AUTHOR:
Ashlyn V.

DATE:
October 13, 2015

CATEGORIES:
Success from the Start

READING TIME:
3 minutes

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A Simple Guide to Creating the Perfect Resume

AUTHOR:
Ashlyn V.

DATE:
October 13, 2015

CATEGORIES:
Success from the Start

READING TIME:
3 minutes

If you're getting ready to start your career, you’ll likely notice the majority of job applications ask for a resume. It is the key in getting an interview, but creating your resume can sometimes seem like a daunting task. We’ve put together some advice to help get your resume ready to go.

Pick your professional experience

If you haven't yet held a full-time job or are trying to switch careers, the phrase “professional experience” can sound a bit intimidating. Don't worry.  Volunteer activities, internships, freelance work, and even student leadership may count as professional experience.

Only include experience that has helped you build skills applicable to the job. Most employers won’t easily make a connection between your high school babysitting job and your marketing skills, even if you were the best on your block at attracting and retaining customers.

Keep it chronological and customize

Most recruiters want to see how your career has progressed, which makes putting your experience in chronological order important. Start with your most recent experience and work backwards through your work history. This will help recruiters see your freshest skills first and how they translate to your potential new job.

Your resume is a marketing document for yourself, so tailor your resume to the job you are applying. This doesn’t mean copying the job description, but it does mean showing you read and understood it. Mimicking terms found in the job description that link to your relevant experience might help the recruiter connect you to the job.

Show your accomplishments

Recruiters and managers want to know you can deliver results, so make them clear in your resume. If you have a specific accomplishment to discuss, make sure it’s listed!

For example, if you oversaw a project and found a more efficient way of doing things, put it out there. If you have solid numbers to demonstrate your success, that’s even better. If you want to show your skills in encouraging peer involvement, try something like, “Increased membership in my student organization by 50 members in one year, resulting in 100 active members across campus.”

Put what you’ve done in context

Many times a recruiter who is not familiar with your field of study will be reading your resume. Eliminate technical language or jargon to help make it easier for the recruiter to make the connection between the skills you have and the job you've applied for.

As mentioned earlier, tailoring your resume can also mean connecting the job to your skills. When you read the job description, there had to be some statements that helped you realize you'd be a good candidate. Make those connections clear on your resume. By connecting your experiences to the skills requested, you make it easier for the recruiter to think you'd be a good fit.

Keep things clean and simple

Getting creative with your resume can definitely make it stand out, but it might not be in the best way. Prioritize making your resume easy to read and understand over having a fun design. Use a basic font (Arial and Times New Roman are classic choices), and if you really want some color, keep to a subdued one and use it only in one spot. Putting your name at the top in a dark blue or deep red is generally acceptable; bright green or hot pink probably won’t go over so well. Shine the light on your achievements, not how fun your resume looks.

One possible exception is if you are applying for creative jobs in which the recruiter may view your resume as an expression of your skill set. But, even when you can be a little more flexible with your resume design, verify that someone could read it easily.

Don't offer your references — yet

References are not necessary to put on a resume. If employers want your references, they will ask for them. This usually will show up on the application, or once you reach a later stage of the interview process.

Now you have the basics of your resume down, put it to work by checking out the current openings at Reynolds.


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Ashlyn V.

Ashlyn is a Corporate Recruiter in College Station, Texas. A graduate of Sam Houston State University, she studied Agricultural Business and now manages the Reynolds Summer Intern Program for College Station and Houston. Outside of the office, she competes in equine events, spends time with her friends and family, and enjoys traveling and cooking.