Resumes. We have all been there. The headache of figuring out the most relevant jobs, skills, what will make us stand out the most; what we can stretch out to make it seem like we have more experience. And then there’s the formatting. It seems like everyone has a different opinion about what the ideal resume should look like.
The truth is there is no such thing as the perfect resume. There is no one format to follow. Sometimes you have to get a little creative. In the end you have to go with what will represent you in the best way. As you grow and change, your resume should update to reflect that.
Here are some tips to creating the best resume you can:
- Make sure to remain consistent in whatever formatting you chose. For example, if you decide to use bullet points to describe previous jobs, use bullet points throughout the entire resume.
- Typically it’s best to start with education and then the most relevant experience you have. Ask yourself if the job you are putting down is relevant and related to the field you are going into, or if it’s just there to fill a gap.
- Avoid being overly vague by using strong action verbs. For example, putting down that you assisted a manager doesn’t give a lot of information. It’s pretty generic and requires more of an explanation. Be more specific, such as explaining you authorized shipments to go out, which will paint a better picture of what your job was like.
Some strong action verbs are: Advertised, Authored, Consulted, Debated, Drafted, Edited, Marketed, Mediated, Translated, Adapted, Combined, Designed, Displayed, Illustrated, Administered, Analyzed, Authorized, Contracted, Executed, Hired, Hosted, Merged, Motivated, Recommended, Reorganized, Supervised, Cataloged, Categorized, Corrected, Distributed, Maintained, Recorded, Responded, Verified, Advised, Coached, Encouraged
- Be clear about what you contributed in your jobs. How did you keep things running smoothly, what important projects did you work on, how were you invaluable at your previous job?
- Delete unnecessary information to create as much space as you can for the more relevant jobs and skills that should be on your resume. For instance, if you are in graduate school, college clubs you were in, unless they are related to the job you are applying to, can most likely be taken out. With how far we have come in terms of technology and social media, most people will assume you have basic computer skills, so only include more specialized programs or forms of social media you are skilled in.
- Be sure to have someone else scan your resume for mistakes before you send it out. It’s always good to have an extra set of eyes check your work.
Remember, there is no one absolute guide to follow when writing resumes. Just create the one that you think best represents you.