You made it, you have successfully navigated college or university, now the rewards are sure to start rolling in. No! That isn’t how this works. You might be aware of your achievements, what value you could bring to a company. But no one else does. How are you going to get this recognition, and become the most likely to succeed in the position you seek? Three things will determine your fate: Connections and endorsements, an interview, and your resume. The first part you might not have. The second part you might never get. It is the third part, your resume that is the critical link to your future. Here’s some tips to finding your way to the short list.
You’re the Product: The job market is very much like any other market. There is a supply and a demand. Chances are, you aren’t going to be the only one fighting for the job you are applying for. Now you must sell your product, which is you. Self-promotion comes too easy for some people, and very hard for others. You might take pride in not being a narcissist, but guess what, those people get noticed first. You must identify all your selling points and forget your flaws. The key here is providing only positive input. Be professional, be cool, but never be self-deprecating or dismissive on your resume. If you want to take this to the next level, you can hire a company like Resubae to get specific resume and career advice
Less is More: Your future employer doesn’t have time to waste, you want your resume to concentrate all your goodness into an efficient and logical package. Your resume might have less than a minute to make an impression. Make sure every element is relevant and to the point. Things that you should leave out of your resume are. Your photo, unless you are applying to be a spokesperson or model. Career goals, everyone says the same stuff anyways. Irrelevant certifications and experience. Flowery language, and adverbs in general. Be professional, you are not writing a poem. Hobbies, unless directly related. And the big one, Grammatical errors. Just don’t.
What to Include:
- Contact information: You need to include your name, street address, phone, and email. It should be the first thing on the page.
- Education from Highschool up: Include scholarships and relevant awards. Avoid including your GPA if it isn’t your best feature.
- Employment history: Include every substantial employment you have had, with dates and positions held. Include volunteer jobs, but only if relevant.
- Organizations and Experience: This is up to you. If you have connections to relevant organizations, it could be a foot in the door. But if you were a champion in the 4H beef club, that isn’t going to help you at an engineering firm. However, if there is a story that makes you stand out for the position, find a subtle way to make it known. Not every experience is worth mentioning. Be discerning, once again, you don’t want to waste their time.
Presentation – You have some options here, when it comes to design, you want to stand out, but not for the wrong reasons. The design is so important, that you might want to hire a professional. For the most part getting creative in the design department is a bad idea, it is usually better to play it safe. If you must get creative then use that energy on a stylish business card instead. Best practice for resume design is as follows. Professional fonts, logical layout, no extra graphics unless they are abstract and provide a minimalist balance. You can use colour, but just one plus black, and it should be a shade that would belong on a business letterhead. Good cues for design can be found on the websites of governments or major corporations. Keep everything simple and clear. The design should be a pleasant atmosphere that makes no statement of its own. One last tip would be to have a look online for successful resumes.
For a short period of time (fingers crossed) your resume is your whole career. It is your main tool to enter the work force, and you need to consider it very carefully. In college, maybe you were edgy and cool, or you might have great literary chops, or dabble in design. These things will serve you well, later in life, but they won’t help you at all when it comes to landing your first job. If you want a company to take a chance on you, you must show them respect and maturity, and that you can follow the rules when necessary. Your resume is a statement about you as an investment opportunity. Get this right and then go take on the world.