As a person who has been eager to apply for jobs since September, it has been a struggle (to say the least) to hold back on filling out applications during the pandemic. However, there is one thing we can all do from home while we wait for openings to return to those “careers” pages: update + perfect our resumes! After some research, a few meetings with resume builders and speaking with recruiters, I have put together five simple things you can do to make your resume stand out!
1. List a non-college affiliated email address.
For the longest time, I used my college email address to contact hiring managers and as the contact method listed on my resume. However, listing a professional, personal email can help hiring managers take you more seriously and focus on your experience rather than your implied age range. Free email services include Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo! AOL, etc.
Tips: Keep it simple and easily recognizable. Ex: FirstnameLastname@gmail.com – You can use periods or your middle initial if the domain is taken!
2. Incorporate! Numbers!
It’s one thing to tell the reader that you did something, but it’s another to actually SHOW them. Add in numbers and percentages where appropriate to take your resume to the next level.
Example: Increased (engagement/page likes/views/etc) by X percent [in X months.] Quantifying your achievements is a simple and effective way to increase the value of your experience.
3. Pay attention to visual hierarchy.
According to a study conducted by Ladders Inc., recruiters only spend around 7 seconds looking at your resume. It is critical that your resume is clear, easy to read and incorporates white space, with clear sections and heading titles. Use bold titles and bulleted accomplishments to get your points across simply.
4. Consider your word choice.
If you have multiple experiences doing similar things, it can be really easy to reuse keywords. Try choosing new and more powerful words. There are tons of suggestions online, but I recommend scanning this list from themuse!
Tips: Use keywords from the job description! Some companies use systems to scan resumes and pick out top candidates. Use the description key words to increase your chances of being recognized!
5. Proofread. Then proofread it again. Then send it to someone to proofread. Then proofread it again. Then one more time… just in case.
Okay, okay I get it, proofreading is important. BUT there really is no worse feeling than clicking submit and realizing there’s an incorrect date or a missing period (trust me, this has happened to me before and. it. STINKS). Sure, nobody is perfect, but this is your first impression, and possibly your only chance, at convincing the person on the other side of the screen that YOU deserve the job over everybody else. No pressure. But seriously, proofread your resume.
Thank you for reading! Please let me know of any other helpful resume tips or “hacks” you might have! If you would like me to look over your resume, please feel free to send it to me via email at KaitlinLMaroney@gmail.com.