With my internship already more than halfway over (which is unreal), I’ve been starting the process of updating my resume and applying for full-time public relations positions. I know I’m not the only one searching – a recent Yahoo! article states that only 1 in 3 millennials have full-time jobs today. Yikes.
I asked Megan Earley and Jill Smith, who are involved in Bravo’s intern selection process, about what to do (and what not to do) to make yourself stand apart. Here are some of Megan and Jill’s tips for nailing your resume.
On Making Your Resume Stand Out
Both Megan and Jill say that the best way to make your resume stand out is to keep it well organized and visually professional at a glance. This can be done by making sure the formatting is consistent, meaning all of your titles look the same, the text is the same font and size and everything is spaced appropriately. Employers spend about 10 seconds looking at your resume, so make sure they’re focused on your content and not your formatting issues.
On Common Resume Mistakes
Megan and Jill both also said that misspellings and other formatting errors are the most common mistakes they see. Unfortunately, they’re often the first thing an employer notices about your resume. Jill also said that listing unnecessary personal information is a common mistake, including personal hobbies and even the date that you graduated. Including your graduation date provides a context for your age, which makes it difficult for employers to avoid age bias when considering you for the job.
On Resume Content
Your resume should list your name, contact information, education, work and leadership positions, professional memberships, and honors. It should showcase your experience and skills, with only the most recent information at the top. Be careful not to include too much information – highlights of your experience should speak for themselves.
On Resume Design
While Jill and Megan agreed on a lot of the other topics, they had different opinions about resume design. According to Jill, the most effective resumes are simple, with black text on white paper and no other design elements. You should only make your resume artistic if you’re applying for a creative position, like advertising or graphic design.
Megan, on the other hand, said that creative resumes can really stand out… both positively and negatively. If you’re going to make your resume colorful, you have to really nail it – otherwise it could stand out for all the wrong reasons. The design should enhance your content, not distract from it. Megan also suggested printing your resume on professional quality paper, so that it stands apart from the stack and could possibly get a second glance.
Creating your resume doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With relevant content, a simple design and a lot of proofreading, your resume can be a great tool to positively market yourself. Resumes are often an employer’s first impression of you, and you don’t want it to be their last. Paying attention to the quality and meticulous details of your resume can help you put your best foot forward.
Photo Credit (1): http://www.thebravogroup.com/leadership/#section-expertise-slider-title
Photo Credit (2): http://www.ideasbyandrea.blogspot.com
Kayla Krebs, Harrisburg Intern