When I started my job search about a month and a half ago, I wasn’t sure what to expect. So, like most people, the first thing I did was make sure my resume was in top notch shape. I had friends in the industry look it over and help me make it the best possible. Thankfully, all of their help led to many positive comments from those I was interviewing with. Since I had, what I would consider, a pretty good amount of success with my resume, I figured I could bestow some of my wise words of wisdom upon you 🙂 Enjoy!
1. Bulk that thing up!
Like any good body builder, your resume should be strong in a variety of areas – not just its abs. You should be spending your summers and during the school year taking internships or other jobs that help you get experience relevant to your desired career path. Now, that’s not to say that a traditional working student job (waiting tables, retail, etc.) isn’t valuable, but there’s something to be said for when you go out to apply for a “big kid” job and you’ve got the experience of an entry level person already in that field. The question was asked many times during my interview process about when I slept or ate due to the vast number of internships I’ve had. It may have kept me busy, but it also made me very valuable to potential employers.
Additionally, remember it’s not just internships. Volunteer. Join a club. Take a leadership role somewhere. It’s not just about the biceps. It’s the whole body (aka resume) that needs to be bulked up and toned.
2. Have someone look over it!
While this may sound like common sense, it’s more than just a quick review. There are lots of people who can review a resume for spelling and grammar. You need to be taking your resume to people in the industry you’re applying to, though, because they can give you tips on what types of skills are most important to highlight, how to quantify the work you did (very important!) and how to improve the design of your resume to look the best possible. This is also why networking becomes a very important piece of the puzzle, so you have those people you can go to for advice and review.
3. Distibute, distribute, distribute
Since this post is not about networking and getting involved with professional organizations outside your social sphere, I’ll stay away from that. However, since I’m going to assume you’re doing your job and getting involved in those things, you should be making sure to have copies of your resume (or a business card that sends people to your online resume/portfolio) whenever you’re in the professional realm. You never know when people are going to have an opening or see something they really like in you and create a spot.
I’m sure that I’ll have more job-getting advice to come in the future, but figured this is a good start. What resume-polishing tips do you have? Is there anything I missed?