Remember the post on how to determine what your brand is? Well if you do, great! If you haven’t read it click here! In regards to part 1, once you get past determining what your brand is you have to execute it. Social media was the first step of execution and now you are on to the resume. My first resume was plain, simple and now that I look back, just really bad. If you do not know how to use InDesign, that’s OK. Trust me. If you are a freshman or a sophomore and are still using Word or Powerpoint, do not fret because you may have not had the experience to work with design programs. My resume is in InDesign and I would make one in Word but once you make the switch, you’re not likely to go back. True fact.
I thought about making this a resume “how to” but to be honest, there is no correct way to do a resume. There are things not to do but it’s very either you did it as correctly as you can. I’ve learned the hard way with terrible resumes but I’m here to let you in on some tips.
Tip 1: Unless you have design skills, please refrain from any uses of color. I use black, gray and purple in my resume. I also made it on InDesign and know how to use Illustrator and Photoshop as well, so it fits my skill set. Some employers hate color but if you are applying to more creative agencies or firms, feel free to use your design skills. It’ll make your resume stand out from the rest. If you want to use InDesign but have no idea how to, ask a friend or take a class. I’m currently taking a graphics class now and it is extremely helpful because I had no clue what these programs really had to offer. One last thing: if you do choose to have color, make sure you have a regular old black and white resume on hand for more conservative companies.
Tip 2: Use numbers. I recently started to do this with my newest resume and it already sounds better. “Used promotion strategies to account for a 35% increase in sales for the month of January.” This sentence is under my job as being a Marketing Representative for Insomnia Cookies. A simple promotions job, which could simply be described as “hand out flyers and free cookies,” turned into quantifiable results. When you use numbers it looks much better than I did this and that. You understood the job/task at hand and did well. You were able to pat yourself on the back for your hard work and great results.
Tip 3: Tailoring. If you’re applying to jobs/internships ranging in different fields and expectations, don’t send them all the same resume. Tailor your resume to the specific application and job requirements. If you’re a sophomore or freshman this is a little harder to do because you don’t have as much experience to tailor but for juniors, seniors and everyone else, read the job description. For instance, I’m applying for internships in fashion PR this summer and I’ll be going through each section and each job to tailor it to what they are looking for. I have a virtual internship right now working with clients who are in the fashion and beauty sectors but it’s only one out of 3-4.
Tip 4: Be different. Figuring out the layout for your resume is difficult but just remember to not to the basic cookie-cutter resume. I hate plain resumes. If you use a Microsoft Word template just walk away from the computer right now and go apply to your local fast food restaurant. Harsh, but it won’t get you a job. I am not saying to make your resume like Elle Woods, where it was pink and smelled nice. That will not get you a job either. But make it your own. What’s YOUR brand? Who is _______? Having a resume that is different from the pack will make you stand out and if it matches the rest of your brand, it looks really nice.
There are so many more tips and tricks I could divulge to you all but this post is getting a little long. My advice is to also make mistakes when it comes to your resume. No resume is perfect but if you make mistakes, you learn. Trust me, my old resume’s are in the trash and that’s where they belong. There are also plenty “how to” resume blogs on the web. Are they all right? No. However, no one is right when it comes to resumes. You can be wrong but if an employer doesn’t like your resume, it happens. Someone out there will and you’ll hopefully be a great candidate and have landed your dream job. Just remember to save all of your sparkle and shine for the interview because glitter and a resume don’t mix.
Best of luck with your brands readers, mine has taken me three years and it’s still not exactly what I want but I’m trying. That’s all we can ever do in this world: try our best and hope for the best.
P.S. I’ll be doing a Part 3 and 4 in the future. Stay tuned!