Take your Resume from Sad to Fab

hand crunching up paper
Published: Monday, February 23, 2015 by Jill Klees

When you are applying for jobs (internships, part-time, or full-time) and not getting interviews, chances are strong that your resume is NOT doing its job. This is the time to stop what you are doing, back-up, take a look at your resume and reevaluate your marketing tool. It might be time for a resume overhaul.

6 ways to tell if your resume needs an overhaul.

  • You are using the same resume you used before starting iSchool,
  • It has been 3 or more years since you updated your resume,
  • “References Available Upon Request” is at the bottom,
  • The objective statement starts with, “Seeking a challenging position where…”,
  • Accomplishment statements start with, “Responsible for…”,
  • Content is written in paragraph form versus bullet point statements.

If you are using the same old resume format and the same old content that you have been using for years, chances are good that you are not representing yourself competitively and that is not the impression that you want to leave with employers.

Follow these tips to take your resume from sad to fab.

  • One size does NOT fit all. Tailor your resume to each position you apply for using the same industry verbiage from the job description. Weave this verbiage throughout your statements to show how you are a match.
  • Avoid dating yourself. Go back 10-15 years in your work experience and include experience that is relevant to the position you are applying for. Do not include everything you have done. Keep your content relevant and focused on the position you are applying for.
  • Focus on transferable skills. Use skill words that relate to the type of position you are seeking and that you want to demonstrate to a potential employer. Use a variety of skill words throughout your resume to highlight all that you can do.
  • Use accomplishment statements. Start your statements with a variety of action words, describe WHAT you did, HOW you did it, and when possible include the result or outcome from your action. You are telling a story with your statements.
  • Make it easy to read. Organize the sections in a logical flow, use a crisp clean font style between 10 -12 points, and avoid using distracting symbols, shading, borders, underlining and overuse of italics.

Updating the look and feel of your resume, making a few simple adjustments to the content, and tailoring it for each and every position you apply for can have a big impact on how you represent yourself to recruiters and hiring managers.

For more resume writing tips, review the Resume section on the iSchool Career Development site and check out sample resumes on the Building the Resume pages.

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