(brought to you by The Lion King, just because!)
September is National Update Your Resume Month and, it's that time of year…Whether you’re in high school preparing to apply for college, in college applying for internships, or in college preparing to face the real world and applying for jobs, it’s time for everyone’s favorite pastime: building a resume. 😉
Okay, so maybe it’s not that scary, but it can be a stressful undertaking, especially when potential colleges, internships, and jobs are in the mix and deadlines are looming over you. So, have a spoonful of sugar, remember a few of your favorite things, read our top tips, and then you won’t feel so bad!
1. Keep it to 1-page and make sure your formatting is simple and consistent.
Think of your resume as part of a first impression, you want it to be straightforward, informative, and unique, then your personal statement/cover letter makes the reader want to know more. (More on that later…)
2. Create a header that gives your name, contact info, and LinkedIn URL (if you don't have one, make one, and personalize your URL, you're a person, not a bunch of numbers that a website generates).
3. Utilize action verbs, like “utilize”! (See what we did there?) Try not to use the same verbs in a row (check out this list if you’re stuck) and use words that are in the actual job/internship description so a computer can identify you as a match.
4. Maintain a working resume. Every time you do, accomplish, or receive something that is or might be “resume-worthy,” add it to your working resume so you don’t forget about all your valuable experiences and achievements further down the road…
5. Build an individual resume for each job or internship that you apply for. Let that working resume be the one that holds ALL your information, jobs, responsibilities, skills, etc. That way you can pull from that master resume to create resumes tailored to the specific requirements and descriptions for each job or internship.
Writing a personal statement or cover letter is the other part of this “first impression.” This is where you can elaborate upon things that are in your resume and include the less tangible things about your personality/work ethic that the resume doesn't include.
You have the opportunity to show your potential college or employer who you are and what sets you apart from other applicants. One of the best ways to do that is to make it personal, make yourself memorable--why should they want to have you in their organization, and why do you want to be a part of their organization?
You have the opportunity here to make a connection—maybe a lesson you learned or experience you had taught you something that connects to the company’s values, the organization’s mission, or the school's motto. (This also shows them that you’ve you’re your research on them, which is key!)
The short version is that you can and should take advantage of this opportunity to make yourself stand out and tell your story, because that’s a story that only you can tell.
Schools and employers of all kinds generally have a few questions in their minds: Why should they pick you? What will you bring to the table that no one else will?
So take this chance to tell them.
See? No worries.
Love + gratitude,