Put away your flip flops and bathing suits and pull out your resume because it’s interview season. If you are a senior graduating in the winter or spring, it is important to know that companies are beginning their interview process for new grads and will be sending out their offers in January. No need to panic if your resume does not have its “job bod”, here are some tips that can help you.
According to a 2019 article by Aliza Licht for Forbes, “recruiters only spend 11 seconds reviewing your resume”. As sad as this statistic may be, there is still hope and you should by no means only spend the same amount of time working on your resume.
To begin your resume building I suggest visiting your university career center before and after you have created your resume. The professionals there can help start your resume and give you helpful tips personalized to the job you’re seeking or your future profession. The Grand Valley Career Center is a great resource and has resume professionals that will sit down and look over your resume. Be sure to bring in both your cover letter and resume. If you can’t make it in, the career center also has online sources to help you make your resume perfect. If you don’t visit your career center before you begin creating your resume at the very least visit them once you have completed it to get some feedback.
When creating your resume it is good to have more than one version. When applying online with companies that use an applicant tracking software it is best to create a simple Word document resume. These software programs have difficulty with the tables and/or graphics in resume builders or graphic programs. You can keep your other version and use it to show your creativity, especially if your field is a creative one, and hand it out in person.
Your resume should always be catered to the job you are applying for. An article by Indeed states, applicants should look for key-words in the job description that they can then duplicate in their cover letter or skills section. Many of the companies that use the resume software I previously mentioned can specify what word to look for when sorting through resumes. Resumes should be no more than a page long. Be sure not to clutter your resume and stick to bullet points that are more narrative. Although you don’t want a cluttered resume, be sure to watch out for too much white space. Everything should be evenly laid out and there should be no awkward pauses or spaces.
Formatting is extremely important when it comes to standing out from other candidates. Here are some helpful tips when it comes to creating the best format for your resume: Begin your resume with experience. Even if you don’t have a full-time job just yet you may have enough experience in the field you are applying for to attract employers. They may see your experience and you may be exactly what they are looking for and not have to look further down the page. If you don’t have any experience you can start with your schooling/major and then be sure to highlight any volunteer or experiences in general not just job experience that is relative to the job you are applying. Be sure to always put the most relevant experience, volunteer, skills or education listed first. Do not include any work that is not relevant to the job you are applying for. The employer does not care if you babysit for 4 years while in high school.
Details as minuscule as the font are even important. Now no one in their right mind is going to write their resume in pacifico. It is important that applicants choose a font that is professional and easy to read such as Arial or Times New Roman with a font size between 10-12.
For specific PR resumes, it is a good idea to add in your social media platforms. Definitely add your LinkedIn, Instagram (if it is appropriate), Twitter, and if you have a personal blog where you showcase your work then add that. Facebook is a hit or miss in my opinion. It is always a good idea to post work/career related content or about a professional club, internship or volunteer experience you have.
Last but certainly not least continuously update your resume as you go along in your career. Always give your resume to your peers, advisors, professors, the career center, coworkers, and especially professionals you may know and get feedback. Do not be afraid of constructive criticism. If you know someone who works in hiring it would be to your benefit to have them look over it. The more set of eyes on a resume the better. And because we live in today's world when you update your resume, update LinkedIn. Stay active on LinkedIn by liking and re-sharing content as well as post your own blogs or accolades. Don’t be afraid to promote yourself after all that is what the site is used for.
Now that your resume has its “job bod” you are ready to embark on your job search. For GVSU students don’t forget about the Career Fair October on 16th. Do your research about what companies you want to connect with, purchase your professional attire, and network away.
Sofia Anderson is a senior at GVSU studying advertising/public relations and Spanish. She is an Account Associate for GrandPR and is the VP of Professional Development for GVPRSSA. She currently works at Experience Grand Rapids as their Social Media Intern and is a volunteer at Bethany Christian Services Transitional Foster Care & Assessment center. She has an interest in tourism, fashion and corporate PR. In her spare time she enjoys watching Netflix, making-friendship bracelets and spending time with family and friends.