Author: Katie Simon Source: Business Insider
During my senior year of college, I decided that I wasn’t going to become another boomerang kid that moved back home, jobless and with no plan for after graduation.
I took on an extra internship, participated in extracurricular activities to expand my network, and made connections at job fairs.
I also crafted, revised, rewrote, and continuously edited my résumé.
This résumé landed me interviews at Google, BuzzFeed, Oscar, and nearly two dozen other top startups.
I also got interviews for full-time jobs at a major political campaign, a huge government contractor, and a billion-dollar foundation.
A résumé sounds pretty simple — write down your education, work experience, and a few extras and save it in a text file. Sure, this is technically a résumé. But after months (years, really) of working on my own, I’ve found a different approach to this living, breathing document.
Think of your résumé as an outline for the job interview of your dreams. What questions do you want them to ask you? How do you want to impress them? What would you like to highlight, and what would you like to avoid bringing up? Assume that they have no other information about you besides this document. Is it compelling?
Aim for clarity. Too many words = clutter = confusing = rejection. It doesn’t matter how impressive you are if it’s impossible to tell what’s happening on the page. Fix this by eliminating all but the essentials. Cut ruthlessly both in terms of the type of information and sections you include, as well as the actual words and phrases you use. For every line, ask yourself: Will this improve how the company sees me?
Be concise. Everything should fit comfortably on one page. Go for no more than three to four sub-sections for any given section, and no more than three bullets per sub-section — two is often plenty. Is that extra third bullet really adding much to the conversation? Keep each bullet to one line — this forces you to focus on the primary point you want to get across.
Emphasize results first, then skills. For example, this is one of my bullets: “Increased Facebook following by 40% and total Facebook reach by 60%” instead of “Ran company’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.” When possible, share the exact numbers. If you want to emphasize your skills or methods, you should still front-load the impact: “Increased site traffic and conversion KPIs with targeted SEO strategies” instead of “Used SEO strategies to boost site traffic.” Companies hire candidates who will give them results.
Add a projects section. If you’ve made a big impact outside of work, whether through your sorority, for a class, or on your personal blog, be sure to share that. For a marketing class in college, I recommended branding changes to a nonprofit that they implemented and still use today — that’s a big deal! Who cares if it was for a full-time job? Add that kind of thing as a project.