Wednesday Wisdom: Tips For Building A Stellar Resume - Tay Meets World

Wednesday Wisdom: Tips For Building A Stellar Resume

8:30:00 AM

It's always a good idea to keep your resume updated. These days, resumes are evolving and the way you write them is extremely important. Most companies have an ATS, or, Applicant Tracking System. These systems essentially filter through hundreds resumes and present ones to the HR or Talent Acquisition team that meet the most criteria.

Problem? Definitely! Most people don't have enough keywords, skills, or the right information on the resume so their resumes aren't being looked at. I come from the world of staffing and after thousands of resumes later, I can tell you that most people have been writing their resumes the wrong way! I get it, putting together your resume is absolutely zero fun, but if you always keep one updated, then it's just the initial formatting that gets tricky.

Below, I'm going over must-have's, do-not's, and don't-forgets! All with examples of my resume. I'd like to say I'm an expert (or close to it) - I have formatted and written so many resumes that it just comes naturally now. If you have questions, comment below!

1 // Format first! 
Decide what type of company you are applying for and tailor your resume to the industry. Don't be afraid to think out of the box for formatting. When I was applying for positions, I received a lot of compliments on my resume. Why? Because it was different. You want to stand out - not fit in or get tossed on the bottom. Make a statement, be bold, and boast a little (we will talk about this later). I love Creative Market for resumes, there are thousands of templates to choose from that are much prettier and professional than the Microsoft Word versions.

Not to mention, these resumes are modern and "in-tune" with the evolving social world. BUY ONE! I love this one, this, and this!

2 // Professional Summary 
Only add one if it's relevant. If you are a new grad - skip this section and add skills instead. If you have been in the workforce for 2+ years, you better have a professional summary! This is a section where it's okay to be boastful about the success you have had but NOT arrogant. 

If you were in sales, what sales goals did you hit, what metrics were you held accountable for? If you were a graphic designer, what type of projects did you work on? If you're a journalist, what articles have been published, what are networks that you have worked for? 

This is a section to mention everything you have had success with - but please do not use "I" and have a few people read over it to make sure it isn't arrogant. There is a difference between stating the facts and talking yourself up!

3 // Never Use Pronouns
You want your resume to come across very professional. When the pronoun "I" is littered everywhere it comes across amateur. Stick to factual bullet points and don't use long winded sentences.

4 // Talk About Achievements As Well As Responsibilities. 
You definitely want to talk about things you have excelled at, but you also want to mention what your main duties and responsibilities were. In doing so, you will have more key words and relevant points to the job you held. If you were in customer service, explain what sort of job duties you had, but also, did you ever get an award or recognition for outstanding customer service? Make sure to list it!

5 // Everyone Needs A Skill Section!
I cannot stress this point enough. Any job description on the job boards will always include a "qualifications or relevant skills" section with a list of everything they are looking for. If you are a scientist, list every piece of instrumentation and technique you have worked with. If you are an event coordinator, list every trait that you hold (organized, timely, etc.). This is a great place for an ATS to pick up keywords - utilize this section to your advantage!

6 // Add Volunteer Experience.
It's always a good idea to show how you give back to your community. Almost every corporate company participates in some kind of community service. If you don't have any volunteer work, it's a good idea to start! There is always a food bank, shelter, or trash cleanup crew looking for additional support in communities. 

7 // Always Have Descriptions/Achievements Under Each Position Held.
I absolutely hated when I received a resume that only listed the job title and dates. That gave me no idea what that person did while they held that role or if they even knew what they did! I always say have more than too little. If you can't think of anything "important" to say - go find the job description! The description will give you helpful reminders of the job duties you held :)

**Note: You can see from my resume above, that my description is fairly long. I did this because this was my first position in industry when I graduated college. I wanted employers to know everything I had learned and this was a good way to beef up my resume. If you have multiple positions within a five year timeframe - I would cut this section in half!

8 // List Only Relevant Education.
Unless you don't have a college degree then there is no need to list your high school - it's implied. To get into college, you have to have a diploma or a GED. 

9 // Dates Are Very Important!
You definitely don't have to have the specific date of when you started and when you finished a position, but you need to at least have the months in which you started. Hiring managers definitely look at gaps in employment, it's good to explain any significant gaps in a cover letter, to a recruiter, or the hiring manager. Make sure you can explain reasons as to why you left positions too!

10 // If you held a contract or temp role - specify this on your resume.
Temp roles are very common these days. I saw resumes that had 10+ positions listed within a five to six year timeframe, it helps significantly when you label these roles temp or contract. If you don't, hiring managers will think you're a job hopper and that can be a huge turnoff!

What Not To Do:
  • Don't put your photo on your resume. Instead, link to your LinkedIn account - you should have one if you are in a professional industry. Take a look at mine if you want an example! 
  • Don't put any personal information. Phone number and address are all you need. I will say however, if you are a person requiring sponsorship - it's good to put what kind of sponsorship you require.
  • Don't have poor grammar. Check it twice, then again, then a few more times before you send it on. Also have someone else look over it too.
  • Don't lie! Hiring managers will certainly find out if you did lie - whether it be from your references or from asking you questions - it's better to sound knowledgable about what you know than dumb about what you don't. 

Comment below if you have any more resume tip and tricks!

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