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As a millennial, trying to get a job is like winning the lottery.
The odds are against you. With the competition of getting a job being at an all-time high, it’s becoming harder and harder for gen X to get a job immediately out of school. During my job search, I’ve seen entry-level jobs requiring 2-5 years experience. How are we supposed to have “experience” after being in school 4+ years?! I’d be lying if I told you I haven’t been googling “resume writing tips” for the past several years.
Thus, it’s absolutely crucial for millennials to find a way to stand out from the crowd. Most, if not all job applications require a submission of a resume, and recruiters only take six seconds to look at each one… SIX SECONDS.
No hate on recruiters, as they have hundreds of applications sent to them daily, and working to find the right candidate is no easy task.
The six beautiful seconds we have, make or break our chances of moving on to the next round, and through the interview process. Therefore, I’ve taken the time to do some research, and list resume writing tips crucial for millennials fresh outta school.
Resume Writing Tips for Millennials:
1. Don’t be too wordy.
Like I said earlier, recruiters average about 6 seconds looking at your resume. They don’t have time to read your essay about every volunteering experience you’ve participated in since birth.
A lot of people believe that a resume should include all your experiences and employment information, but that is not necessarily the case. If you are just graduating college with a Bachelor’s degree, your resume should only be about one page in length. Likewise, if you have 20+ years of experience, it’s understandable that your resume can and will be more than one page.
Descriptions need not be full-blown essays… if recruiters like what they see, the interview stages are where you have the opportunity elaborate more on your previous education/experiences etc.
2. Update and tailor your resume for the job.
Recruiters don’t expect or want to see high school achievements on your resume (unless you’re in high school). Get rid of any information you feel is not necessary or fit for a job you’re applying too.
A resume is essentially self-advertising. You want to make sure it fits the job description and requirements as best it can…so yes that mean’s updating your resume constantly. I know, its super annoying, but so is applying for 239828 jobs.
3. Be bold.
Don’t be afraid to change-up the formatting, or adding a splash of color. You want to stand out!!
Just don’t get too crazy. I’m no expert, but I assume recruiters don’t want a neon pink piece of paper with Wingdings font…
Try making two columns instead of using the entire width of the paper. Have separate sections highlighting your previous experience, education, contact information etc.
Likewise, your boldness level depends on the career you’re going for. If you’re entering a STEM field, keep things simple and straightforward on your resume. On the other hand, if you are trying to enter a field that involves a lot of creativity, don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through your resume.
If you do use color, chose it carefully. You’re better off having a dark font with a light background. Using color psychology is a great way to have an edge over the competition. For example, if you’re applying for jobs in the environmental industry, try adding a splash of green to your resume.
Don’t overkill it though…less is more.
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4. Include a summary statement.
Include a summary statement about yourself towards the top of your resume. It should be the first thing a recruiter sees. Rather than using a standard description for yourself, try including what you want to get out of working at whatever job you applying for. The goal is to grab the recruiter’s attention and sell yourself to the employer in a sentence or two.
Anyone can say they are a diligent, hard-working employee.
Instead, explain what you want to get out of the job experience, and your goals to grow the business. What can they do for you?
5. Make sure it’s error-free.
Having an error-free resume is one of the most important resume writing tips out there.
It’s is pretty self-explanatory, and often overlooked. Check for spelling and grammar mistakes. You’d be surprised how often people make those mistakes, myself included. Don’t get lazy!!
6. Use power words.
In your resume, power words are great to emphasize the impact you made on a previous company or environment as an employee. The Muse and The Balance are just a couple of resources available to assist in finding appropriate descriptive verbs.
7. Find a unique template online.
If you are short on time or creativity, there are many free or inexpensive templates available online. Easy Peasy.
Leaving school and applying for jobs in the real world isn’t a walk in the park – especially in this job market. By following these resume writing tips, you’ll find your way to stand out in the crowd and make your mark in the working world.
Good luck, and happy job hunting!