Does your resume stand out from the crowd? If you’re finding it difficult to get recruiters’ attention, a bland resume may be the problem. It’s even tougher for recent graduates or job seekers with minimal professional work history to create resumes that get them noticed. Listing commonplace attributes like “strong work ethic” or “good computer skills” does nothing to demonstrate to a recruiter what makes you a great hire. Celebrate International Update-Your-Resume Month by freshening up your current resume so that it truly touts all your accomplishments.
Even without substantial office or corporate experience, your resume can show how you differentiated yourself from the rest of the staff at your recent jobs. Turn your positive attributes into bullet points on your resume. Maybe you were the team member at your restaurant job who always knew how to soothe unhappy customers. You might say: “Grew to be the most reliable staff member for consistently resolving customer disputes.” Or perhaps during your senior year of college your leadership skills flourished as you spearheaded multiple group projects. That bullet point might read: “Guided several group academic projects as team lead.” Basically, your resume bullet points should convey specific achievements and contributions rather than just skills or job responsibilities.
Another way to show evidence of your talents is to quantify them using numbers, or to highlight certain problem areas in your job that you took it upon yourself to improve. Again, the key is to clarify exactly how added value to your firm. Did you use your passion for organization to clean up a cluttered stash of old promotional swag? Instead of saying “Strong organizational skills” you could put “Overhauled a neglected stockpile of marketing materials to make ready for future use.” And never overlook your work as an assistant or receptionist: your resume should describe how you streamlined or automated outdated filing systems, and took charge of underutilized tools and technology to increase productivity.
Lastly, don’t forget to capitalize on your volunteer experience, especially if you spent substantial time volunteering between jobs. Check out our blog on incorporating volunteer work into your resume here. Good luck and happy job hunting!