Getting started on the path of building a career can get daunting. You’re expected to figure out what you want to do, network with people, create a LinkedIn profile, look for internships, and whatnot.
With so much to do, it’s difficult to understand where you should start from — and you’re exhausted even before you do.
However, a simple rule of thumb is to start by having a good resume in place.
Don’t know how to apply for an internship? Not sure about acing the interview? Skeptical if your qualifications are enough?
Just build your resume.
Here are some tips and resources that helped me immensely in making my resume:
- Pay attention to formatting and grammar.
Formatting and grammar are fundamental but forgotten aspects of making a perfect resume. If your resume is badly formatted — say, your name isn’t in bold, and there are different font sizes used throughout — that’s an instant rejection. Wrong grammar is also a big red flag — your application is bound to land in the trash.
- Don’t lie, be honest.
Completing a few Duolingo lessons does not make you a fluent speaker of Spanish. Display integrity, and include skills and experience that you actually possess. After all, organisations have a lot of ways to find out if you’re lying.
- Make use of bullet points and action verbs.
Recruiters do not have the time to go through paragraphs. Simplify your resume by making use of bullet points. Also, don’t make use of pronouns. Start your sentences with action verbs. Moreover, show accomplishments illustrated by specific numbers: money saved, people trained, orders fulfilled.
“I told a team of 6 employees what to do.”
“Managed 6 employees.”
And “I taught 150 lectures on web development.”
“Taught 150 lectures on web development.”
- No prior experience? Don’t worry.
Applying for your very first internship? That’s not a problem. Everybody starts somewhere, and there are a lot of ways to compensate for your lack of experience. You can highlight any courses you’ve done, articles you’ve written, or self-assessments you’ve taken. For example, if you’ve made analyses or financial models of companies by yourself, be sure to include them in your resume.
- Customise your resume according to the job profile.
Make sure to tweak your resume and highlight skills and experiences that are relevant to the role you’re applying for. For example, if you’re applying to be a Content Writer, make sure to highlight any writing competitions you’ve won, any articles or papers you’ve written, or any college committees you’ve joined as a writer.
- Regularly update your resume
Got promoted in your college committee? Completed an online course? Earned a qualification? Make sure it reflects on your resume. You don’t need to update your resume every day, but take a look at it periodically to see what you can modify. Make sure to follow content creators on platforms like Instagram and LinkedIn, who regularly post content about career tips and provide free job resources.
There is no fool-proof way to make your resume perfect. There are several formats, but these guidelines are by and large universal, and will help you build a strong resume that highlights your capabilities and differentiates you from the others.
Do you have any more resume tips?
Let’s start a discussion in the comment section below.
Here are some resources mentioned in the blog for your reference:
- Resume Template by Wonsulting: https://www.wonsulting.com/resources/wonsulting-resume-template
- Resumes and Cover Letters by Harvard: https://hwpi.harvard.edu/files/ocs/files/undergrad_resumes_and_cover_letters.pdf
- Instagram Content Creators: @jerryjhlee, @jonathanwordsofwisdom, and @davidpaykin
By Hima Mulchandani, SYBFM