The coolest resume ever can be a super tricky thing to master. For starters, resumes are pretty subjective to the hiring manager and recruiters at a specific company at any given time. That means that essentials for resumes tend to vary (and change often) depending on who you ask and when.
Having run a company for multiple years now, trust me when I say I’ve seen a lot of resumes — some that are AMAZING and some that I immediately email archive. (Sad but true!)
So, to help you break through your next big career move, I thought I’d share a few of the key things I personally tend to look for when reviewing a Brit + Co applicant. Here are five modern must-haves for any resume:
1. Be Creative: If you want your resume to fly to the top of the stack of potential candidates, make it stand out. The best way to do that? Use your creative skills, no matter what they are. They matter. Create a beautifully designed resume using the Adobe Suite (teach yourself how to use Adobe Illustrator right here!). Or, go that extra mile, and send in a physical copy using your IRL DIY skills — no joke, one of the best resumes I ever received was actually in scrapbook form. The woman mailed it to our office and addressed it personally to me! Incredible. (And yes, she was hired. Obviously.) Just please don’t go overboard on font selections or WordArt. And never, ever use Comic Sans. It’s the devil. The point is, the more effort you put in up front, the more interested my team is in you as a possible hire.
2. Include Metrics: Numbers speak louder than words. Period. Anyone can talk a big game, but I look for results when hiring someone. Words can tell a story, but numbers can prove it’s true. If you want to impress me with your resume, I want to see data that definitively proves what you’re saying (e.g. “Took revenue from $2M to $50M in two years”). That sounds much more impressive than simply stating, “Helped increase sales revenue year over year,” no? It might seem like a small adjustment to make, but including metrics will make your resume pop.
3. One-Page Max: This should go without saying, but it’s an important rule to follow. Resumes are supposed to be a highlight reel of your professional career, not an encyclopedia. I don’t need to see a day-to-day status update of your work over X years. Use bullets to keep your roles, responsibilities, achievements, projects, and extracurricular activities nice and concise. You want to excite a hiring manager, not leave them bored and ready to move on halfway through reading. Push relevant functional skills for the role and achievements to the top of your resume, and then filter it down. With that said, there are without a doubt exceptions to this rule. If you have a lengthy and impressive background that cannot — no way, no how — fit in the confines of a single page, don’t sacrifice your (metrics-driven) accomplishments.
Pro tip: If you’re really stressing about keeping your resume to a single page, try adding URLs or links where an employer can find more info if interested. Then, just focus on the really important stuff on the one-pager. Which brings me to my next point…
4. Share Relevant Links: In the past, you were probably taught to include your address, phone number and email address at the top of your resume. These days, that’s expanded to more Internet-friendly info. The address has been dropped. (Though to be honest, why was that ever included?) In its place are links to your portfolio or personal website. But, that’s not it. You should also be including relevant social media links like your LinkedIn profile and, when relevant, even your Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Github, etc. accounts. Today’s bosses will be Googling you regardless, so you might as well give them the whole enchilada up front. The more transparency you have to begin with, the more comfortable and confident a hiring manager will feel about moving you forward in the process. And it goes without saying that you should probably do a scrub through all of your public online accounts *before* sending your resume out, just to make sure there are no incriminating photos or information that could keep you out of a job.
5. Showcase Your Personality: I literally have seen hundreds, if not thousands, of resumes. How will yours stand out? PLEASE add some personality! Whether it’s through a design element or the way you write your copy, reveal as much of your creative, talented self as you possibly can. First impressions count. Whether it’s a phrase or one bullet point, if something sticks out positively, hiring managers will remember that and expedite you to the interview round. Also, after you’ve applied, be aggressive and showcase your eagerness to work for a company. As I stated above, it takes no effort to find people on the Internet these days. Tweet them, try connecting on LinkedIn, shoot them an email. The more enthusiasm you show for the role, the more excited someone on the other end will be to take the lead in interviewing you.
Like I said, these five resume must-haves are far from the only criteria and guidelines you should use when going out and submitting job applications. But, they’re valuable tips when tweaking your resume during your job search. Now go forth, and get hired. You got this!
Hiring managers, what are your resume must-haves? Searching for a job? What else do you incorporate into your resume? Tweet me @brit.
Psst! We’re hiring for a ton of important and exciting roles at Brit + Co. Put these tips to use and go apply STAT!