Straying Away from Cliche Resumes

With graduation just a semester away, I haven’t heard the words “do you have a job lined up yet?” or “have you started to apply for jobs yet?” enough.

As a college student, almost every person I know is currently seeking a job. Now think about all of those people I know from my college, PLUS all of those students in the Cincinnati area at other Universities studying Public Relations and Communications. That’s an overwhelming amount of people applying for jobs in just one city!

We all know when applying for a job, there is a minute little detail we must either create or edit, a resume. If you’re constantly “creating” your resume, you’re doing it correctly. When applying for different jobs, there should not be much of the copy and pasting movement. After all, no job is the exact same, right?

Now, we must figure out how to be seen, how to get noticed.

When preparing to apply for a position, I like to re-create my resume before I write my cover letter, to refresh my memory on what I’ve accomplished and what skills I strongly posses.

Eye Candy. When sharing tips and tricks with others, I’ve noticed that many people use generic resume templates. Take some time and create your own template! Let your inner-designer take control and create a layout that stands out against the generic resume , but doesn’t go over board. Add a simple pop of color, a few lines, or boxes.

Incorporate the web. I don’t have to tell you how prevalent social media has become. It wouldn’t hurt to add your social media handles and URLs. If you have a blog, this is a great opportunity to show an employer what you’ve been personally working on.

Talking to many different professionals, I’ve noticed that there is no one exact way to execute a resume. Some employers have said to keep it simple, whereas others said to be creative and to try something besides plain white paper.

Although it seems employers aren’t all looking for the same thing, there are a points that should always factor in when re-creating your resume.

Consistency.  The font style and size should be the same throughout. Employers should not have to work to read your information, so save them the trouble from squinting and make sure font never dips under 11 point.

Proofread. Resumes and cover letters may be your first impression. Writing is a huge component in our industry and if there are mistakes in your first impression of work, there’s a great chance you won’t get a call back.

Short & Relevant. I’ve always struggled with the 1-page resume rule. Yet again, another question that has been answered a million different ways. My best advice is to include the most relevant experience to the job you’re applying for and if it flows over a page, so what! Try to keep your resume under 2 pages. Employers don’t have time to read a novel.

Good luck on your job search and feel free to leave comments and tips below. I am currently on a job hunt as well and will most likely keep you all up to date. I would love to hear how my readers search for jobs as well.

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