Learn to brag about yourself in the most professional way possible!
If you are newly graduated or on the hunt for a new job, you know this word very well:
Resume – a brief account of a person’s education, qualifications, and previous experience, typically sent with a job application.
For the newly graduated folks, you may have had to visit your college’s career center, and if you didn’t you should have! College career centers are usually a wealth of information when it comes to resumes, interviews, cover letters, etc. My college’s career center had the resume and cover letter help, but also assisted in setting up mock interviews.
No matter where you are in life, whether newly graduated, or changing your career path, your resume should really be on point. There is a ton of resources on how to write a resume, sometimes it can be overwhelming to be sure. If you have done your fair share of research, then you know there are a few types of resumes out there. Although the information will be the same, there is a difference in how you organize your experience.
The most common type of resume is the Chronological. This format is widely used because it can accommodate a lot of different industries and levels of experience. Your work experiences will be listed in reverse chronological order, meaning your most recent job will be listed first. If you happen to have long gaps of employment, or frequently change jobs, this format might not be the one for you, as it makes those a little more noticeable.
A second resume format is the Functional. This is best suited for those who are changing careers and who have transferable skills/experiences, as well as unrelated experience. This format highlights your abilities rather than your chronological work history.
It is also possible to blend these two formats into a Hybrid resume format. This may be useful to those who have a long work history and want to group their experiences into categories chronologically.
Obviously the samples above are pretty simple, but they are a great base to work off of. One thing you can play around with to make your resume stand out from the rest is your contact information. This can be formatted multiple different ways, and there’s not necessarily one right way to do it. Both of these samples happen to be in almost the same format, but you could also center all your contact info:
City, State, Zip
I personally use a combination of these:
Adding the line under your name makes it pop a little more and might catch an employer’s eye more easily.
Your resume is essentially you on paper, so it’s really important to be meticulous when you look it over; make sure your spelling and grammar is correct, punctuation, no run-on sentences, and most importantly that your contact information is right. A common rule is to leave the resume as one page, but as many of us may know, sometimes that is impossible. Not only have some people had a decent number of jobs, but recent graduates could have multiple internships to list. These are important experiences and definitely should not be left out. If the second page of your resume only has two or three lines on it, then the shrink-to-fit option would look better, but if it is mostly full, leave it. Some of us have a lot to brag about! Also, many employers most likely won’t look at every single resume in depth, so it’s useful to use action words and “buzz words.”
Action words like: developed, organized, facilitated, supervised, managed, created
Buzz words will be subjective by industry. In my never-ending example of education: standardized testing, IEPs and 504s, lesson plans, classroom management, etc.
These words will catch people’s eyes as they’re scanning through stacks of resumes, especially if they describe the work involved in the job you’re applying for.
I’m sure more posts about resumes will follow this one, but the one thing I stress is to really know what is on your resume. Interviewers most likely will have your resume in front of them when you go in to meet with them, and will most definitely ask you questions about it, so it’s important to be prepared. Know your resume like the back of your hand. Never lie on your resume! It’s just a bad idea, don’t do it. Someone will call you out on it, and it won’t look good when they do.
Your resume is a place to let your achievements shine, so don’t be afraid of broadcasting them. You worked hard to get where you are, and perfecting your resume is the first step in getting to where you want to be.