Your resume should serve as an organized and concise synopsis of who you are, the education, skills, and experience you bring to the table, and should also indicate where your career is headed. While this has always been true of resumes, the 21st century resume needs to be created using programs that support both traditional printed products as well as digital formats that translate well over the internet. With that in mind, here are 5 resume tips to help Bryant & Stratton students and graduates embark on a successful, 21st century career path.
- Use your resources. The internet is a wonderful place to look for resume tips, and to view examples. However, if this is your first or second attempt at creating a professional resume, take advantage of your resources. Bryant & Stratton College offers free career services to our students and alumni. This includes:
- Access to Resume Tools, a web-based application that allows you to create a resume, manage and edit it, present it to future employers, etc.
- Optimal Interview, a program that allows you to interface with real-to-life, simulated interviews so you can practice and hone your answer strategies.
Some communities offer free career advisement through temp agencies and employment centers. Take advantage of these services as you tailor your professional resume and portfolio.
- Paper and Digital. You will want to have your resume available in both paper and digital formats. One copy on MS Word is not sufficient. There are times where MS Word documents do not translate across varying digital platforms. This means your resume may come through with incorrect punctuation or random symbols. You may want to invest in an HTML copy of your resume so you can feel confident it will be viewed as you intended.
- Make sure it’s manageable. HR professionals are often inundated with resumes once a job opening is posted. To keep your resume easily scannable, limit the content to one or two pages. Stick to an easily legible business font, such as Arial, Georgia, or Times New Roman. Also, limit your use of bold or italics as these don\’t always scan well. You want your resume to be as easy to read and understand as possible.
- Use concise keyword phrases. The Wall Street Journal reports that 50 percent of applicants don\’t have the skills advertised for by recruiters. In order to cut through the fluff, the majority of Fortune 500 companies and other large businesses are using applicant tracking systems to weed out mismatched applicants. These tracking systems are high-tech scanners that only forward resumes with the right skills, work experience-related keyword phrases the recruiters and HR staff are looking for. The more clear and concise you are, using specific job skills, accomplishments, and work experience-oriented phrasing, the better chance your resume has of making the cut.
- Use effective hyperlinks. Since so many resumes are digital, you can use hyperlinks to add depth to your content. The resume should be the skeleton of who you are in terms of goals, objectives, experience and accomplishments. Then, you can hyperlink to your website, your LinkedIn profile with stunning recommendations, any published work, etc. within your digital resume. Or, consider using a QR Code next to your name and have it link to an expanded, web-based CV.
Finally, your resume should serve as a marketing document, targeting a specific audience. Be prepared to have multiple versions, each one tailored to a particular sector of the job market. Contact Bryant & Stratton College to learn more resume tips for your 21st century resume.