Your time in college will be some of the most fun you ever have while also working your absolute hardest. Those years that seemed so far away as a freshman will pass you by in the blink of an eye. Before you even realize it, you’re walking across the stage in cap and gown and receiving that diploma. Before the real world hits, be sure to spruce up your resume with these 3 essential tips to ensure that you give yourself the best chances to land that dream job.
Easily Visible Dates and Structure
You’re getting ready to submit your job application to the company of your dreams. You’ve spent countless hours researching, combing through their company website, and losing sleep imagining what your career will be like. After waiting for what feels like forever, you notice that you either aren’t getting the responses you want or no responses at all, and you can’t figure out why! Well, all hope isn’t lost. You may be unknowingly hurting your prospects by leaving out a simple but important date: your expected graduation date!
The hard truth is that hiring managers glance at your resume for all of 6 seconds. And if in that incredibly short (but extremely important) 6 seconds of analysis, they can’t tell whether you’re a sophomore or senior, a chemistry major or a psych major, you will be placed back into the black hole of the Applicant Tracking System (ATS).
The structure of your resume is just as important as the words themselves. It should flow naturally, chronologically, and be easy to skim. Before you submit your resume, make sure it meets the following job winning criteria:
- Education should come first (if you’re a student)
- Work experience is in chronological order with visible dates and titles
- Include relevant keywords that match with the job description you are applying for
- Quantify your experiences using two to five bullet points
Job Related Experience
Writing about yourself is hard, especially if you don’t even remember what you did at your last job. Making your resume sound professional and worth the potential interview is even more daunting. But, it’s important to take a step back and think in terms of what the hiring manager wants and needs. Even if you think you know what your prospective employer is looking for, double and triple check that you meet their requirements.
More often than not, resumes don’t even make it through something called the Applicant Tracking System, which is used by a majority of companies, both large and small. The ATS acts as the gatekeeper to the land of employment for you and every other job seeker. The fastest and most effective way of beating the ATS is to know what criteria they are searching for. Do your research and make sure you market yourself (through your resume) to line up with the job criteria. Even the slightest details and descriptions contained within the mission statement, job description, and company culture should be extracted and placed within your resume content. We know what employers are looking for, and by doing the right research, you can too.
Professional Emails and LinkedIn Handles
LinkedIn is the largest social network on the planet geared solely for career advancement and networking. It is important that you treat it as such and maximize its potential. Hiring managers want to see that you’re on your toes about getting hired. The best way to show them that is by maintaining an updated and professional profile. But just as hiring managers are monitoring your profile, you can also stalk their company page, read their articles, and stay current with what’s going on. Any research and relevant information will only help you down the line.
Make sure you keep your LinkedIn tag short and appropriate. Updating your LinkedIn tag to something presentable such as linkedin.com/kevingotham proves you put effort into your online appearance. If you include it on your resume, be sure that it’s on the same line as your professional email.
In regards to your email, it is so crucial that your handle is simple and professional. Avoid names like [email protected] or [email protected] at all costs. Cute tags like this make it difficult to perceive you as professional and are proven to seriously hurt your chances of being selected for an interview. Opt for something that involves your name, such as [email protected] or [email protected].