Arguably, the most important part of the job search process is drafting a professional resume. I say draft because we never stop working on our resumes. We continue to update and edit them throughout our careers. In the spirit of this process, the KICS offers some tips on how to make your resume the best it can be.
Do Target Your Resume
A big mistake many people make is thinking of their resume as a literal translation of their work experience. They include every duty they’ve ever completed in their work history. This isn’t necessary. You can edit your resume so that your bullet points reflect skills required by the position you’re applying for. This highlights to employers that you have the experience to be a strong candidate for the position. Targeting your resume in this way allows them to see this fact quickly during an initial scan.
White Space - Use It Well
Another common mistake is to over-format your resume. This often happens when you use templates like the ones found in Microsoft Word. Most of these templates don’t utilize margins that allow you to get the most out of your page. And you do only have one page. It is rare that an undergraduate seeking an entry-level position has the work experience that makes a two page resume necessary. On the flip side, you also don’t want to have solid text from margin to margin. Recruiters don’t want to read War and Peace; they want a resume they can scan quickly.
An Objective - Do or Don't?
There is a growing trend in campus recruitment that an objective isn’t a necessary section of a resume. This is especially true if you are putting the same information into the opening paragraph of your cover letter. If you are going to include an objective on your resume, it’s best to keep it to one sentence and omit buzz words (ex. I’m a dynamic, motivated team player looking for…). Recruiters read sentences like this all day long. The goal of your resume is to make you stand out from the crowd, not blend in.