By Kat Krull
Drafting your first resume can be overwhelming. You might be struggling with where to start or how to format all of your information into one or two pages. You might also wonder how much of your experience to include, how to communicate your strengths, and ultimately how to ensure it lands you an interview.
Here are four things you must consider when first creating a resume:
1. Your strongest skills and accomplishments: Demonstrate your value by highlighting positive characteristics, technical skills, educational and work accomplishments, awards/honors, and related work history. For instance, if you received recognition for your academic achievements, you might want to include that on your resume. Also consider including volunteer or unpaid work if it relates to your target position.
2. Type of job: Although it’s helpful to initially draft a “master resume” — one that includes all of the information that you will use for future resumes — each one that you turn into an employer should be optimized and tailored for the job. Using your resume, a hiring manager will want to quickly determine if you will add value to the organization and if your qualifications match the job description they are hiring for…and your resume should convey these things.
3. Specifics in the job description: Compare your resume with the job description and use language that is applicable in order to make it through an employer’s applicant tracking system and rank highly among other candidates. Pay attention to keywords and phrases that the employer uses frequently and consider how you can incorporate them (truthfully) into your resume. Be sure to highlight required skills, education and experience that the employer asks for.
4. Format: The design of your resume is not only important for easy reading by recruiters and hiring managers. It also affects how your resume goes through the automated screening systems employers use to weed out unqualified candidates. Keeping your format simple and clean is great for both in order to highlight your value. If you are unfamiliar with the correct format of a resume, stop by your campus career center for advice or visit Resunate.com to check out our templates.
What other advice would you give to people who are drafting their first resume?