Your resume will often be the first and only thing hiring personnel will see before making a decision of whom to interview. You must essentially sell yourself to a complete stranger and make yourself stand out from all of the other job candidates in a single page! Don’t fret! There are several things you can do in order to set your resume above the rest.
First, make your name standout. Your name, phone number, physical address, and email address should be placed in a header at the top of the page. This should be the most accessible information on the page. Don’t make anyone search for how to contact you. Organization is key. You want the reader’s eyes to flow down the page, recognizing your key points. After searching through resume after resume, a person will not read every word, so make sure they notice what is important. Use bold fonts, bullets, and white space to give your resume a clean, organized appearance.
A common misconception about resumes is you will only have one. Contrary to this belief, your resume should be tailored to the position to which you are applying. This can show your true interest in the company, because you can show off the fact you did your research. A great place to do this is in the objective. For instance, when I applied to Kosair Children’s Hospital, I said my objective was “To gain employment in the area’s only Magnet Children’s Hospital, where I can improve my respiratory skills at a facility recognized for its excellence in pulmonary care by U.S. News and World Report.” This would stand out compared to something like, “To gain a position as a Respiratory Therapist.” It is clear which statement stands out more.
In a section in which your achievements are highlighted, include positive feedback, i.e. quotes from former managers, you have received during past employment. To cater to the position even more, your descriptions of previous employment and skills should mesh with the job you are trying to get. If the hiring company would put emphasis on efficiency, you could say how many patients you have taken care of on a single shift or a project you completed in a small amount of time. If you will be working with particular computer programs, make sure the hiring company knows if you have experience. That is less time they will have to spend teaching!
Believe me, I know it seems like a lot to include in a small space, but it can be done, and interviewers will love it. Take advantage of the resources on campus, the Career Development Center, and your Career Peer Advisors when working on your resume. We can help you when getting started all the way through editing your final product.
-Sarah Perry, CPA