Are you getting ready to enter the working world and still have a lot of questions about how to actually do it? Never fear, because Metiza has created the Women at Work Series, a collection of helpful articles about the working world and how you can enter it confidently. Let’s get to work!
One of the first things you can (and should) do as you prepare to enter the workforce is crafting the perfect resume. A resume is a one page document that highlights your educational background, work experience, skills, honors, activities, and anything else you deem relevant to include for that specific position. Resumes are incredibly important because they are the gateway to an interview; you have to market yourself on paper before you can market yourself in person.
Tip One: Highlight Your Skills at the Start
A human resources employee isn’t really reading your resume…they’re skimming it for important key words and details. Are you fluent in Spanish? Do you know C++? Are you a Photoshop wizard? Make sure these skills are front and center on your resume because they will set you apart from the competition.
A word to the wise: make sure the skills you’re highlighting are relevant to the job.
Tip Two: Add Numbers and Key Verbs to Your Responsibilities
It’s great that you were “responsible for sales”, but let’s amp that up and add some key verbs. What about “partnered with another company and increased sales by 25% in six months? You “managed teammates”? What if you “motivated teammates and decreased closing time speed by 30 minutes”? These examples show how a few tweaks can make your descriptions more powerful and quantifiable.
Also, remember to cut the fluff and be concise and purposeful with what you say in your descriptions; use no more than five bullet points per position. And always look for keywords in the job description and integrate them into your resume!
Tip Three: Ditch the Objective and Summary Section
Several career counselors (mine included) have said that this section is outdated. Cut out the unnecessary sections to make more room for the important sections. Ditch the “references available upon request”, too.
Tip Four: Add a Coursework Section
As a student, your biggest asset is your education. If you don’t have a lot of work experience, highlight the courses that you’ve taken that are relevant to the job. Include any projects you worked on that are also relevant.
Of course, remember the basics like:
- Making sure your contact information is up to date and that your contact email is professional
- Using reverse chronological order, which means starting from your most recent job or highest degree and working backward
- Formatting your font, margins, headers, alignment, etc. so that everything flows. A side note on fonts: make sure they’re large and easy enough to read (sorry, Comic Sans has no place here)
- Saving your resume using an appropriate name (Sierra Zima’s Resume vs My Resume)
- Proofreading and editing before sending it out!
With these tips, you should be ready to begin or touch up your resume so you can snag that interview and hopefully snag that dream job. As a final tip, never lie on your resume. You will get caught and it will be bad.
Be on the lookout for more articles from the Women at Work Series in the future. Have a question you’d like to see covered with an article? Connect with us or reach out to Sierra on social media.
Also published on Medium.