It seems like just about every one has some advice to give on resume writing. Some say objectives are outdated, others say they’re still necessary. Some comment on what fonts to use, how to organize the layout, and the dos-and-don’ts of what to include. Then some tidbits of information (like 86 the Interests/Hobbies section) can be found everywhere.
Here is my summation of the important things to do when looking for a new job (or, if you’re like me, applying to grad school):
- Google yourself – that’s my favorite, because what good is saying that you graduated with honors and volunteer at an old folks home when they see the pictures of you on Facebook 1/2 naked and wasted or making a duck face in your bathroom? (Some people have no concept of what social media can do to a person’s reputation… Here’s a great example of how to really ruin your reputation on the internet, BTW).
- Be concise! Writing should typically be short, sweet, and to the point. According to HigherNext “Brevity shows that you respect the hiring manager’s time” — I really dig that. Besides, if you can’t make your resume clean and simple, what is your work going to look like?
- Know Thy Audience: There’s a lot of talk about using “keywords”, or words and phrases that they’re specifically looking for. Employers (and schools) already know what they want and what they’re all about, but do YOU know? Show them you’re right for the position.
HigherNext also had a great “Don’t List” for Cover Letters in their short eBook, A Complete Guide on how to OPTIMIZE YOUR COLLEGE RESUME. Don’t:
- Blow it off
- Recycle other cover letters
- Repeat your resume
- Waste Words
- Make it about yourself
In there was “repetition gives the impression that you really have nothing compelling to say,” which is an excellent quote than can be applied throughout life.
I’m sure I could easily compile a list of the Top 100 Resume Writing Tips, but I’ll stop there for now. Below is a great list of resume tips… Follow some, but also let yourself shine through. There are rules to be followed and there are times to add a bit of your own personal touch.