Photos: Ashley Kay Photo
Make Up: Make Up By Ramon– Christian Dior Macy’s Galleria
On this Work Wear Wednesday, we’re talking about resumés! I don’t think I need to explain the importance of having a solid resumé whether you’re applying for a job fresh out of college, applying for a promotion within your current job, or applying for a new job. I like to edit friends’ and coworkers’ resumés because I have a very critical eye. It’s always hard editing for someone new because you have to warn them, “Can I be nit-picky with this?” But in the end you’re just trying to make them better right? And you’re doing them a favor! Whether you’re on the editing side or on the edited side, always keep in mind that the edits are really just suggestions for the owner of the resume to do with it what they will!
That being said, I came up with some tips based on common errors that are usually seen and are easy to overlook!
- Delete the fluff. You’re not writing a history or English paper! Make all bullet points as clear and concise as possible. Most should fit on one line only.
- Use action verbs. This article has great verb suggestions for you to use in your resume! And it breaks them down by accomplishment so you know where to use them!
- Triple check your verb tenses. If you’re still in the job, use present tense verbs. If it was a job or leadership experience you had in the past, use past tense verbs. This seems like common sense but it is the most common mistake I see across the board.
- Quantify EVERYTHING. If you’re using words such as “many” or “vary” or “several” or “various”, delete immediately! For example, rather than writing something like, “Executed events and various marketing programs aligned to sales goals”, try to quantify how many events and how many marketing programs you executed. Your future employers care about how you can add value to their organization, what results you can contribute and how competent you are– metrics and numbers will show them measurable successes that highlight all those things. Every bullet point should have a number in it.
- Be careful what you embellish. Are you REALLY proficient in Spanish? Are you REALLY competent in Microsoft Access? Are you REALLY still certified in CPR/AED? You never know what type of situation you can be put in once you get hired to a job. You don’t want to deal with the humiliation of explaining to your future boss that actually maybe your high school Spanish class didn’t prepare you for whatever task is at hand!
- Make your promotions/awards clearly visible. I had a Director one time that asked me why it took him several minutes to realize that there were promotions and awards on my resume. He said I was selling myself short and advised that they should be bolded and separated! So if your results and successes earned you an award or promotion it should be something that can be found quickly and easily by a quick skim from a recruiter or hiring manager.
- Know your audience. Does a huge corporate IT company really care that you worked at your local H&M over the summers in college? Probably not! But if you were applying for retail management or a fashion position, they probably would! Every job you apply to should have a slightly tailored resume. Clothes aren’t “one size fits all” and neither are resumes!! I also get a lot of questions about visually appealing and “creative” graphic resumes. I personally graduated from a conservative business school and work for a conservative company.. so I wouldn’t necessarily advise it in those particular cases. HOWEVER for companies such as Google, graphic design companies, and other creative startups or PR jobs, I think a creative resume would really help you stand out!
- Format correctly. Keep it to a page, keep it reverse chronological, make sure your dates are all aligned. These are nit-picky things but can be really visually distracting and look unprofessional to a recruiter if done incorrectly.
- Always seek a second set of eyes. A fresh perspective always helps! Sometimes a friend, colleague or even a parent can word a bullet point in a way you hadn’t thought of that might sound so much better! Remember these people are trying to help you, not criticize!
Lastly, a quick note on this outfit! I love these Michael Kors black heels! They’re not too high or flashy which makes them appropriate for work! This dress is one of those dresses that I liked so much better on than on the hanger. Calvin Klein is my favorite brand for work dresses because it’s good quality, flattering, and classic.
Here’s to success for you all! Hope it helps.