Quick Tips for a More Effective Resume

Tips for resume development


October 5, 2018 - Hellene Meyer

Are you thinking about seasonal jobs? Here are some resume tips to get you ready!

As Fall is upon us and seasonal hiring draws ever closer, now is the perfect time to brush up on your resume. Whether you’re starting from square one with a blank template or fine-tuning and updating your resume, here are some strong tips and tricks you can use, regardless of what you’re applying to.

Skills – Everyone has them!

The most important part of putting together any resume is figuring out what skills you have and communicating them in an effective manner. After all, this is how you prove to your potential future employer that you are fully capable of doing the job you’re applying for! Sit down with a pen and paper and make a list of all the skills you may have. Search online for example lists and definitions of transferrable skills, then examine past jobs and educational experiences to pull together valuable skills you may have never thought you had before.

Consistency Counts – Formatting and more

Always check for consistency in your resume. You want to keep the same style throughout, regarding spacing, fonts, what parts you bold, and more. Using a template as a start is great for developing an eye for style and can help you stay consistent. Whenever you alter your resume in any way, scan through it thoroughly to make sure you haven’t missed anything and print it out to study how it looks on paper.

Sell yourself!

Your resume serves as an advertisement from you to your employer, so you must treat it like one. You’re advertising why they should want to pay YOU for your time, over all the other candidates. Due to this, the first page of your resume is the most important as it’s the first thing they’ll see, so make sure it’s flawless and conveys the most crucial information in as clear a way as possible. Make it simple and pleasing to look at, as well as easy to read. Don’t overwhelm whoever will read it with too many stylistic choices such as too much bolding, colours, boxes, etc. or the design will overshadow your resume’s content.

It’s All About What You Can Do

When writing your resume, it is important to remember that you are showing the employer what you can do for them, not what they can do for you. Keep this in mind when analysing the tone of your resume and like the last tip, remember to sell yourself – advertisements don’t demand you to do things for them, instead they tell you why you should be interested and then they suggest what you can do. With all your relevant skills and experience presented so effectively, employers shouldn’t be able to resist hiring you.

Rule of Relevancy – Connections are key

Make sure to order things by relevancy, whether it’s skills, resume sections, or your employment experiences (although stay within reverse-chronological order). You always want the most relevant points to the job posting placed at the top of their section. For job experience, you need to keep them listed in reverse-chronological order, but you can leave out less relevant jobs you’ve held to bring more relevant ones higher up on your resume. Secondly, always connect your experiences to your skills, otherwise employers might not see why those experiences are relevant. A good formula to use is Challenge + Action + Result (CAR), where the challenge is what you did, the action refers to the applicable action word (Managed, developed, presented, analysed, etc.), and the result being what you achieved, sometimes including some sort of metric.

With these tips, you can make your resume truly stand out to employers – but this is only a start! If you want to learn more about things like skill statements or need a someone to take a look at your resume, you can visit one of our Career Peer Advisors during our drop-in services from 10am to 4pm and we’ll critique it to help you make it even better! Career Peer Advising is a service provided by the Career Development and Experiential Learning Office located at Suite 100 in the Joyce Entrepreneurship Centre. Visit us today!