BY KATE LARSON
- Keep it Simple
Forget fancy fonts and show-off designs: your resume must be simple so that a recruiter (or computer software) can quickly digest the information within it. Always choose commonly-used sans-serif fonts, such as Calibri or Arial, and make sure your font size is 11 or 12.
Your name should be displayed at the top of your resume along with your contact information. Using “multiple” line spacing and keeping a one-inch margin around all sides of your document will make the content easier to read.
Headings and job titles should be in a slightly larger font size and bolded so that they stand out. Italicize previous job titles and educational institution names to help set them off from headings.
- Include a Short Profile
A well-crafted profile should give the reader a short indication as to your experiences so far and why you wish to apply for the role. Place it under your contact information and make sure it isn’t more than three sentences long. If your resume is written in the first person, your profile should be as well.
- List Your Technical and Professional Skills
As a college student, you’re unlikely to have a long list of previous jobs to list on your resume. The good news is that you can use the technical and personal skills you’ve picked up over time to help pad out your resume.
Always read through any job advert you’re applying for and try to pick up on any keywords they’ve included. Listing them in your own skills list will help your resume to pass screening software that recruiters commonly use.
- Experience Should go Above Education…
…but only if you’re working. If you’re currently studying and don’t have a job, list your education first.
Always list past jobs and education history in chronological order. Include dates, titles, and location. When it comes to describing what your previous work experience entailed, be sure to list your achievements rather than just your job duties. Use active verbs, such as succeeded, helped, or won, to start each bullet point and include examples of specific projects or tasks you’re most proud of.
Remember to switch between past and present tense if you begin talking about a role that you’re currently in.
- Use Online Tools for Proofreading
Over half (58%) of employers admit to throwing out a resume if it contains a typo. Thankfully, there are now several online tools that can help you to spot any glaring errors before you hit the print button.
Grammarly and the Hemmingway Editor are a great place to start. They pick up on faulty determiner use and alert you whenever your sentences become overlong.
Once you’ve done all your online checks, print out your resume and read it aloud slowly. It’s then best to turn to another task for half an hour before returning for one final check with a pair of fresh eyes.
Finally, try to pluck up the courage to ask your friends or family to read through your resume. While they might not pick up on any errors, they could provide you with valuable feedback that helps you to land that all important interview.
What Should I Do If I’m Not Getting Any Responses?
Don’t panic. You can either start applying for lower-paid positions or decide to get creative. What do we mean by the latter? Well, start to think of yourself as a new business that needs to get their name out there. To do that, you need to advertise.
Start by taking the online route. Create your own website that shows off some of your skills in more detail. Then use Bannersnacks and create a banner ad to advertise your services on carefully selected websites.
Next, come up with your own business cards and print them out alongside some copies of your resume. Dress to impress and head to local businesses in your area asking whether they have any positions available. An employer will always be impressed by a student taking a proactive approach in their job hunt.
To help you think of yourself as a new business, it’s a good idea to spend some time researching advice from top entrepreneurs and CEO’s. You can find podcasts and interviews online to help you get inspired by those who have already achieved what you aspire for, to get you into the right mindset for creating that perfect resume.
Kate Larson is a college student and aspiring blogger, who has a strong interest in the environment and personal well-being. She enjoys travelling and reading, as well as writing novels.