As a relatively recent college graduate and recruiter, I am constantly editing my resume and learning new ways to improve my resume. I want to highlight some of the resume tips and tricks that I’ve found the most helpful and applicable in being a standout candidate amongst tough competition. These tips are shaped by my time, mentors, and experiences while in college, some of my favorite financial planning professionals, as well as my experience recruiting in financial planning.
Resumes are an age-old tool used as a written catalog of your experience, credentials, and qualities. When completing most application processes whether they be career-related or otherwise, the resume is often the first introduction of yourself to those who will be reviewing and considering you. As technology and the world continue to advance, there are many other tools, like your Linkedin Profile, in which people are able to communicate this information outside of their resume. There are even discussions as to how long resumes will be relevant to us the way that we know them. Ultimately, whether resumes are a fleeting concept or around for the long haul when done, they should be done right.
Human resources, hiring managers, and recruiters generally only spend up to a minute or so reviewing your resume so here are some essential takeaways that should be clear on your resume even in a quick review.
- Header: A standard header should include your first and last name clearly at the top, followed by your email address, phone number, city and state, and link to your Linkedin profile.
- Overview: In this section, you can make a shortlist of highlights that can include but are not limited to who you are, the type of opportunity you are seeking, ways that you see yourself adding value, and any location/relocation preferences you have.
- Education: This section should include any degree programs completed, year of completion, and the school for each applicable or relevant degree.
- Licensing/Designations: Licenses and designations can be included in the education section, or as a separate section depending on how you’d like your resume organized. I recommend putting education, licensing, and designations at the top so that they are easy to see at a glance.
- Experience: Effectively communicating your experience is a major part of what constitutes a ‘good resume’. This section should be the bulk of your resume even as a new professional. Experience is not limited to work experience, and can also be organizationally broken down into a ‘relevant experience’ section and an ‘other experience’ section which should both list experience in chronological order from most recent to oldest.
- Organizations/Community Involvement: Aside from your professional and career experience, it is good for people to know more about you and potential ways that they may be able to connect with you and your interests. In this section, you will include professional and relevant social organizations as well as community involvement that you’d like to highlight.
Beyond the basic sections to include, here are some simple ways to amplify your resume:
- Ensure that all formatting, fonts, font sizes, and spacing are consistent across the resume.
- Make your resume easy to read by allowing adequate spacing between sections, maintaining margin lines, as well as utilizing a font and size that is easy to read.
- Maintain verb tense throughout each opportunity. If you are describing what you did in an opportunity that has ended, all action verbs should be past tense, and if the opportunity is current, all action verbs should be present tense.
- When describing your experience, it is imperative to make action and impact statements. This means that for each individual point, you should phrase the statement as the specific action you completed followed by the impact that it had on the client/organization/process/team.
- Example: Curated and documented a detailed guide for essential software to ensure ease of access and utilization for clients and team members.
Conclusively, resumes are exactly what you make them. Aside from the essential sections to include and ways to highlight, the key to ensuring your resume works for you is to cater it to each opportunity that you apply for. You may also utilize other job boards and networking platforms to display your experience and leverage the visibility of your skills and talents.
Whether you may be preparing your resume for an internship, first full-time job, career change, a new organization, or end-of-year maintenance, we’re happy to help you create the most memorable resume possible to help you stand out from your peers. . If you have questions or are looking for free assistance with your resume you can submit it directly to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.