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An Awesome Resume Gets The Interview!

We are living in the 21st century where we compete with hundreds of other applicants for one job. When you apply for a job online, job search engines will tell you how many other applicants have just applied for that job already. This can be a bit frustrating or maybe intimidating. Do not fear. There are tips to get your resume noticed from those competing for “your” dream job.

Small things can make a difference in whether your application gets noticed by the hiring manager or if it will get discarded by the application tracking system. Here are a few tips to help you get noticed.

Resume Tips 101:

Match up your skills by what the job description requires. Don't just send a carbon resume to 10 different companies. Make sure your look at the job requirements and that they are highlighted on your resume.

One-page resume: Perfect for college grads, those just entering the work force, or those with entry-level experience

Two-page resume: Sometimes a resume that is two or more pages in length is necessary for professionals with more experience. I would recommend filling up the page, if you’re going to use a two-page resume. It should be two full pages, not a page and a half.

Use action verbs for each bullet point on your resume.

Use the correct tense. If you are still working at a company, use present tense, and if it is a company you are no longer working for, remember to list your duties in past tense.

Use numbers to quantify, whenever possible. Quantifying on a resume will give you an advantage on your resume over the competition. Before and after examples:

  • Coordinated yearly events

  • Coordinated 25 annual events including venue reservations and set up, catering, and AV equipment for the purpose of bringing professionals to the academic setting to provide career advice to college students

  • Supervised employees

  • Hired, trained, and supervised 15 employees proving them with customer service skills and front office training to assist customers on various software

  • Employee of the month award for increasing revenue

  • Received employee of the month award on 5 occasions in 2015 for hitting sales goals, increasing revenue, and selling $150,000 worth of products

Notice the difference you are sending to employers and leave the guess work out of it for the hiring manager.

Be specific in what you did, who you did it for, and how you did it. This is particularly important in certain jobs, such as sales jobs. Hiring managers want to know what you sold and how much you sold to distinguish you as a competitor.

List your education. If you are in college, list your college not your high school. If you are currently in college, and you are applying to a job in your field, list the courses you have taken. Don't forget to add your expected day of graduation. If you have a good GPA, list that too. This is another important factor that can set you apart.

A side note, taking an internship is another way to distinguish yourself from the competition. I can’t tell you how many college grads tell me they wish they would have taken an internship while they were in college.

Should you add a summary? First of all, don’t use the “objective” heading. That is old school. Using a summary is a good way to summarize your experience in a particular industry, especially if you have been working in that industry for a while. It’s like your elevator speech in a paragraph and should be listed at the top of your resume.

One of the first things I learned as a career coach, is to list the most important things first. What is it that you want the hiring manager to notice first on your resume that will help get you the interview? Remember, they are skimming through hundreds of resumes. Make sure they see the skills that say, "I'm qualified."

Don't include “references upon request,” but do have them ready for when they want to move forward with the interview process. Getting a call for a second interview or asking for your references is a good indication that you’ve made a good first impression. Make sure you have a list of a minimum of three professional references that can attest to your soft and hard skills. People to include would be a direct report, your boss or manager, or a supervisor you reported to.

List awards and accomplishments to help set you apart. Don't be afraid to let your personality shine through!

Name your resume using your first and last name: first-last-resume, and send it as a pdf file.

Personally, I always list my community involvement on my resume. If it's a company that is also involved in the community, this can be something they are looking for - others with the same passion for community involvement.

Finally, don’t forget to format your resume properly, but most importantly, check for any spelling errors. Ask several people to look over your resume for feedback. You don't want to submit a resume with typos! It would be sad to have an awesome looking resume with a typo and no interview.

Whether you choose to use a one or two page resume is not as important as the education, skills, and experience you highlight for that winning resume. Although, the job search can be difficult and it can take a while, hang in there. Your dream job is waiting for you!

If you need an extra set of eyes for your resume, reach out to me at

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”​ Jeremiah 29:11

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