Guide to Adulting: Tips for a strong resume

Gracie Warda, Assistant Online Editor

When applying for a new job, one of the first things an employer will ask for is a resume. A resume needs to stand out to potential employers and act as an outline of a person. See below for tips on how to create an impressive resume, and click here for a sample resume.

1: Emphasize important information

The most important parts of a resume should stand out the most. For example, a job title should stand out more than the job description, and your name should be in a large font at the top of the page.

2: Be brief

Don’t make descriptions of jobs, activities, or events long-winded. Simple, short descriptions are all an employer will need to see.

3: Reflect

While still keeping the word count to a minimum, reflect on what skills you gained doing a particular activity or job. Especially explain how this prior experience will help you in the job you’re applying for.

4: Be Specific

When it comes to accomplishments, dates, quantities and titles, specifics are an essential part of a strong resume. For example, instead of saying: “I have a good GPA,” say something like “I maintain a 3.75 GPA, which puts me in the top 50 in my class of 300.”

5: One page limit

Employers may take a photo of applicants’ resumes. Some employers may even upload these photos to an app, which uses a search algorithm to find the most qualified applicants. To make sure that your resume makes it into that app, keep it under a page long.

6: Use “search” words

The aforementioned “sorting app” uses a search algorithm to find qualified candidates whose resumes mention certain “search” words. For example, when hiring a graphic designer, the app may look for the words “Adobe InDesign”. Include these words in order to stand out to a future employer.  

7: Include a Cover Letter and/or Reference Rage

Although these things exceed the single-page limit, including them with your resume can help give more information to your employer. A cover letter is a separate page and acts as a general summary. A reference page should include 2-4 references, their relationship to the applicant, and their contact information, and should be either on a separate page or on the back of the resume.

8: Aesthetic

Even the design of a resume can change its effectiveness. If it’s pleasing to the eye, an employer will be more likely to remember the resume and the person associated with it.

9: Customize it

Even if an application is submitted to multiple employers at one time, it should change depending on where it’s going. With honestly at the forefront, describe why a past event will help you in the position you’re applying for.

10: Create a personal website

A personal website can act as an extended resume, and it allows someone to give a future employer more information about themselves before an interview. Consider creating one and adding it to your resume.

‘Guide to Adulting’ is a Fenton InPrint advice column intended to inform readers about adulthood and the different responsibilities implied by it. Each installment will outline an aspect of adulthood and provide insight for that area. Questions, comments, concerns and future column ideas can be submitted to [email protected].