Three Ways to Improve Your Resume Right Now

Listing all of your accomplishments and experience on a single sheet of paper is no easy feat. Even more complicated is making sure your resume stands out to companies and recruiters.

Not to worry, we’ve got you covered! The art of resume building is ever evolving with new trends and styles popping up all the time. However, there are some tried and true methods for improving you resume that you can implement today.

Curate your resume for the job and position.

The more experience the better? Not always. It’s better to customize your resume to the specific job requirements than to list every professional job you’ve ever had. Even if your experience doesn’t perfectly match the job, find ways to incorporate key words in your resume that are in the job description. This not only shows that you paid careful attention when applying for the job but it also gives the company tangible examples of your relevant work.

Additionally, think outside the box as to what counts as relevant experience. Is it a software you’re an expert at or a professional certificate that adds to your experience level? Pull any and all relevant examples to build a stronger case as to why you’re the perfect fit for the job.

Know what’s important to the company.

Intentionally seek out what’s important to the organization that you’re applying to. Take your research beyond the company’s website and dig into their social media accounts. Often times, social media is the best way to learn about a business’ culture, employees and current projects.

This insight gives you an opportunity to see if you would fit within the organization and allows you to tailor the most important pieces of your experience accordingly.

Be prepared to talk about your experience.

Let’s say you’ve done all of the work to curate your resume to be your best representation, and you get an interview. Congrats! But the work isn’t over yet. A potential employer can read your resume all day long but what really matters is your ability to expand on and explain your skill set. Consider what isn’t written on your resume that would help paint a broader picture of your experience.

When asked an interview question, most people give a one-dimensional response. Instead, try thoughtfully describing an experience with four key elements: the situation, task, action and result, also called the STAR method.

When asked a question, take the interviewer through all four phases of your answer. First, detail the situation and any obstacles or barriers that you had to overcome. Next, describe the task you were dealt with and the action you took to successfully accomplish this task. Lastly, note the result that ensued, including any relevant statistics or measurable outcomes. This paints a much more complete example of your experience, allowing the listener to more fully understand.

Mastering the art of resume building takes time and practice. The more you do it, the better you will become. Whether you’re actively looking for a job or satisfied in your current position, these tips will ensure your resume is top-notch and noteworthy.  

Written by Lauren Ellis, 2017-18 Communications Committee Co-Chair