There’s more to you than your resume, but potential employers won’t get a chance to see that unless your resume is appealing enough to get you an interview.
So, what to do? Make your resume worth a second glance.
You have to keep in mind the standout factor. The fact is, you have a very short amount of time to stand out amongst others in a huge stack of resumes. Make it count!
When it comes to crafting a well put-together resume, here are some quick tips you can use to check if your resume is ready to be sent out into the world:
Don't forget to fast-track your resume to its final glorious form by downloading a Planted approved sample resume and the official Planted Resume Template here!
Test #1: Is it worth reading?
This thing needs to be polished. Even the best credentials can be passed over if they’re formatted like a bad haircut. No one will believe you’re “an organized individual” if you can’t even successfully arrange a simple word doc.
Use bold for titles, and utilize spacing and indentation to make your resume flow. Pick a legible font, and even if you really want to cram a lot on there, make sure you pick a font size that isn’t microscopic. Please, for the love of all things holy, keep it to one page! You may think you have way more than a page worth of stuff, but you should pare it down to the most important and relevant things. Do they really need to know about how you were in science club for a month during freshmen year? Thought not.
The test you should run on this is to hand it to your roommate and see if they can understand and follow your layout without being confused. If they can't, head back to the chalkboard.
Test #2: Holding attention...
Even if you’ve worked at mom-and-pop places with no brand recognition factor, make sure that you give yourself titles that aren’t selling yourself short. Intern vs. External Development Intern. Cashier vs. Customer Service Associate. Front Desk Person vs. Administrative Assistant. Give concise descriptions of (the most important of) your responsibilities.
Test your resume by only reading your bolded titles and seeing if it starts to give an accurate summary of your credentials. A hiring office may only skim titles to start, so you need to intrigue them right away.
Test #3: Standing out
Use the sections under your headings to showcase your ability to execute tasks. When listing your responsibilities, make sure to present your measurable, quantifiable impact. Even a phrase like "logged over 500 phone calls each work week" is way better than "answered the phone all day."
An easy way to think about how to present your impact is, “I did X, using Y to accomplish Z.”
“I personally brought in $192,000 in revenue (X) by cold-calling over 300 potential clients (Y), to surpass my company’s all-time monthly performance record (Z).”
“I increased Campus Fun Magazine’s social media presence by 200%, including 1000 new Twitter followers (X), by putting posters all around campus and partnering with local radio stations (Y), to improve Campus Fun’s brand recognition (Z).”
Another way to make sure your resume stands out is to always showcase your personal, individual contributions, rather than bundling them in with your team as a whole. Hiring Managers want to know your individual impact, what wouldn't have been accomplished if you weren't there to get things done.
Test your resume by reading each of your descriptors to a friend and seeing if she can can correctly summarize your impact at each position. If so, good to go. If not, it's time to go back to the drawing board.
Test #4: Startup mix
What percentage of your resume has to do with startups? If that percentage is low because you've never worked at a startup before, don't worry because you can up that percentage by educating yourself. Take classes through General Assembly or Startup Institute, or get involved in a Startup Weekend. These can be great resources to see if you would actually like to work at a startup in the first place.
There is no base percentage you need, but try to have at least one thing to show you've put in initiative to stepping into the startup world.
Pull up your resume on your laptop and use these tips to polish up that bad boy. Once you’ve done that, head over to Planted to get started on your startup job search so you can send that shiny new resume out!
If you need help crafting or formatting yours, download a Planted approved sample resume and the official Planted Resume Template here!