Getting your dream job isn’t always easy. But, writing a resume doesn’t need to be hard! If you’re looking to create a killer resume to get in front of the eyes of potential employers – we’ve got you covered.
Here are our top 5 tips on how to write a resume:
- Reflect on your top three biggest achievements.
These achievements should be among those achieved within the last ten years. The achievements should be top tier…and some that you are not only proud of, but also some that you can easily speak more in-depth to. Examples of great achievements to share include a project you’ve worked on with great results (ex. “negotiated to achieve $XX in savings”), money or time you saved a past company (ex. “designed a product that generated $XX in revenue over X time”), procedures you developed (ex. “workflow that increased efficiency by XX%”), etc. Once you’re in an interview setting, you are more than welcome to speak to other achievements that weren’t listed on your resume.
(PS – when interviewing and elaborating on these achievements – remember to utilize the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) method to structure the story behind the achievement. This will structure your responses and ensure the interviewer can follow your thought process / work experience overview.)
2. Gaps in resumes are okay – just offer an explanation.
Gaps in resumes happen – especially between major life events (new addition to your family, relocation, etc). Of course employers are also aware of the impact of the pandemic on the job market – and they are understanding! Simply explain how you continued driving self development during this “gap” period. Did you take any online courses? Did you take care of your newly homeschooled kiddos? Did you spend time reflecting on your goals and interests? All of this can convey organization, time management, self motivation, etc. Offer an explanation and state that skills were still exerted during the gap and you were continuing your education in your given field. For example, perhaps you mention some courses you completed, or how you have been listening to note-worthy podcasts in your desired field.
3. Include a maximum of three roles on your resume.
While work experience on your resume is incredibly important, don’t clutter your resume with the last 8 jobs you’ve had. Instead, include the most relevant ones and one’s that you feel comfortable speaking to the most/ stand out the most. Yes, this means leaving off your college bartending job. Or, if you are further along in your career, consider pulling in achievements from the beginning of your career with simple skill bullets (ex. “IBM data science mastery” can replace “5 years implementing XYZ”). Just because it’s not listed on your resume doesn’t mean you can’t speak to it in the interview. If you’re asked a question about leadership and in a past role that wasn’t listed on your resume is a great example to share — go for it!
4. Have an awards and recognitions section.
Having an awards and recognition section will help you level up your resume and show off all of your accomplishments. Appropriate things to add in this section are education awards, company awards, industry awards, community service awards, etc. Be sure to add the name of the award, the year you received it, the purpose of the award, the scope of the award, and why you received it. If you’re able to link any of these awards or recognitions to your reference list, be sure to note that in the list so your potential employer can speak to that when reaching out to any reference.
5. Use at least an 11 points easy-to-read font
Your future employer needs to be able to read your resume quickly. On average, employers spend 6 seconds per resume, so your selling points need to be communicated immediately. Font any smaller than 11 points can put you at a disadvantage. Don’t clutter your resume with every single minuscule detail of your life, instead keep it informative yet brief at the same time so you can use a font that is at least 11 points or higher. Fonts like Times New Roman and Arial are great options!