Resume Game: LIT

By previous contributor Minnie

If you’re interested in obtaining a summer job, internship, etc., you should know that many companies search for their summer student hires between January to February. If you’re interested in spending your summer getting some much-needed work experience, you may want to revisit you resume and update it for your job search. If you do require professional help with things like career planning and resume writing, don’t be afraid to schedule an appointment with the University of Toronto’s Career Centre.

Here are some tips to having the perfect resume that will help get you hired:

  1. First read and try to understand the job you’re applying for.

Sit down with a highlighter and really read the job description. Go through and highlight the points that seem important (things that are mentioned repeatedly or anything that’s slightly out of the ordinary) and the points that you could speak to with your experience and skills.

This is always step one—after all, you can’t tailor your resume for a position if you don’t really know what the gig entails.

  1. Tell a story. You don’t need to put everything on there.

Your resume should not have every work experience you’ve ever had listed on it. Think of your resume not as a comprehensive list of your career history, but as a marketing document selling you as the perfect person for the job. For each resume you send out, you’ll want to highlight only the accomplishments and skills that are most relevant to the job at hand (even if that means you don’t include all of your experience).

  1. Make your first point immediately relevant. 

Job search expert Lily Zhang says it best: “Take your resume, find the experience that would make [your hiring manager] most excited about your application, and rework the document so that’s what’s at the top. Maybe it’s your current position, or maybe it’s some specialized certifications or the freelance work you do on the side. Whatever it is, make it the first section of your resume. And yes, even if it’s not the most recent. There’s no rule that says your first section must be “Work Experience.” Tailoring your resume means finding what is most relevant, creating a section for it, and filling it up with experience or qualifications that will catch a hiring manager’s eye. If that means nixing “Work Experience,” creating a “Marketing and Social Media Experience” section, then throwing everything else in an “Additional Experience” section, then so be it.”

  1. Consider an online supplement.

Can’t figure out how to tell your whole story on one page, or want to be able to include some visual examples of your work? Instead of trying to have your resume cover everything, cover the most important details on that document, and then include a link to your personal website, where you can dive more into what makes you the ideal candidate.

  1. Be concise, but give them numbers. 

You’ve heard you should keep your resume to a page. Whether or not this is absolutely necessary is highly debated, and so it depends on your hiring manager. What is absolutely essential is that you keep your resume as concise as possible: imagine reading through hundreds of resumes in a couple of hours. You wouldn’t want to encounter verbosity, or worse, irrelevant experiences from when the applicant was in elementary school. Try, instead, to use as many facts, figures, and numbers as you can in your bullet points. How many people were impacted by your work? By what percentage did you exceed your goals? By quantifying your accomplishments, you really allow the hiring manager to picture the level of work or responsibility you needed to achieve them.

  1. Proofread, proofread, proofread!

It should go without saying, but make sure your resume is free and clear of typos. And don’t rely on spell check and grammar check alone—ask family or friends to take a look at it for you.

  1. Save it as a PDF and name your file smartly.

If emailing your resume, make sure to always send a PDF rather than a .doc. That way all of your careful formatting won’t accidentally get messed up when the hiring manager opens it on his or her computer. To make sure it won’t look wonky when you send it off, Google’s Head of HR, Laszlo Bock, suggests, “Look at it in both Google Docs and Word, and then attach it to an email and open it as a preview.” Ready to save your resume and send it off? Save it as “Your Name Resume” instead of “Resume”. Make the hiring manager’s life as easy as possible.

Now go dust off your resume and go apply to your dream jobs! Dream big and work hard!

Works Cited
“43 Resume Tips That Will Help You Get Hired.” The Muse. Web.<https://www.themuse.com/advice/43-resume-tips-that-will-help-you-get-hired&gt;.

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