Unfortunately, many career centers have misinformed new graduates regarding what a resume should look and sound like—so entry-level resumes tend to be plagued by bland resume formats and poorly-written, outdated objective statements.
Instead, a young professional’s resume should communicate how you can assist the employer with meeting their needs; it must help the employer see your value by telling them exactly how the company will benefit from hiring you.
How can you do that? Here are five tips to get you started:
Include a Fact-and-Figure-Based Introduction
Fight the temptation to include generic and broad-based objective statements that can apply to a multitude of job seekers. Instead, in five to eight bullets, use facts, figures, metrics, and examples from your work experience to show your value and potential.
Put Some Thought Into Your Brand
Consider how you want to brand your resume visually and verbally. Think about how each one of these should reflect you as a candidate, and be strategic about your resume choices. Choose a format that presents you as a professional—not unqualified and unprofessional. Just because you are an entry-level candidate does not mean your resume has to look basic and boring.
Do NOT List Your Responsibilities
Yes, it’s good to give the employer an idea of what your general duties and responsibilities were, but it’s also very effective to show them what you accomplished and what you can bring to the table. How did you go above and beyond expectations? Quantify whenever possible.
Avoid Common Mistakes
No matter how many times we say this, 80% of all resumes are submitted with glaring typos. So, let’s say it again:
- Proofread the resume
- Get a second or third opinion
- Don’t use the personal pronoun “I” (Yes, I’ve seen this, over and over)
- Don’t refer to yourself in the third person
Make Sure Your Format Allows the Reader… to Read
To make your resume easier to scan, then read, use both bullets and paragraphs. Your resume should not be one long bullet list. And avoid listing each job description as one long paragraph. Break up the information, and make the recruiter’s job easier!
Remember these tips and strategies when writing your resume, and you’ll have a much better success rate winning interviews!
About the Author: A nationally recognized resume expert, Jessica Hernandez is President/CEO of Great Resumes Fast and a former human resources manager and recruiter. With more than ten years’ experience directing hiring practices for Fortune 500 companies, she has developed innovative and proven resume development, and personal branding strategies to generate powerful results for clients.
As a global resume authority and trusted media source, Jessica has been featured and quoted on CNN.com, Monster.com, Job Talk America radio, SmartBrief, International Business Times, and more. Jessica has her Bachelor of Science degree in Communications/Public Relations from the University of North Florida. Contact Jessica on Twitter!