The resume world is quickly changing. With the rise of digital communication, the role of the resume has morphed and twisted in exceptional ways. While your resume was originally a device to get information to your potential employer and score an interview, it now serves as a form of attaining interest and networking as well. If you need help with your resume, resume tips post will help you to understand not only how to craft a compelling resume, but also how to craft a compelling resume that is readily shareable and adaptable. To do so, we will cover five main sections:
- Starting your resume.
- Formatting your resume.
- Wording your resume.
- Sending your resume.
- Additional tips and tricks.
- Build with a foundation. If you’re starting from scratch, use a template or resume builder as a foundation for your resume. Google Docs has some awesome resume templates (the Serif Resume is our favorite - you can make your own copy by clicking file >> make a copy.), or you can use a resume builder (such as this resume builder from Resume Genius) to get the ball rolling. Google Docs also has more resume templates accessible in the templates section.
- Get familiar. If you’re less familiar with resumes, reach out to close friends and mentors and ask if you can see their resumes for reference. Looking at example resumes - especially those within your industry or role - will help you to get an eye for the do’s and don’ts of resume-crafting. You can also use our APMM’s resume for reference
- Do your best and phone a friend. When first filling out your resume, fill out as much as you can to the best of your abilities, and then send it to trusted friends and mentors for feedback.
- Clean and consistent. As you craft your resume, be sure to pick a font and text size and stick to it. This is an easy way to show how organized and detail-oriented you can be.
- Set boundaries. Divide your resume into clear sections: Experience, Service, Skills, etc. These sections and labels enhance your resume aesthetics and make it more compelling.
- Connect the dots. Hyperlink your LinkedIn profile, email address, and/or any other relevant sites to allow your reader an interactive experience. (Make sure the links are still a shade of dark blue.) The power of a digital resume is that they can act as they read. *Note: if you are printing your resume, be sure to remove any hyperlink formatting.
- Stay within the lines. Unless you have over a decade of experience, never go beyond a single page. This is a set industry standard, and any “page and a half” resumes are often treated with skepticism.
- Demonstrate your street cred. Use industry and role-specific jargon to demonstrate fit and appeal to your reader.
- Avoid buzzwords. That said, using buzzwords without context may seem faddish or out of place. Use professional language that highlights your long-term value and fit.
- Talk the talk. Study the wording in the job description (or job descriptions), and use the wording you find! In doing so, you not only rock the resume algorithm, but you also appeal more to your reader.
- Walk the walk. Show off your accomplishments by beginning each line with a verb - and a different verb. (This is where talk the talk really comes in handy. Most job descriptions have plenty of words!) Doing so will give life to your accomplishments and make your story more compelling.
- Be a quant jock. Fill your resume with relevant numbers - dollar amounts, percentages, hours, anything - to give your claims credibility and fight off fluff. Using quantifiable data in your resume lends credibility to your resume and makes you seem more reliable.
- Keep guard. After all your hard work in formatting and crafting your resume, be sure to save the file as a PDF when you are done. Doing so “freezes” the document, so your formatting and linking is preserved throughout any number of uploads or downloads. You can save your resume as a PDF from Google Docs by navigating to Download >> PDF Document (.pdf); you can save your resume as a PDF from Microsoft Word by navigating to Save As >> File Format >> PDF.
- Check it thrice. Downloading your resume - even if you do so as a PDF - has a tendency to shift things around. Make sure to check your formatting and spacing on your resume before you send it out - and double, and triple check. Formatting is something that can easily mess with the presentation of your entire document. For instance, if your resume is a full page and then one indentation is off, your resume could even extend past the first page without your even noticing!
- Respect your privacy. Your digital resume is crafter to be shareable - so that any recruiter can forward your resume to another recruiter, and so on. Thus, (1) be sure to include your contact info, but also (2) don’t share anything too confidential. For example, in the past, your contact information section included your physical home address. Because this document was only shared with potential employers, this was a low-risk action. Nowadays, sending off a virtual copy of your resume means releasing control over that information. A common best practice is to replace the “address” section of your resume with your digital address - generally speaking, your professional website or your LinkedIn profile URL is the best option. (If you are not sure how to adapt your LinkedIn profile, refer to this handy help doc.)
- Preserve the past. Save your different resume copies for future reference - each role you apply to will be different, and you can pull from past interactions to craft more relevant resumes.
- Make it personal. Include (1) your name and (2) the name of the company or role you are hiring for in your resume’s title. Even if you are using your generic resume, using the role or company-specific language in the title helps you get that second glance.
- Share the love. Now that you’ve got your resume all put-together, send it out! Post it on LinkedIn and email it to trusted mentors for both feedback and networking. Cast your net wide and best of luck!
Additional Tips and Tricks
If you made it to this section, congrats! As your reward, here are some additional tricks and tips to help you hack the resume process.
- If you’re just getting started, you can download your LinkedIn profile as a resume to get you going.
- Use an invisible chart to keep the elements of your resume formatted nicely.
- Keep your resume versions saved in Google Drive for easy access, editing, and reference.