5 Resume Tips

In previous posts, I have talked about how to be successful in an interview. How do you get the interview in the first place? The answer usually is: your resume. Follow these 5 tips to get your resume in its best shape.

Tip 1.Error-Free

Don’t make your resume easy to be disregarded immediately. You should always check for spelling errors, and grammatical errors. Have other people proofread your resume for you. After seeing your resume so much, you might not notice any errors but someone else will pick them up. The easiest way to not get an interview is to not check your resume, and is to not have someone else check your resume for you.

Tip 2. Don’t give descriptions, give actions and results

If you want to make your resume from an ‘okay resume’ to a ‘fantastic resume’, then give actions and results instead of descriptions. For each work experience you include, include how you impacted the company or organization. Some people only give a description of the job, but what is more important is how you contributed. For example:

“The Tech” is MIT’s Student Newspaper. I am in the advertising department, which is The Tech’s source of revenue.

Action and Result:
Initiated online advertising for the first time in the Tech’s 20-year online history. Communicated with over 40 clients, which contributed to over $10,000 in revenue.

Tip 3: Quantify

Another tip is to quantify your achievements when possible. Recruiters will typically spend less than 10 seconds reading your resume. You should make it as quick as possible for the recruiter to find key pieces of information – quantifying information does that. For example:

Okay Resume:
Launched a marketing campaign that was successful

Fantastic Resume:
Launched a marketing campaign that increased user conversation rate by 25%

Tip 4: Don’t embellish

Don’t include anything on your resume that you cannot answer. For example, if you say that you can speak French on your resume, you should be prepared for a French interviewer who might test your French skills. For one interview, I had a biology course on my resume and the interviewer with a PhD in biology started asking me technical questions about biology. I had only taken one biology course, so that question tripped me up. It was more harm than good putting that biology course on my resume. So, make sure you know everything on your resume otherwise leave it out.

Tip 5: Include Action Verbs

Your resume should be easy to read, and should get to the point. Include action verbs at the beginning of each bullet point. For example, instead of saying ‘I made a new program that increased conversion rate’, you should say ‘Initiated a new program that increased conversation rate by 20%’. Good action verbs to use include: “Collaborated, Initiated, Developed, Managed, Directed, Achieved etc.’ Here is a list of more action verbs.

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