Are you thinking of applying for a job this summer? Are you submitting your resume for an internship or a co-op job? If you’re nervous about getting your resume in shape for these processes, fear not, and read on for seven tips on brushing up your resume.
Include a cover letter
When applying for a job, always include a cover letter. Many employers will immediately reject any applications that do not have a cover letter. This letter should sum up your resume, highlighting the most important skills and experiences you have that are transferable to the job you’re applying for. At the end of the letter, don’t finish off by saying what they can do for you, but by saying what you can do for them.
Update your e-mail address
Don’t forget to update your childhood e-mail address to one that is more professional, and include it in your contact information right under your name at the top of the page!
Place sections in order of importance
If you’re wondering what order you should place the sections of your resume in, “Education” first, “Extracurriculars”, or “Activities and Achievements”, place them in order of importance, from most important to least. Employers often skim through a great number of resumes, so be sure you highlight what you want them to see most at the beginning, while leaving the least important near the end.
Sort section elements in chronological order
Within each section, sort your achievements or experiences in chronological order, from most recent to least recent. Your most recent accomplishments highlight your most up-to-date areas of expertise!
Trim down to one page
Your potential employer will likely have many resumes to read. If your resume is too long, they won’t have the time to read it all. Cut out old experiences or shorten your sentences to reduce your resume to one page if possible, but keep it to two pages maximum.
Include soft skills and transferable skills
If your past experiences aren’t in the same field as the one you’re applying to, don’t worry! Employers aren’t always looking for hard skills, like specific hands-on experiences, they’re also looking for soft skills that are transferable. For example, highlight public speaking skills, communications skills, interpersonal skills, time management skills… there are so many soft skills that can be transferred from one field to another!
Tailor it to the job you’re applying for!
Last, but not least, tailor your cover letter and resume to the job you’re applying for. You can keep one big master copy of your resume which can be longer than a page, but when you apply to specific jobs, cut out the experiences or skills that are irrelevant both in terms of hard skills and soft skills. Your employer is trying to see if you’ll be able to do this job effectively, so highlight the skills and experiences that show that you can!
So, before you apply to a new job, use these tips to brush up your resume and keep them in mind for the future. When you land that interview, read these seven tips. Good luck on the job hunt!