Crafting the perfect resume can feel daunting, but if you let it, it can also be empowering. There’s no better feeling than reflecting on your accomplishments and realizing how far you’ve come. Whether you are actively job hunting or just looking to spruce up your resume because hey, you never know, here are a few tips to help digital professionals stand out.
1. Tell Your Story
We all have a story and a resume is your opportunity to tell yours. It’s a reflection of your professional and personal brand, and this is something that you have complete control over. So think about the story you want to tell. What makes you unique and interesting.
Defining your brand takes time and self-reflection. Start with a running list of terms that you feel personally aligned with. This is just for you. Once you have a working version of your resume, open up your list to see if any of these attributes are reflected in what you’ve drafted.
2. Use an Eye-Catching Design
Before you send your resume out, convert it to a format that the recipient will want to read. Know your target audience and update your resume accordingly. If you are applying for a position in the marketing field, the tired templates in Microsoft Word might send your resume to the bottom of the pile. Market yourself with a visually stimulating design that demonstrates the knowledge and skills the job itself demands.
There are tons of free templates available online, through sites like Canva, that will help you take your resume to the next level. If you decide to go this route just don’t get carried away. You still want to keep it clean with a basic modern font like Helvetica or Arial and maintain a healthy amount of white space.
Your final resume should always be converted into a PDF format so that formatting or spacing are not lost in transit.
3. Keep It To One Page
Stick to the basics, the one-page rule still reigns true. Remember, the goal of your resume is to get to an interview. A strong resume will leave the hiring manager thinking, I want to know more.
Emphasize what’s important and don’t be afraid to remove things that don’t make that cut. Do you really need an objective statement? Unless you are making a major industry change, in which case the objective statement helps explain discrepancies in your experience, then the answer is probably no.
Hiring managers want to know what you’ve done most recently. Your experience section should visually resemble a funnel in reverse chronological organization. The further back the experience, the less they care to know.
4. Augment Online
I can’t remember the last time I hired someone without Googling them or checking their social media accounts first. Hiring managers are looking so take the opportunity to point them in the direction that puts you in the best light by providing social media and website links upfront.
This doesn’t need to consume a lot of space on your resume. Consider adding these items under your contact information or off to the side. If you have a lot to share, consolidate your online presence in a digital portfolio using a free service like Pathbrite or About.me. You can also use Google URL Shortener or Bitly to reduce your URL character count.
5. Tap Your Network for Feedback
I strongly recommend getting a second pair of eyes on your resume before sending it out. With your Women in Digital membership, you have access to a national network of knowledgeable women on a mission to help each other rise. Don’t be afraid to stand up at your chapter’s monthly member meet up and make this your ask or throw it in the #asks channel on Slack. If this feels a little intimidating, start by putting the request for feedback out to your WID Peer Circle, where sharing is confidential.
The best resumes take time and thoughtful planning, but there’s no shortage of resources and tools available to ease the process.