A resume is a living document that outlines your education, experiences, and achievements, but knowing how to construct the perfect resume can be daunting.
Recruiters and hiring managers typically spend 10-30 seconds reviewing resumes, so it is important to have a clean and consistent format. This will help highlight your skills, abilities, education and accomplishments and make your resume stand out.
You should view your resume as a marketing tool and you are the product. Always ask yourself the following before submitting your resume to any position, “Is my resume marketing me as the best candidate for this position”? If the answer is yes, proceed. If the answer is no, use the following handouts to assist you with building or revising your resume.
Format and consistency will be the first hurdle to overcome, and, if done incorrectly, can be an easy way to get your resume rejected. Review margin settings, fonts, date formats and punctuation. Also ensure consistent spacing between headers (i.e. Education, Professional Experience, etc.)
To show the most behind the work you’ve done, try writing out your experiences in the ST.A.R. format :
- ST (Situation or Task – what you did)
- A (Actions – how you handled specifics of the situation or performed the task)
- R (Results – what happened as a result, try to provide numbers behind this if possible)
Good: Created printed brochures and posters.
Better: Created printed brochures and posters (ST) using Adobe Photoshop and InDesign (A) which resulted in the launch of 2,000 new advertising packets.
Below are some general tips and tricks to keep in mind of when creating your resume:
Utilize university resume templates for formatting. Avoid templates from other sources (i.e. Canva or from internet sites). Applicant tracking systems have difficulty reading these
Choose an appropriate email name: first/last or some variation that helps your future employer know who you are
Include a functioning phone number, and make sure your voicemail greeting is professional
Use Key Words throughout your resume: Matching keywords and qualifications from the job description will keep your resume from being blocked by the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) and recruiting systems. Applicant Tracking Systems are automated systems that organizations use to screen thousands of resume submissions, weed out those that are missing key words, and pass along the more qualified candidates to the hiring managers. Make sure you’re not blocked by adding Key Words!
Always save your current, ready to submit resume as a PDF to avoid formatting changes
Refer to examples from your field
What VMOCK Resume Smart Editor does:
Scans and reviews your resume by providing 24/7 instant personalized feedback based on criteria gathered from employers and global best practices
Works with resumes from many different fields across multiple industries
Allows you to create resumes from scratch
Provides feedback on existing resumes
Whether you’re on your first or twelfth draft, it can be challenging to take your resume to the next level. Feel free to schedule a one-on-one appointment via Handshake with a career advisor or counselor for additional help.
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