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Did you know that recruiters only spend less than ten seconds when scanning over a resume? The experience you have on your resume can make or break whether or not you get an interview. Here are some tips to properly format and style your experiences to make your ten seconds shine.
Your professional experience is the meat and potatoes of your resume. Your professional experience should include: company name, city and state of company, duration of your work, title/position, and your duties/responsibilities.
Format is everything. Don’t ever forget to bold, italicize, and capitalize to emphasize your position and company. Bolding is a powerful tool. Use it wisely.
List your experiences in reverse chronological order, from your newest to your oldest. A reverse chronological order presents your most relevant and recent employment. This format is used to present an upward progressive trend in your professional experiences.
However, in certain circumstances, using a reverse chronological style can be damaging if you: frequently change jobs, have large gaps between experiences, or are trying to get into a new industry. For example, if you mostly have experience in business and want to move into an engineering position.
Make sure your resume is scannable. You only have ten seconds to impress your recruiter so try to avoid unnecessary information like a summary about yourself or paragraph on why you want the job. That’s what cover letters are for. Your recruiter doesn’t care about what you have to say about yourself, so keep it clean and simple.Never use a paragraph to describe your work experience. Keep your work descriptions as reader-friendly as possible. Always use bullet points to deliver your information in short and sweet statements.
Probably one of the most important, if not the best tip here. Do your bullet points sound like mediocre tasks and descriptions? Improve your experience by modifying your responsibilities to achievements. How does one accomplish this kind of sorcery? By Quantifying.
Quantifying turns your responsibilities into specific and impressive achievements. Recruiters will be able to get a better sense of what you accomplished and helps them picture the impact you made on your company. Quantifying is an awesome and easy way to wow your recruiters.
Probably the most simple and obvious piece of advice. Have you ever posted, emailed, tweeted or captioned something and realized you made a spelling error? Wasn’t it embarrassing? One of the biggest no-no’s of a resume are spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors. These errors indicate that you couldn’t even bother enough to make an effort in your resume/cover letter. Always proofread. Otherwise, taking all those english classes in high school will have gone to waste! For more on common resume phrasing mistakes, read here. It’s hard to be taken seriously when you have a spelling error.
If you’re fresh out of high school, it’s not uncommon to have never worked. Employers understand that you need experience for experience and know you’re looking to put something on your resume. If you’ve never worked, don’t sweat it. Add your extracurriculars, relevant interest experience, volunteerships, or community services. Even if you have some work experience, include it. Even if it’s not relevant, something is always better than nothing.
Add anything that can inform a recruiter that you’re a team player, responsible, and is active in your community. If you lack experience, this is where formatting plays a key role. The style and format of your resume says a lot about you right off the bat. Here is another post about how to work around your lack of experience. A simple way to get more experience in the comforts of your own room is to take one of ProSky’s online training courses (like social media marketing) and sign up for a free profile! With these simple tips, you’re ready to make your ten seconds worthwhile. If you don’t believe me, at least listen to Oprah. Now get out there, get your dream job/internship, and make some bank.