Now that spring is officially here, so is the search for summer jobs. Before you can start to think about the job interviews themselves, you must first focus on the tool that will get you there: your resume. Writing a resume isn’t always easy, especially when you want to stand out in a recruiter’s tall stack of applications. Luckily, there are plenty of strategies for how to write a fantastic resume. Here are a few to get you started on your road to success.
Highlight What You Achieved, Not What You Did
Generally speaking, employers don’t want to read a long list of all of the tasks you completed on a daily basis in a particular job. Chances are, they can infer many of these tasks from the job title. If they can’t, this is something simple that they can ask you to expand on during an interview. Where your focus should really lie is on what you did during these daily tasks that caused you to stand out in the workplace and leave the company better off than when you arrived. For example, instead of saying, “Sold the product to customers who came into the store,” you might want to say, “Achieved a record increase in sales in a single week through the implementation of quality customer service strategies.” You likely won’t be performing the exact same tasks at a new job that you have in past positions, but you can show them that you will make similar contributions to their workplace.
Use Powerful Action Verbs
Another way to catch an employer’s attention is to have a descriptive vocabulary. Using powerful resume action words allows for employers to get a better visual of what you achieved in past positions, while also displaying that you are well-spoken. For example, doesn’t “Evaluated annual income reports” sound better than “Read annual income reports?”
Make a Cover Letter Bank
One of the best ways to capture an employer’s attention on your resume is to attach an outstanding cover letter to the front of it. This is a great way to target a particular position by reading the job description and writing a letter that comments directly on how you possess each of these listed requirements. Since many jobs ask for a lot of the same skills or traits such as organization, leadership, and being a teamplayer, you can save yourself a lot of time by keeping a document prepared with a paragraph prepared to highlight how you possess each of these common skills. For example, a lot of the jobs I apply to have “research experience” written in their job description. Therefore, one of the paragraphs in my cover letter bank document is titled “Research Jobs” and summarizes all of my research experience and skills for when I’m applying to a research-focused job. This way, I can easily copy and paste this paragraph into my cover letter along with a few others in order to write a targeted, professional cover letter without having to write an entirely new blurb about the same skill time and time again.
These are only a few of the many great tips out there that act as a guide for what employers are looking for in a resume. By implementing just a few of these simple tricks, you’ll be able to submit a resume that you’re proud of. You know that you’re more than capable of excelling at a job – and now your can resume show that!