3 Easy Steps to Building a foundation for your resume:
1. Start Building Early
Remember that one time your junior year in high school when you went to a mock trial event… yea me either. Building your resume takes time, that is obvious; no one accumulates these accomplishments over night. However, because they don't happen over night, we tend to forget them. My biggest regret in High School was not making a list of accomplishments or skills I acquired to put on my resume. Yes, I did over 140 hours of community service, but at the time I wasn't concerned about when I would ever need to document those hours, I was more concerned about what I was going to do without seeing my friends everyday for a whole summer. It wasn't until I went to go build my resume when I had to call my mom up for a memory jog of what I had done in my four years of high school. I then, after hours of trying to remember and a few trips down memory lane, came up with a rough draft of a list of every single thing that would count. I went through it many times and narrowed it down to just a few main points that really stood out as impressive and useful. So my advice to you, start early and accumulate a list that maybe you keep in a word document or a hand written list that you can continue to add to. It will save you so much time and ensure that you get those really impressive accomplishments to throw in your resume!
2. Keep it Short
If I have learned anything from college and the real world it's that less is always more. Especially in todays world, everything is readily available to us and because of that we are always on the go. Nobody wants to sit down and read five pages of everything you have ever accomplished in life only to pick out a few things that really matter to whatever position you have applied to. Remember you are not the only one applying for this position, you are most likely up against other people therefore you have to be able to keep their attention and sell yourself with a few main points. As much as we'd love to talk about ourselves and that one time we were voted most popular in high school, nobody really cares (honest). Think of it this way, you are in the elevator with your future employer/boss… you have maybe a minute? However long it takes to get from one floor to another to really sell yourself. What are you going to say? How are you going to summarize your resume? You have little time to cover a lot of years and experience. This will take a lot of editing. I started years ago with a two page resume… I have now turned that into 3/4ths of a page that have gotten me way more opportunities than my starting draft would have, in which we can assume is probably out there as a "what not to do".
3. Make it interesting
What do I mean by this if you are supposed to keep it short? Just because it is short and precise does not mean boring. This may mean change up the design a little, use a thesaurus to find some interesting words that relate, or customize it to the position you are applying for. Do your research and find out what they are looking for, and I highlight your skills accordingly. I have like a million different version of my resume and I continue to change them up depending on what I need it for and who is going to see it. Of course while customizing with the conscious of who is going to see it, always stay true to yourself and who you are. You never want to give someone the wrong impression. To see my resume go through these different phases and come out with the final product that really represents me, is what has really helped me in selling myself.
If you do these three easy steps, you have a good start to perfecting a resume that can get you any job. If you are in need of a resume design, I am now offering customized resumes as a service. Feel free to contact me for more information by filling out the contact sheet on my contact page! Best of luck and I hope this helped, stay tuned for more tips on resumes and cover letters, etc.