Maybe you’ve never made a resume, or maybe you have your perfect resume all set and ready to send out to future employers who will give you your dream job! No matter where you are, it is always a good idea to keep your resume up to date and improve it as you go and grow.
As a Communication major, I have learned a lot about the power of words and how those words can influence people. In this instance, we can use words to influence organizations to offer you an interview or even a job! Here are my tips from a communication aspect of how to enhance your resume to stand above the rest!
Begin with a strong verb in your job descriptions.
Under each job you include on your resume, detail your duties and responsibilities under that job title. Keep it to about 3 or 4 descriptions for each job title. By using strong verbs at the start of every job description, you will sound credible and experienced. For example, look at these two options:
- I watch kids in the pool to keep them from drowning.
- Supervise children of a variety of ages in and around the pool area to promote safety
The second option communicates power and a clear understanding of what you were responsible for at that job because it starts with a strong verb. Some examples of strong verbs include: develop, collaborate, communicate, and organize. Pinterest is full of ideas, so go ahead and search, “Good resume words,” on Pinterest for more ideas.
Keep it concise.
Your resume is not the place to fully explain yourself. That’s where your cover letter will come in. Use your resume as a general outline to showcase your professional, educational, and personal experiences that employers will be interested in knowing.
Many people believe they need to include every experience they’ve ever had, even back to when they raked their grandparent’s lawn when they were 12. I’m sure you did a great job raking, but focus on your more current experiences! As college students or recent grads, use your most relevant experiences on your resume. This will help keep it concise, but also show employers the information they are really looking for. For example, I recently took “Lifeguard,” off my resume, but kept “Head Lifeguard,” because one shows a casual summer job while the other shows management skills.
Organize the layout.
Make sure your resume is organized and clear so that employers can easily read it! Researchers have found that employers usually spend about 15 seconds on each resume before deciding whether they will read anymore.
With this in mind, ensure that your most important information, a.k.a., your name is easily readable! Your resume is all about building yourself up, so be sure to include your name and contact information at the top in a very clear way. Also, categorize your professional, personal, and educational experiences from one another so employers can see each for their own strengths.
Pro tip: If you don’t already have a LinkedIn account, make one! This is a great way to connect with professionals and get your name out there! Then, simply copy and paste your job descriptions from your resume to your LinkedIn profile!