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Create a Great Resume

Updated on February 21, 2018
Madison Resare profile image

Madison is a stay-at-home mom and a freelance writer. She received her B.A. in English from BYU-Idaho and she enjoys crafting and baking.

Job Applications
Job Applications | Source

What Your Resume Says to Future Employers

A resume is your chance to make or break a first impression, don’t destroy your first impression with shoddy work and a lame looking resume. Your resume needs to speak to your employers and it needs to say that you are confident and capable of doing the job you are applying for.

What does your current resume say to future employers? If you are like many people in the world your resume is not doing you any favors and it is actually telling your prospective employers things like:

  • “Hi I took this resume outline from the internet, I have no original thought, and am just like everyone else,”
  • Helo, I think I am a very impressive person but I will not take the time to edit my resumee for you,”
  • “Hi I have a lot of experience but I am not going to organize it in a way that makes sense, I will also include long paragraphs that you will get tired of reading very quickly.”

Employers
Employers | Source

Qualities of a Bad Resume:

There are many qualities of a great resume, just like there are many qualities of a bad one. To the right is a list of good resume qualities that I will go over in detail so that you can create a resume that is worth looking over, one that future employees will be interested in reading.

But before we begin lets go over a few qualities of a bad resume so that you can avoid them or get rid of the ones in your current resume:

  • A substandard, run-of-the-mill, looks like everyone else resume layout/outline
  • Using a substandard resume layout without making any improvements of your own
  • Not leaving space for your future employer to make notes on your resume
  • Creating a clear and concise resume outline that is easy to read and easy to understand
  • Repeating phrases that could be different (not showing diversity or careful thought)
  • Using a cookie-cutter resume for all job applications (not catering to the employer or the job)
  • Not listing the most important/relevant information first
  • Not proofing/editing your resume for simple and big mistakes like spelling errors
  • Not getting resume feedback from any of your friends, current employers, school mates, or coworkers.

Qualities of a Good Resume

1. Variety of interests in activities/leadership experience

2. Relevant work/internship/class experience

3. Design

4. Editing (No spelling/date/sentence errors)

5. Proof (numbers/data/statistics/percentages)

6. Tech Savvy/Modern

Variety of Interests

Click thumbnail to view full-size
DancingHTML codingMusicSports
Dancing
Dancing | Source
HTML coding
HTML coding | Source
Music
Music | Source
Sports
Sports | Source

1. Variety of Interests

Before you can have a great resume you need activities and experiences in order to have something to place on your resume. If you are in school right now then you are in luck because there are a plethora of awesome and fun leadership/group activities you can participate with in order to be more divers and well rounded.

Being well-rounded and participating in a lot of different types of experiences looks good on a resume. Maybe you are interested in dance? Volunteer to be a part of the dance committee or to be an instructor or a manager. Maybe you just want to participate in a group? Join the English Academic Society or the Social board or whatever it is that interests you. Having more leadership experiences and activity participation will give you a lot of material for your resume and will help you stand out to future employers.

Relevant Class and Job Experience

Class Experience
Class Experience | Source

2. Relevant Experience

Another piece of your resume puzzle will be finding and participating in relevant class, work, and internship experience. If you know what kinds of jobs you will be applying for in the future, then you should tailor your classes and internship experience in those directions. If you do not have exact class, internship, work experience that relates to a job you are applying for, then you should take the things you learned from those experiences that are relevant to the job. Some of those things could include leadership skills, training skills, computer skills, etc.

3. Design

According the informational video on the right, you have exactly 6 seconds to grab the attention/interest/captivation of your resume reader. This means you are going to need to do a little more work than simply slapping your information into a standard Microsoft resume outline. Depending on what you are going into and what kind of job you are applying for, you will want to up-the-design of your resume accordingly.

If you are applying for any kind of web design, graphic design, art, creative-in-any-way kind of job; you are really going to want to beef up the design aspects of your resume and make it look interesting and well-thought-out.

If you are applying for a job that is a little more serious than creative, you will want to tone the design down in terms of bold/creative colors, fonts, and styles but that doesn’t mean you give up on making your resume look different and interesting. Make your name big and bold and use professional looking colors that also stand out like grey, and navy blue instead of boring black and white. Use separating lines and white space effectively and your resume can look well-designed and professional.

You have 6 Seconds to Capture a Readers' Attention

Editing

Editing
Editing | Source

4. Editing (NO Errors)

One of the most common mistakes people make when sending out resumes is to send out their first second and third drafts instead of what should be their final piece. They are called drafts because they are not finished, they still have errors to correct, sentences to change, numbers to fix, and words to spell check. Do not send out a resume with spelling errors, your potential employer will notice and take it as a sign of laziness and un-professionalism. Avoid simple mistakes by having friends, family, co-workers, professors, and other mentors look over your resume to give helpful criticism, feedback, and a harsh edit.

Proof

Proof
Proof | Source

5. Proof

Since we talked about one of the most common mistakes, we will now talk about the one thing employers love to see; numbers. Employers love to see quantifiable evidence/data/proof that you actually did something and made a difference at your last internship or job. Use numbers, data, statistics and percentages as often as possible throughout your resume.

Modern

Modern
Modern | Source

6. Tech Savvy/Modern

Resumes are pretty outdated if you only have one on paper. You need to stay updated, tech savvy and modern by having multiple types of resumes, professional profiles, and or portfolios. You should have blogs, social media accounts, personal/professional websites, published articles, and other work that is available online for your employers to glance over. You can even include these tech savvy links in your paper resume in case an employer likes you enough to look at what you have placed online.

How many times have you edited/changed/updated your resume?

See results

Keeping Your Resume Up-to-Date

A resume is not a one-size fits all type of document, it is a forever changing piece of your life that needs to remain up-to-date.

Recently finish a high-profile internship? Add that to your resume; get published in a high-ranking website/paper? Add that to your resume, whatever you do that is worthwhile or noteworthy in the business world should be the next piece to your resume puzzle.

Your resume is not one-size-fits all because different jobs require different skills/expertise and different employers expect different things to be on your resume. Do not send cookie-cutter resumes; alter them to fit each individual job and potential employer.

© 2014 Maddi

Comments

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    • Madison Resare profile imageAUTHOR

      Maddi 

      4 years ago

      Thank you :)

    • Scott Upham profile image

      Scott Upham Jr. 

      4 years ago from New York

      Great info, big help!

    • Katrina1981 profile image

      Katrina Simpson 

      4 years ago from North Carolina

      Quite welcome!

    • Madison Resare profile imageAUTHOR

      Maddi 

      4 years ago

      Oh thank you so much for your comment! I'm glad pieces of my advice are what some people are actually teaching to students :)

    • Katrina1981 profile image

      Katrina Simpson 

      4 years ago from North Carolina

      Great hub! I teach a class in which I assist students on how to properly write a resume. We share similar points!

    • Madison Resare profile imageAUTHOR

      Maddi 

      4 years ago

      Interesting! I did not know that. Thank you for your comment, I really appreciate the feedback.

    • Hezekiah profile image

      Hezekiah 

      4 years ago from Japan

      Very informative. A lot of interview chances are missed out on from poorly written resumes. It's a good idea to have people read them out for you. I live in Japan and had to write resumes in Japanese and they have to be hand written so they can access your Japanese writing skill. That was a killer, but they were so impressed when they saw a black man slam a Japanese resume down on their desk.

    • Madison Resare profile imageAUTHOR

      Maddi 

      4 years ago

      Thank you for your comments! @Laura335 I totally understand having a hard time keeping your resume short. In my experience it really helps to make multiple resumes and to tailor each one to the job you are applying for. Your experiences/education list for each individual job will probably become shorter which will help to keep your resume to one page :) Thanks again for your comment!

    • Laura335 profile image

      Laura Smith 

      4 years ago from Pittsburgh, PA

      I have such a hard time keeping my resume short. Even though I don't have a lot of job experience, it's hard to determine what's important and what isn't and try to paint a detailed picture of my skills without going over a page. That's my biggest challenge. Thanks for the tips!

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 

      4 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      Very informative indeed! I took many takeaways from here. Thanks for sharing.

    • Madison Resare profile imageAUTHOR

      Maddi 

      4 years ago

      Thanks, I hope this Hub has helped you out :)

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