A girl should be two things: who and what she wants.” ―Coco Chanel
My article was originally featured on the USA TODAY COLLEGE website (By: Jen Glantz)
Even before the slap of a handshake or the powerful “about me” speech that you’ve mumbled in front of your mirror, the chance that you’ll have an opportunity to fancy an employer with an in-person interview all comes down to a single piece of paper — your resume.
If your resume is lucky enough to be given the once over in an employer’s congested inbox, it needs to stand out and prove that those countless unpaid internships, overflowing list of extracurricular activities and hall of fame of awards displayed on the refrigerator make you deserving of the job.
It’s up to you to prove that.
Here are five tips that I learned while trying to make my blog stand out on the World Wide Web (an attempt to expand readership outside of myself and my great aunt, Wanda) that will make employers want to decorate your resume with gold stars and offer you the in-person interview of your wildest dreams.
1. Get linky.
The beauty of submitting your resume electronically is that it can become more than just a piece of paper. Make it dynamic by creating an online portfolio that hosts samples of your work, an “about me” cover page and even testimonials from references. Use this space to showcase your work and also the ways you’ve influenced and placed a dent into every opportunity you’ve come across. Give employers the opportunity to be wooed digitally by placing a link to this site on the top of your resume (right next to your contact info), providing anyone checking you out with easy access to this online portfolio.
2. Create a buzz.
There’s ancient folklore that your resume can only be one page long. Whether or not you choose to follow that, it’s important to make sure every line of text on it serves a purpose. Use keywords or “buzz” words that are pertinent with the job requirements and also complement your talents and skills. This will give the employers a mushy feeling inside that you’re the right match. Use words that serve a purpose, even show off a little of your personality and showcase your deeply rooted experience alongside your qualifications for the job.
3. Make it social.
If your online persona is clean-cut and reflective of a nice, professional demeanor, add the handles to your LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter accounts to your resume. This is another way for employers to get to know you and add a little personality to the black and white text of your resume. Maybe you blog, tweet or routinely post about a certain topic relevant to your career? Feel free to add that.
4. Content is king.
Your skill set and responsibilities at your job are constantly evolving and improving, so your resume should, too. The content should be fresh and regularly updated — especially for your current position. Revisit the document a couple of times a month to reshape, improve and restate your skills and your career objectives. Keep it fresh, keep it catchy!
5. Start with a summary.
At the very top of your resume, do a clear and concise summary of who you are. Include a dose of your professional experience, a dash of adjectives to describe you and your work ethic and a line about your career goals. This is the first thing their eyes will hit and if it’s concise and powerful, they will be left twiddling their thumbs, excited to hear more.
I have this bold, daring, determined personality, and if it was up to me, I’d cover my resume in glitter and add 3-D pop ups to grab attention and show off who I am. And even though Elle Woods in Legally Blonde puts her resume on pink paper and sprays it with a splash of perfume, the real world doesn’t work that way.
Keep the professional and clean design of your resume but don’t be afraid to spill a little of your heart, your passion and your years of hard work into the words that will stand out on the paper. Then cross your fingers, rinse and repeat, and hopefully step up to the plate to do it all over again during an in-person interview.