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How to Craft a Standout Résumé for Early Career Professionals: Top Tips and Strategies

Hey there, and welcome to the first week of #workreadywednesdayz, where we will go over everything you need to know to prepare for the workplace. Whether you're a college student, a recent graduate starting your first job, or a young professional looking to polish up on your professional development, Workready Wednesdayz got you covered. 

Today, we're starting with the basics: how to craft a standout résumé.

Your résumé is often the first impression you'll make on potential employers (assuming they haven't already Googled you or checked your digital footprint), and it plays an important role in your job search success, especially in the early stages of your career.

Doesn't matter where you are professionally; creating a standout résumé is essential for grabbing hiring managers' attention and landing interviews.

In this mini-blog, we'll go over a few efficient strategies for creating that standout résumé.

So, grab a pen, and let's dive in! The first step to creating a standout résumé is to...

Tailor Your Résumé to the Job:

Customize your résumé for each job application by highlighting relevant skills, experiences, and accomplishments that align with the job requirements. This means you may need to use different résumés for different job postings. Jobs are not typically one-size-fits-all. Using tailored language and keywords from the job description helps to demonstrate that you're a good fit for the role. Don't cut corners or be lazy by using the same résumé for each application.

Use a Clean and Professional Format:

Granted, you may end up with a bunch of copying and pasting from different versions of your resume, but make sure the final one is consistent. Choose a clean, easy-to-read format for your résumé that uses consistent fonts, bullet points, and spacing. Make sure that your résumé is formatted in a way that makes it easy to read. Bold and italics should only be used in small amounts to draw attention to important points and make your résumé look good.

Quantify Your Achievements:

Whenever possible, list your accomplishments with numbers, percentages, or dollar amounts whenever you can to show how much your work has helped. Instead of typing "Improved sales," you could say "Increased sales by 20% in Q3."

Focus on Results:

Highlight your accomplishments and contributions rather than just listing job duties and bullet points. Talk about what you've done and start each bullet point using an action verb. Next, focus on what you did well in each job and the results you achieved.

For example:

  • Skillfully increased viewership by 20% through the implementation of new marketing strategies.

Include Relevant Keywords:

By the way, most companies and places you're applying to use a tracking system that flags résumés that closely match and align with the skills they want to hire for. Therefore, be sure to use relevant keywords related to your industry, skills, and qualifications throughout your résumé. Using relevant keywords (particularly from the job description) will help applicant tracking systems (ATS) identify your résumé, increasing your chances of getting an interview.

Keep It Short:

Your résumé should only be one or two pages long, and it should focus on the most important and useful information. Use short sentences and stay away from details or "fluff stuff" that's not needed. I shouldn't have to say this, but please don't lie or over-exaggerate your résumé.

Proofread Carefully:

Check your résumé for any language or grammar errors before submitting it. Reading before hitting submit will help you find any typos you missed. Ask a friend or family member to look it over, too. Also, make sure you're sending the most updated version.

Digital Footprint:

Please be mindful of what others can easily see, find, and access via your social media accounts and online presence. Ask yourself: Would you hire you based only on your digital prints? If not, or if you hesitated, please clean it up, be careful, and maintain a healthy balance with disclosing your personal life so that it doesn't negatively impact your professional reputation.

By following these simple strategies, you can create a standout résumé that effectively showcases your skills, experiences, and qualifications to potential employers.

If you found this helpful, please share it with someone who needs this!

-Coach Rahk


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