Getting Resume-Ready for the Job You Want

resume workshop

Staff Sgt. Kayla Rorick is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Resumes may appear to be a lofty task at hand within the midst of a job search. With companies receiving a countless number of resumes at a time for a position, it may seem difficult to stand out in the sea of applicants. However, with these few resume tips, it will be pretty simple to sharpen up your resume so that you can look your best as a potential candidate for the job.

Photo Credit: @Lukas Licensed by CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0)

1.Quantitative Descriptions: While your resume experience may seem like a summary of what you’ve done in your past jobs, companies are looking for more than just someone who can do the job. They are looking for someone who can do the job well. Quantifying your job descriptions is a great way to show how effective, competent and adept you are at your positions. Some helpful quantitative examples are metrics of how well you do compared to your department or colleagues, how many clients do you handle on average, sales performed weekly or otherwise. Here is an example of how a skillset can be quantified:

Acceptable: Meeting store performance expectations by achieving weekly sales goals

Better: Upholding high quality of store performance by maintaining weekly sales goal between $24,000-36,000 and consistently achieving an average of 105% in expected sales within quarterly basis

2. Adapt Job Descriptions to Your Resume: While this technique may take a bit more time to do when applying to various job positions, the effort taken to customize your resume will be worthwhile. Submitting resumes through job application platforms typically vet resumes for certain keywords through their algorithms before they are passed on to the employer. That is why adapting your resume to keywords in the job description is a vital and effective step in in your job search. Here is an example on how to adapt your resume:

Job Description: Assist with store concept and execute in-store storytelling elements

Your Experience: Demonstrated exterior and interior design skill set by presenting pitches of color schemes, fabric samples, storefront designs and furniture/fixture ideas to illustrate pop-up store concepts that maximized consumer experience through in-store storytelling elements and client brand recognition for six major national and global

3. Strong Summary: A good introduction and addition to your header is a strong summary headline. The summary headline should be a concise and compelling statement selling your experience and results specific to your experience. For example:

“Experienced writer and editor with over eight years of experience in producing impactful content that results in increasing reader engagement, reaching diverse demographics and producing revenue growth”

4. Resumes Are Ideally One Page: Resumes should keep to the one-page rule as a courtesy. From the prospective of the employer, they receive numerous resumes to review, ranging from dozens to hundreds. Unless the requirement is for a CV (which includes awards and publications and can be between eight to ten pages), the resume should serve as its expectations to the employer: a succinct snapshot showing that the candidate is able to prioritize and express their strengths for the job clearly on paper. Here are some helpful questions to effectively communicate your strengths into one page:

Is this skill set most relevant to the job description of the applied job position? While we are tempted to list everything that we’ve ever done in the prior position, each sentence should serve a purpose relevant to the applied job position. If it is not relevant or strong enough of a skill set, exclude it and leave room for the skills that really make your experience stand out. Each job experience on your resume should consist of four to six bullet points of experience.

Is this experience relevant to the job at hand? If it is not, a way to include non-relevant experience is to separate it into another section called “Other Experience.” The purpose of this section answers the question of gaps in your experience that are not relevant to the position at hand and simply lists the company name and position. For example:

While the attempt to make the resume fit onto one page may not always be possible, if the resume spans across two pages, make sure that there is no white space on the second page. White space gives the appearance that the resume could have been condensed into one page and in this case, should call for additional experience to fill in the space, such as volunteer experience, awards and other extracurricular achievements.

Do Don’t
Use 10.5 to 12 point fontFormat font and spacing consistently throughout the resumeSubmit your resume in PDF for formatting consistencyAdapt your resume and cover letters for the job description of the applied position Include a photo of yourself or any information used for discrimination (i.e. birth date, race)Submit resumes in formats that job application platforms can’t read keywords from, such as JPEGInclude “references available upon request” (it’s a given)

With these helpful tips, cleaning up your resume to stand out to your prospective employers will be a cinch to do.

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2 thoughts on “Getting Resume-Ready for the Job You Want”

  1. Pingback: ACE Scholarship Mentor Lisa Sheridan - In Her Own Words | The Kiosk

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