows the employer to see your latest experience. When you do this, make sure to include the below. This demonstrates that clean layout we touched on earlier, ensuring easy access to information
- 1st – The company name
- 2nd – The dates employed next to it (Employers love to see longevity)
- 3rd – Your job title directly below it
Next, provide at least five detailed bullet points of the KEY job responsibilities you had. Employers do not need to see every small task you completed but rather the standout duties that would bring value to their company or team.
- Create each bullet point by using an action word to highlight the value of the work you did (Ex. Organized, Created, Demonstrated, Received, Conducted, Improved etc.)
Listing your skills accurately on your resume is becoming increasingly important. With evolving technology, many employers or recruiters will search for specific skills over previous roles and experience. Ensure that the skills you provide are pertinent to the job you are applying for!
- Use hard skills (quantifiable skills gained through training, school, or work experiences) and soft skills (non-technical skills that describe how you work and interact with others.) This demonstrates a range of abilities
- Quality over quantity (5-6 skills is more than enough)
Below are some of the top skills employees look for. The most important thing to remember is, whatever skills you use… have examples ready for the interview should you get one, to back them up!
- Critical thinking and problem solving
- Teamwork and collaboration
- Professionalism and strong work ethic
- Oral and written communication
- Fluency in other languages
- Again, reverse chronological order – place your highest degree first
- Mention completed credits if your education is unfinished
Building your resume can be a difficult task, the most important thing to remember is to take it step by step and provide clear, relevant information that will make you stand out to the person on the receiving end of it. Keep it simple and focus on what matters. Do not let yourself be overwhelmed.