When standing in a crowded room, how can you make sure you’re spotted?
Aside from wearing neon orange and a funky headdress, anyway. We have all wondered this at some point in our lives. The same is true for our resumes. It’s hard to get noticed, especially when you’re a millennial looking for a job, entry level or not. While you have more than likely been frustrated after all the jobs you’ve applied for and heard nothing back, have you ever taken a step back and really asked yourself why no one is calling you for an interview? Employers get hundreds, or even thousands, of applications a year, sometimes even just for one job. So, that brings me to my question: how can you make your resume stand out like a bright, shining star?
Start with Your Skills
I’ve seen several resumes highlighting companies they’ve worked for, which position they held, and then a description of what said person did at each company. I’ve learned that changing that up a little can help you out. Instead of categorizing your resume by job, categorize it by skill sets.
For example, you worked in PR and Marketing, but you also designed? Cool. Have one of your “skillsets” as “Graphic Design” and one as “Public Relations” or “Writing Talent” where you can bullet point the tasks you completed in each one between all the companies you have worked for. Also, get specific; do you have stats highlighting what you accomplished? Maybe placed xx client in national publications such as Forbes, New York Times, and Southern Living? Or maybe you even wrote 8 blogs per week compared to the average 5 per week when you began. Always highlight your successes and be sure to point out why they are important.
Make It Legible
Look at your font. Can you read it? Is your name bigger than anything else on the page? I hope so, because this is about you, after all. And please, always stay away from gross fonts such as Comic Sans or Curlz. For real, y’all. Make sure your font is readable and clean. I’ve heard of a number of employers who don’t even look at resumes if they have even the slightest challenge in reading it. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
What is your brand? I always love seeing something on a resume that is part of that person’s brand. That could mean a little logo that the person created, or perhaps using colors (be tasteful). I created a personal “logo” with my initials inside of a yellow circle, so there is just the slightest pop of color on there. There is also a yellow line that bleeds off the page behind my 48-point name in black.
When potential employers see your logo and get a sense of your brand, they’ll also know right away if you’ll fit into their corporate culture.
A Few More Tips
- Keep it to one page, especially if you have less than 5 years of experience in your field. PLEASE.
- Keep your college extracurriculars off. No one cares at this point in your life that you were involved in Greek Life or you were in a band or whatever.
- Have a summary. Keep this one to two sentences with a basic summary of what you’ve done, what you’re looking for, and how many years of experience you have. Consider this your opportunity to catch someone’s eye again. Don’t be afraid to be a little clever, too.
- Tweak your resume for each opportunity. If you’re applying for a very specific job, don’t hesitate to make a few changes on your generic resume.
There it is, y’all. Not saying this is easy, but it can be effective if you take the time to do it. Need help? Don’t hesitate to reach out. We got you.