I give a lot of resume feedback in my day-to-day, and I’ve received a lot of resume feedback, too. There are a few things that have come up a lot lately, so I wanted to share my resume tips for anyone who is trying to perfect that all-too-important document in preparation for job applications and internship season.
Remember – your mileage may vary! You might do something I do not recommend on your resume and still find an internship or job. And that is fine, and in fact, that is excellent news and I’m glad to hear it. I strongly believe that if you have solid experience in your field and advocate for yourself, you will find something that is a great fit for you. Your resume is not the only way to get in the door.
Focusing on design more than content.
Unless you are applying for a creative position, focus more on what your resume says than how it looks. A simple, neatly designed resume that is easy to read quickly is much more significant than a resume that catches my eye with its design.
I always sigh when I see a beautifully designed resume that only has one or two brief sentences explaining work experience or skills. That’s what your resume is supposed to do – don’t skimp on it.
If you want to design your resume using Illustrator or Photoshop, go for it. But still, keep it simple. Use a few simple design elements that represent you as an employee, and err on the side of basic. And always make sure to have a basic version that is just black and white when it suits the employer!
The one-size-fits-all approach.
You should have more than one version of your resume, and you should make changes to your resume that fit the job(s) you are applying to.
I do not recommend going above and beyond to cater to the “computers” that scan your resumes, but take extra effort to highlight skills and work experience that make you a great fit for a specific job.
Obvious lack of attention to detail.
It’s more than just typos and grammatical errors, although those are significant. Pay attention to inconsistencies. I notice applicants who change back and forth between dashes and bullet points; who change tenses for no reason; and more.
Is it a dealbreaker? No. But it does make me worry about your general attention to detail. If you aren’t paying attention to small details in your resume, could I trust you to be conscientious in your work?
There are many things you can do right with your resume to outweigh any potential mistakes you have, so don’t fret. Need help with your resume? Email firstname.lastname@example.org today for a free 15-minute consultation.