Chapter 6: Careers tips for Canadian University StudentsNewsflash November 10, 2010 admin 0
In this article, I will present to you 5 tips to make your Resume Stand Out. It is my hope that after you put the following tips into practice – you will land an interview and eventually a Job.
Who am I? I am a student currently in my 4th year of University and have had the opportunity to be a Co-op student at 3 Fortune 500 companies. I have worked as a Credit Analyst, Transaction Coordinator, Internal Auditor and most recently a Tax Analyst. I can confidently say that upon graduation, I probably will not have a hard time finding a job. Obtaining these experiences was not an easy process, however – in fact it was extremely frustrating. This was the work experience section of my resume when I first started applying:
20XX-20XX:McDonalds – YYYton, ON
§ Worked as a Cashier and took orders from customers.
§ On weekends worked in the kitchen.
Looking back at this now, I can’t help but laugh at what HR Managers were thinking when they looked at my resume. Eventually, I realized that HR Managers don’t really care that I took orders from customers or
worked in the kitchen on weekends. All they wanted to know was what I learned from my experience at McDonalds that I could bring to an Accounting department at X Financial. From there, I set out to improve my resume – I talked about how I improved my communication and organizational skills while working in a fast paced environment. Moreover, I indicated how I improved McDonald’s efficiency in the Kitchen by suggesting a few changes.
It took a very long time to develop my resume, because I was keen on displaying my strengths and showing what value I can bring to the company that I was applying to. The hard work paid off eventually and I urge you to take the time necessary to develop your resume because in the Interview process this is primarily the only thing you can control.
Tip # 1 Resume Formatting:
Presentation is everything. If you don’t take anything from this article, at least take this spending the time to ensure that your resume looks good will ensure that your resume will get read. It is as simple as that AND as simple to do. Most individuals have either too much text on their resume or too little. Too much text is distracting. Too little text makes it seem like you have nothing to offer.
- Ensure consistency throughout your resume – If you bold one title, you bold all the others.
- Use lines to break your resume into blocks of information – It makes it easier to read.
- Go ahead, adjust the margins but don’t overdo it. Ensure sufficient white space around your resume.
- Don’t use pronouns – no “me” or “I’.
Tip # 2: Proofread your resume for Spelling & Grammar mistakes:
You have worked for a large investment banking firm with over 200 million dollars in revenue but if you have spelling or grammar mistakes on your resume, you’re not going to get the job. Having spelling or grammar mistakes just shows that you either too lazy, don’t pay attention to detail or just can’t spell. I’ll be the first to say that I don’t have the best grammar and I make plenty of spelling mistakes on my articles but I don’t make these mistakes on my Resume – you shouldn’t either. Proofread your resume and get others to do the same, sometimes a fresh pair of eyes can spot mistakes that you may have missed.
Tip # 3: You worked for Wal-Mart…so what?
I touched on this at the beginning of the article; don’t expect the employer to connect the dots for you. Always try to show the employer what you have learned at your previous work/ volunteer experiences that you can bring to the new employer. I stated my Mc Donald’s example at the beginning of this article. If you missed it, take a look at it before moving on to the next tip.
Tip #4: Where ever possible quantify your achievements
To employers numbers reflect results, when presented correctly they are not arbitrary and can positively show what you have achieved.
For example: Improved personal sales by 22% at Best Buy by ensuring customers were informed of new promotions in the Television department.
Tip #5: Make your Resume Relate to The Employer you are applying to
Most people – including me at one point would just make one very general resume and just send it out to as many employers as possible in the hopes of receiving a return phone call. This approach works to some extent but it is not worth the risk, take the time to analyze the job position and adjust your resume to show the skills specifically requested by the employer – You will be in a much better position.