It’s that time of year that you’re probably dusting off the good ol’ resumé – whether you need a part-time job to get you through school or you’re preparing to start your internship applications soon.
You asked for it, so here you go: My Resumé Making Tips. I am by no means an expert, so…
Tip #1: Seek expert advice.
If you’re a student chances are you have a host of resources at your fingertips that have been collecting dust. No judgment, we’ve all been there. But why don’t you hop onto your school site for a sec and see what it has to offer? Most universities have career centers or something equivalent where you can make an appointment with a professional to review your resume and give you personalized advice. If by chance they’re too busy for a one-on-one, many centers have group classes as an alternative. I took advantage of this resource in undergrad and it was a heaven sent.
Tip #2: Let your personality shine through.
I’ve written a whole post about this here, but it’s so important I must mention it again. To reinforce the message even more so I wrote about my own experience benefiting from this advice here. So I said it once and I’ll say it again: Don’t undervalue your personal experiences and ‘irrelevant’ skillsets – that shit is cool.
Tip #3: Speak their language.
If you’re applying for something super competitive it’s likely a computer will screen you before a human does. Weird right? I don’t know a whole lot about the ins and outs of it but I do know to pass the computer screen you must speak the language of the employer. The computers are programmed to screen resumes for keywords – these could be ‘initiative’, ‘creative’, ‘supervisory’ – anything! It varies, of course, depending on what the employer/company is looking for. SO read the job ad or program brochure very carefully and mirror those keywords in your resumé as much as you can. For example, if the ad says they are looking for someone who is ‘self-directed and able to work independently on multifaceted projects’, you’re gonna want to spruce up your resume with words like ‘self-directed’, ‘independent’, ‘leader’, etc. Then you pass phase one and a real human might actually give you the time of day.
Tip #4: Get the formatting right.
I don’t know about you but when I get a document that is mish-mashed with big font and bubble boxes and awkward spacing I just want to vomit. Make your shit aesthetically appealing, seriously. I don’t mean spruce it up, I just mean keep it clean and sharp and clear. Don’t put your name in size 24 font at the top. Just don’t. If you follow tip #1 and speak to a professional they can certainly help you with formatting. Everyone will do this a little differently, so there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. But there is ‘right’ and ‘annoying’. And yes, I have seen professionals throw out resumés without a second glance because at first glance they are just…. annoying. If you’re lost simply google ‘Resumé formatting’. I was going to link some sites here but honestly, there are so many that there is no need – just see for yourself.
Tip #5: Have a bazillion unique copies of your resumé.
Yes, this is super freaking annoying, but it is so necessary. You need to have a unique resumé for every job/program you apply to.
This will take forever.
This will be painful.
This is still super necessary.
Remember the keywords from tip #3? Well, they’re going to be different for every job/program so you’re going to have to do a lot of re-wording. Also, you’re going to want to showcase different skills and experiences for different jobs/programs. For example, if you’re applying to a program that is really clinical based, you’re going to want to detail what you did when you volunteered at a hospital last summer. If you were also applying to a research-based masters, you might sum up that clinical experience real quick with and instead add more bulk to your mention of the ethics based research course you took online last Fall. Since we are all always struggling to fit our experiences and skills in a word count limit, there will be versions of your resume that showcase experiences that you completely left off of another. That’s okay. That’s good actually, and encouraged.
There is sooo much more content to cover when it comes to resume building – it’s quite a task really. But I’ll leave it at that for now and if you have any further, or specific, questions feel free to pop me a line below in the comment section or reach out via Insta/Facebook/LinkedIn – all linked on the top of the homepage.