Update your resumé to stand out

By on March 25, 2016

By Rachel Sorgen–

On the hunt for a job? Perhaps you are looking to grab a summer internship, land your first full-time job or you are simply in need of work. One thing is for sure — employers will be looking at your resumé. Here are some writing tips that can help you get an interview.

Back to the basics

There are always four things your resumé should be. Your resumé should be one page, consistent, have no spelling errors and easy to understand. If your resumé looks really pretty and has a cool design, but does not have these four things, employers can easily let you go.

Making sure everything fits on one page can be tricky. I usually make the font 10 point instead of 12. This does not include the headers. There doesn’t need to be more than four bullet points under a job title, but this also depends on how many jobs you have listed. Only include GPA if it is noteworthy – think 3.5 or higher. Be sure to include academic accomplishments such as dean’s list, scholarship recipient or honors societies.

Be specific and quantify your work

Plain and simple, numbers get attention. Your work will stand out when saying “completed five projects in three months” rather than “worked on various projects.” Quantifying work is an easy way to be more specific about achievements and give potential employers an idea of your level of efficiency. Numbers can answer questions like how many projects you completed for the duration of an internship, how big of an audience was reached when creating a marketing campaign and, if you are in a physically-demanding job, how many hours a day you were able to work on your feet. This will also legitimize your previous work experience.

Remember, this is not just a job description

Your resumé is a list of your accomplishments. Give it purpose. This is your time to sell yourself and show companies what you have to offer. If you do not think highly of yourself, it is going to show on paper. Start by making a list of projects completed, apps or tools you have used and figuring out how you have worked in the past. Are you good working with a team or individually? Who did you communicate with and how? Did you analyze data or brain storm ideas? Don’t list responsibilities, list achievements.

Tailor your resumé to fit the job

Utilize the space on your resumé and be aware of how phrases are worded. Begin lines with action words such as “initiate,” “develop” or “increase.” Use words or phrases the company puts in the job description you’re applying for. Avoid meaningless adjectives or words you would only use on a resumé to make you stand out. Using words that you do not know the meaning of can look awkward. A company won’t hire you based on impressive language, but they will be looking for people who get work done, which is why action words work. If you’re worried you’ll look cliché, you can always replace adjectives and rephrase.

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