April is graduation season. We know a lot of graduating students are either currently applying for a job or are still deciding which career path to take. Those who have graduated one or two years ago are most likely busy with a role of their own. In whatever case you are in, some guidance in resume-writing would be a big help. Check out these uncommon, but useful tips we have for you based on research and our own experience:
Tip 1: No text-speak, please!
In this day and age, still not all appreciate text speak – or that shortened way of writing/typing to send a message. To top the list are HR officers who will definitely frown at a resume with spelling and grammar loopholes. Sometimes because we are so used to text-speak, we don’t notice them anymore. To guarantee impeccable writing, use grammarly.com or you can carefully review your resume to avoid this.
Tip 2: Let go of fancy font sizes, crowded spaces, and wordiness
Usability is key. Make your resume a breeze to read. So make sure you stick to a sans-serif type of font. Choose at least size 12 for the paragraph blocks. Reserve white space so as not to make it look crowded. Last but not the least, avoid wordiness. It’s true what they say: brief is best. While not depriving the HR officer of the key details of your credentials and accomplishments, be sure to cut out any unnecessary words and details. Short and sweet.
Tip 3: Avoid template introductions
Put yourself in the reader’s shoes. If you are to read something you know that is templated and generic – will you be encouraged to read the whole document? Take the time to craft your introduction paragraph by highlighting your strengths relevant to the position, as well as an explanation of your objectives. Make it clear, concise, yet powerful writing.
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Tip 4: You can be unique, but remain professional
I’ve seen some graphic artists play with really creative resumes to showcase their talent and portfolio. Nothing wrong with that. In fact, it’s a good way to display your creativity. However, it’s advisable that you keep things looking professional. Just make sure it’s not done in a haphazard, pain-in-the-eye way so the evaluating personnel can truly appreciate your resume.
Tip 5: Only include professional traits/abilities
Unless the job calls for it, there is definitely no need to put “sexy” there in your traits and abilities. You can include a few hobbies just to prove that you are a well-rounded, and balanced individual – but go easy on the personal and non-professional details. They’re not interested to know that you can eat fire or do magic card tricks.
Tip 6: Choose specifics rather than vague details
One common point of discussion during interviews are your previous work experience. Interviewers will ask: Tell me what exactly did you do at this and that company. In your resume, jot down the specifics of your role, as well as the projects you have handled. This will also be your guide in answering interview questions. You can help yourself in case you experience mental block.
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Tip 7: Impress with real, detailed case studies of accomplishments
Imagine you are pitching to a client – this time you are selling yourself. Write down completely your accomplishments formatted like case studies. This means you show quantifiable data about your KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). If you have increased website traffic up to 250% in 3 months — write that down.
Tip 8: Choose your references wisely
Obviously, you want to pick people who can vouch for you. In your references section, decide the name of the person to put in there with the guarantee that s/he will say nice things about you. However, don’t just pick any one of your friends and family members. The person should be someone you have worked with, like a superior who was impressed with your work and attitude.
When he set out to visit all of the planet’s countries by age thirty-five, compulsive goal seeker Chris Guillebeau never imagined that his journey’s biggest revelation would be how many people like himself exist – each pursuing a challenging quest. And, interestingly, these quests aren’t just travel-oriented. On the contrary, they’re as diverse as humanity itself. Some involve exploration; others the pursuit of athletic or artistic excellence; still others a battle against injustice or poverty or threats to the environment.
Tip 9: Don’t be tempted to make it one-size-fits-all!
Last but not the least: Don’t be tempted to send one version of your resume to every job application even if the roles vary. This is a common mistake applicants make – whether a new graduate or a seasoned employee. HR practitioners warn us against sending the same resume even if it is a different job position that calls for a distinct skill set. It makes you look under-qualified, and did not read through the job description thoroughly. Doing application this way is a quick route to the paper shredder. Instead, customize your listed skills, knowledge, and work experience to reflect what is only relevant to the role you are applying for. You’ll have more potential this way.
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