Every college graduate no matter what major will need one universal thing to succeed, a resume. Many graduates however have horrible resumes. They’re stale, cluttered, and do little to reflect the skills of the individual described. This is an increasing problem because employers will only look at a resume for an average of six seconds. That means that you have six seconds to vouch for why you are the better candidate out of the dozens of others who have also applied. A cramped resume filled with stock words such as dependable, awesome, and reliable are over used and do not grab the attention of an employer who has already sifted through hundreds other just like yours. Now that your eyes are opened and an arrow of fear for unemployment has pierced your mind, let’s look at some tips and tricks to help you beat the masses.
Do not use Microsoft Word. Yes, I am currently using Word to write this but it’s a blog not a resume. Your resume is the key to obtaining a professional job. Kelly Donovan, a resume specialist, describes Word’s templates as “ugly and ubiquitous.” Having a template puts creative restrictions on your document. Think of your resume as a canvas and you are the painter. A painter has full creative control and does need margins or restrictions. That is how you create your masterpiece. Your resume should reflect these qualities as well.
Say no to paragraphs. Large blocks of text will never get read. Remember, six seconds. Break everything up into sections based on skills, education, and experience. Avoid packing the page with every desirable attribute you possess. A resume’s purpose is to make the employer want to contact you and learn more about the person behind the resume. You want the employer to pursue you. Look at it like a relationship. Leave just enough information to interest them. Never crowd them with all of your positive points and wonderful characteristics. They won’t read it all. I promise.
Implement visuals. That doesn’t mean that you should take good rhetoric out of your resume. Additional graphics would better help your resume stand out to an organization. There are many professional websites and programs that can help you out create one. Visualize.me.com and InfoResume.com are easy beginner tools when you are looking for great visuals. Still include word devices within your resume though. When typing up your resume try to stay clear of Times New Roman, Cambria and Arial font. Use Calibri or Garamond, they read well on screen. Avoid putting everything in bold. I know every little thing may seem important to you, but placing caps and bold points throughout diminishes those that are actually of importance. Insert bolded items only when it is necessary.
A resume is the first hurdle you have to jump to get to that initial interview. Don’t fear or panic. The Liberty University Career Center is available to help you with your resume and cover letter. We provide many resources that can guide you through this process. Go to www.liberty.edu/careers for links to resume assistance and for direct help from our well-equipped staff. Making one may seem like a daunting task, but our staff will help you organize your resume so that you can get the job, pursue your passion, and maybe even change the world.