Sprucing Up Your Resume for the Dream Job
One of the most common questions I get is: Victoria, how do you build a resume? I love, love, love this question because I take value and pride in the resume-building process.
Throughout college, I was incredibly blessed to have mentors, women with both extensive and impressive experience in the communications/marketing industry, that would guide my questions in the right direction.
Building a resume is one thing, but creating a super eye-catching document that equally expresses your distinct creativity and professional experience is another. When we’re planning out our resume, we don’t want to just settle for the basic template format you find on Google. We want it to reveal something special and unique to our interviewers, right?
You want to let your potential employer know that they are hiring someone with a great personality who is going to bring a new element of creativity to the team.
First things first! When it comes to resumes, looks are absolutely everything!
We want cutting-edge minimalism that will magnify your experiences enough to capture the attention of your audience. What elements of your creative can be presented visually that will highlight your greatest skill set? Are you a graphic designer, photographer, writer with an impeccable eye for all the grammatical errors? Implement that within the design of your resume.
Don’t just input your information into a Word doc. I’m a huge advocate for Adobe Creative Cloud software. Try a free trial, and download Adobe’s InDesign program. It is one of my absolutely favorite apps because it’s built to empower users to create beautiful print work. If you’re not one to design, then create your dream resume Pinterest board and hire a graphic designer to make it happen. Even if you didn’t tangibly create it, be the visionary behind the final design!
Resumes need to represent who you are as a professional and complement the career you are choosing to pursue.
After you’ve got a beautiful design, it’s time to compile your personal contact information, educational background, work experience and volunteer experience.
Resumes are the platforms where you can brag a bit about yourself. What makes you different? What makes you qualified? What makes you a candidate worth investing in? Please be sure to include your phone number and email address so employers know how to get a hold of you if you’re the right fit for the job! Social media links are also a must
A modern trick I implemented into my resume is to use icons (in vector format) to represent each social platform. For example, if you’re adding your Instagram handle, place the image of the Instagram mini camera to represent which social media account you’re wanting them to check out.
If you’re a photographer, I’d recommend including your best photo as part of the resume design; you really want the photo to reflect to style of photography you're wishing to get into professionally (for example, landscape photography, abstract photography, etc).
Some creatives put their head shot on their resume. Personally, I wouldn’t advise to do that! If they wanted to see your beautiful face, they’d be able to see it on your social media accounts. You also don’t want them to base judgments on your head shot image. Less is more; leave them guessing as to what you look like! In person is always better than a pretty thumbnail image. It builds stronger connection!
Last but definitely not least, it’s time to focus on listing your experience and the written copy you’ll include about your background in the workforce.
Something I’ve learned is the power of including action words! The question that is on everyone’s mind when they’re reading your lovely one-page resume is: what have you accomplished? Now that we know how incredibly artistic and awesome you are, share what you’ve succeeded to do in your past jobs.
Here’s what you shouldn’t be writing into your bullet points:
- I worked 9am-5pm
- I wore a clean uniform
- I stood at the door to greet, I clocked in on time
What do all of those phrases have in common? Well, for one, they’re boring! But most important, they don’t tell your audience what you accomplished. You want a potential employer to know you didn't just show up to the job, but rather, you put time and effort into accomplishing goals and making things happen every shift!
When I worked at my first job, it was in retail, and I was promoted to a four-star associate, which represented my leadership skills and knowledge-based skills on the products we sold. I was the go-to girl for training new employees and calling the shots on the sales floor! With this in mind, I listed my experience in bullet-point form like this:
- Promoted to team shift leader and par-four associate to oversee all sales floor affairs
- Executed efficient customer service by problem-solving on the sales floor
- Set up product displays according to corporate standards
See the difference?
I’m showing potential employers that I’m a doer! I aim to accomplish something no matter where I’m at. Show off what you’ve accomplished. It doesn’t have to be an award. It can be a task as simple as folding clothes.
Accomplishments reflect best how we made the most of our job opportunities.
Ready to get started? Hop over now to subscribe to the blog and receive a FREE resume content guide of your own! Hope these few tips help motivate you to building an amazing resume that will not only get your foot in the door, but it will also land you the dream job!