Resumes are not only a summary of your professional experience, they are also the source of stress for many people looking to enter the workforce or make a career pivot. Recruiters are notoriously known for spending less than a minute viewing a document that has probably taken hours for the candidate to write--and this is because recruiters have developed a way to review the hundreds of applications they receive every day more efficiently. Below are some tips from our Lead Recruiter & Talent Team Manager on how you can make a resume that meets the happy medium of being informational and enjoyable to read.
5 Resume Tips
- Keep it simple!
You don’t need to stress out over creating a customized resume. There are many free templates available online (including on Google Docs and Canva) that can provide framework. Design-wise, you should make sure to carefully stand out. Sometimes resumes are a bit too colorful and over-designed that it can be difficult to read. On the other hand, you don’t want a resume that is so bare that it seems as if you spent no time on it at all.
- Contact Information
Your resume is who you are, so treat it as a way of introducing yourself: keep your name at the top with your contact information close by and prevalent. That being said, make sure your email address is a bit more professional. Finally, I suggest you hyperlink your LinkedIn profile, as well as include a link to your website if you have one. Remember: your portfolio is just as important as your resume, so make sure it truly showcases your best work and is easy to navigate.
- Resume Page Count
How long should your resume be? The standard consensus among recruiters tends to be; one page for every ten years of experience. Generally speaking, for the roles we recruit, many candidates that apply have not been in the workforce for that long yet. If you are someone who has graduated from high school, a trade school, junior college or university with any sort of diploma within the last five years, then your resume should definitely be no more than one page. Some ways to keep it at the one-page limit are to not include references and to only include relevant experience.
- Relevant Experience
Going off the last tip, the way you fill out your resume will be unique to you. For someone who has been out of college for awhile and is looking for their next opportunity to advance their career, remember that you don’t need to put everything on there. For example, if you had a campus job back in school that does not correlate to anything you’ve done or accomplished as a professional, no need to include it. Additionally, try to stick to five bullet points for your roles and responsibilities.
However, If you have just graduated from college, you should include internships, work study or part-time jobs, and even volunteer work or clubs you may have been involved in! This can help fill up the page and show potential employers how well you balance work, school, and your life, indicating good time management and leadership experience.
- Reference the job description of the position(s) you’re applying for
Finally, compare the duties and responsibilities from your previous and current roles to that of the job description. Is there is anything in the job description of this new job that you have experience with, but maybe forgot to include on your resume? Comparing your resume to job descriptions, and even saving a few different versions of your resume for this reason, is another great way to make sure your application has similar buzzwords that the recruiter can easily search for in their application tracking systems.
Ok, so your newly refreshed resume landed you an interview, now what? Over the last year many businesses across all industries have turned to digital meeting services to conduct meetings, town halls and interviews. In the past, services like Zoom were typically only used in the interview process if either the candidate or the interviewer was in a different location; but now, the video interview has taken the place of the in person interview. Here are some tips for how to make your virtual interview as professional as possible.
5 Virtual Interview Tips
- Treat the virtual interview as if it were a “regular" in-person interview
Even though you will be taking this interview from your home, dress for success! Studies have shown that dressing in a way that makes you feel confident yet comfortable can actually boost your self-assurance and bring a positive energy to your ego. Also, make sure your hair is not disheveled. Style it in a way that makes you feel good about yourself but also does not make you look like you rolled out of bed minutes earlier.
- Your Environment: Location & Backdrop
Working from home has become so common in the last 12 months that recruiters and hiring managers will know that there are only so many spaces in your home where you can take an interview. We suggest a table in a room with a wall that is as minimalist as possible. Rooms that are messy and rooms that have many tapestries and the like can be very distracting for your interviewer. I also recommend trying to sit in an upright chair if possible because sitting on a couch may tempt you to get a bit too relaxed and begin to lounge, showing body language that you may not be taking the conversation as seriously. Lighting-wise, sit somewhere that it will be easy to see your face clearly: open the shutters, lift the blinds, and turn any lights on.
- Your Environment: Noise
Going off the last tip, many professionals have experienced an interruption of some sort during a virtual call, be it pets, roommates, or children. Your interviewer will probably be understanding of some of the noise that occurs in the background; however, if you feel that an interruption will throw you off mentally or distract you, we suggest either putting your pet away or speaking to those you live with about being a bit more quiet for that period of time. On the other hand, don’t sweat it if car horns honk, there is construction outside, or sirens go off, since those are out of your control! Your interviewer will understand.
- Hop on the interview link a few minutes prior!
Technical issues are always bound to occur, so we suggest that you hop on a few minutes prior to check your internet connection, if your mic is working, and that your video camera is on and functioning. It will also help to calm your nerves. You want to make sure you are able to focus on the interview instead of possible tech problems. Additionally, make sure that the name that appears when you log into your virtual interview is your own and not that of a relative, a nickname that may be an inside joke with friends, or a homage to your old screen name from middle school.
- Have questions prepared on a notepad!
Having questions prepared is always a great sign that the candidate is truly excited and genuinely interested in the opportunity. Can’t think of any? Go to the job description of the role you’re interviewing for and review it a few times. Write down three to five questions that come to mind. Asking questions can also reaffirm to the interviewer that you are actively listening.
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