My 5 Quick Resume Tips for Any #newgrad

I’ve been interviewing quite a few interns for our company. Mostly for marketing positions, but some for technology. After reviewing quite a few resumes, I summarized what I’ve see recently and hopefully…maybe this will get to a recent grad who will take the advice.

Now, don’t get me wrong, resumes seem to be becoming an artifact in this day and age, BUT that doesn’t mean that resumes are dead. They are  necessary evil and COULD potentially hurt you.

These tips are basic, things I would recommend but may not be for you. I DO, highly recommend you evaluate them!

  1. If you are not right out of college, move your education to the bottom of the page.
  2. Seriously…if you aren’t applying for a senior position OR a technology position, one page resume.
  3. With modern technology, sometimes a greeting in an e-mail will tell me how you will answer to an email as an employee. DO NOT just place your resume in a blank email and hit send. I will NOT respond to you. Why? You just displayed a personal touch you could have added to your “application” and didn’t take advantage of it.
  4. Aesthetically,  I recommend a border on all resumes. It takes your eyes and then moves them into what is important. A blank page with a word document and lots of spacing and tabbing just reminds me of how long you took to take care of your resume. (Sounds harsh, but true)
  5. LinkedIn. Get a profile, add your information to it and continue to keep it updated. If you are applying to a digital marketing company, MAKE SURE to have one and add it to your resume. We WILL look for it.

Some other of my favorite tips…

  • 37Signals has a great book called Rework. They actually talk to how you should hire employees. Interestingly, they say the employer should review the cover letter to see if it’s templated or unique. People who take time to write a cover letter and those that write a unique cover letter will be noticed as a can-do attitude.
  • This is my pet peeve and probably doesn’t matter to many others BUT I believe it’s important. PDF. Learn how to attach an email in a PDF format and send it within this file format. Sending a Microsoft Word document makes me feel like you are not savvy enough to remove all of the work I saw you do. I want to see the finished product on one sheet, not editable.
  • Adding skills if you don’t have much experience is a MUST. I interviewed a candidate who was very candid with me and told me he/she didn’t have much experience. I would have never know this with his/her resume. They had a two column skills section which cleanly represented their experience without “experience.” (If you catch my drift) If you are panicked about the content in your resume, add a skills section. Knowing you have Microsoft experience, know how to use social media and maybe a unique talent like project management software is always a section employers will look at. They think, “What do I have to train this candidate to do in order to get the job done?”
  • Find some of the free project management tools and add them to your skills section. If you are in digital marketing/technology and you know how to use free tools like Basecamp, Done-Done, Asana, etc. this shows your organization skills in addition to your savviness within project management/operations. Anyone from social media to a designer will get a lever up if they are thinking about a full circle, team completed project and what to use in order to communicate.

Ahh..resumes, they are a pain but they are necessary. Remember that it’s not about applying for the job as much as it is WHY you want to apply for the job and HOW to uniquely represent why you want the job in your resume.

Good luck!

-J

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