A great resume is one of the most important ways to promote yourself and the skills you have acquired in former positions, and present them meaningfully to a potential employer!
A resume should also summarize your work history succinctly and describe your skill set without any extra information. You want an employer to be able to find the most important information quickly, because most hiring managers only spend a few seconds looking at each resume.
One thing to remember is that you will need to change your resume for each position for which you are applying. It might be as simple as adding or changing descriptive words to catch the attention of an employer. You can take out skills that are unrelated to the position to streamline your resume efficiently. When you look at the job description of a position you want to apply for, write down the skills that match your own skill set. Then you can take the key words that align with your skill set from the description, and reuse these words or phrases in your custom-built resume. A company’s mission statement is also a great place to find the right words to use.
Job seekers should use active language when describing their skill set and accomplishments. This includes using action verbs at the beginning of each statement to show your confidence in yourself and your ability to fulfill the employer’s requirements. Instead of statements like “Social Media use was increased by 25%”, start the statement off with the action word- in this case “increased.” It needs to look something like this:
• Increased social media engagement by use by 25% monthly over the past 3 months
• Implemented new design standards to communicate expectations for the department
• Created templates for new company website to help with ease of use for contributors
A quick web search will provide you with plenty of examples of action verbs and statements to use on your resume.
Another common mistake for job seekers when compiling their resume is confusing assigned duties with accomplishments. In the example above, the focus is the actual contributions the candidate has made for the betterment of the company where the person worked. Everyday duties are still an important part of your work history, but accomplishments and contributions stand out more to a prospective employer. They want to see you demonstrate the kinds of results that are measurable, such as percentages of growth, increased sales, proven return on an investment and so on. Measurable results will prove that you took the initiative to go above and beyond your regular duties and that you have potential to do the same at their company.
Our Career Coach video team has produced a series of videos with the guidance of the Business and Careers department at Richland Library. Now that you have a good idea of some mistakes to avoid when building your resume, check out the playlist of Business and Careers videos on Richland Library's YouTube channel.
Looking for more information?
Set up a virtual meeting with one of our certified Career Coaches through the Book a Learning Coach form or by calling 803-929-3400. After you submit, we will contact you to set an appointment. Our team provides help with interviewing skills, your résumé, interest/skills assessments, and more. Follow Richland Library on LinkedIn and subscribe to our YouTube channel for career development tips and tidbits.