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March 18, 2019

How to Write a Killer Résumé

Your résumé is one of the most important documents you will create during your job search. It highlights everything you have accomplished and is one of the first things an employer will see when you apply for a job. For this reason, your résumé should reflect who you are as a professional, look highly polished and appear carefully crafted. Here are some tips on how to write a killer résumé.

1. Customize your résumé for the job.

1. Customize your résumé for the job.

Before you can start writing, you should create a “Master Résumé” that includes all of your achievements in academics, internships, jobs, athletics, volunteering and extra curricular activities. No matter what job you are applying for, you should always tailor your résumé to fit that specific job description. You want the employer to feel like you are the perfect fit for the position. From your Master Résumé, you can pull experiences that are relevant to the specific job that you are applying for.

2. Choose the right format.

2. Choose the right format.

On average, a recruiter will look at a résumé for six seconds. This means your résumé should be visually appealing and easy to read. Stick to standard fonts like Times New Roman, Courier, Arial or Calibri and use 9 to 12-point font size. Keep your formatting consistent throughout; bold all of the headings or none at all, include months or don’t, the bullet points should all line up, etc. Whatever design you choose, keep it consistent and readable.

3. Beef up your experience.

3. Beef up your experience.

When describing your experience, start the sentence with an action verb and quantify your work whenever possible. When a recruiter is scanning through résumés, they are looking for words and figures that make you stand out from the pack. Rather than simply saying “Responsible for…,” substitute a word like accelerated, promoted, managed, maximized or spearheaded. Instead of writing “Managed volunteers at community events,” rewrite as “Managed 40 volunteers at 4 community events.” Using numbers communicates clear evidence of your accomplishments to the recruiter.

4. Put the most important information first.

4. Put the most important information first.

The employer might not read your entire résumé, so it’s important to lead with your most notable experiences. This relates to the overall order of your résumé and each individual section as well. As for the overall résumé, your education and previous work experience will be the most important points so place it on the top half of the page. When describing your experiences and skills, place the most relevant points first.

5. Proofread, and then proofread again.

5. Proofread, and then proofread again.

Recruiters have been known to throw away résumés just because of grammatical errors. Take pride in your résumé and review it until it is perfect. Read it over several times and have a friend or your academic advisor review it as well. The more eyes the better!

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