By Ryan Velez
Whether you are looking to find greener career pastures, change your field, or put an end to a long unemployed stint, your resume is often the first step towards finding new employment. This makes it all the more unnerving that the vast majority of résumés out there are not effective in the least. It’s hard enough to find work without your résumé impeding your efforts, which is why a recent article from Black Enterprise is valuable for any job seekers out there.
It’s not easy to put your entire career into two or three pages, which is the reason why a good career objective is so important. Educator and motivator Nicole Thomas explains that “This is normally the place where decision makers will decide whether or not they will even proceed with reading the remainder of your résumé so it has to be captivating.” As a result, something generic like having a productive career in your field of choice is not enough. Explain not only your goals in specific detail but how you plan to accomplish them and what you will bring to an organization by doing so. This specificity applies to your qualifications as well. Many people tend to use terms like “hard-working, dependable, team player.” These ring a bit hollow, though. Just a little bit of rewording can make you sound that much more professional, like “team and relationship building” versus “team player.”
When it comes to your job descriptions, don’t fall into the trap of parroting the role in a 20-30 word description. Potential employers can figure out what the job was on its own—what they want to do is see what you brought to the role. Make sure your past experience section explains clearly what your responsibilities were, with tangible examples of how you improved your employer when possible.
You may not be a graphic designer, but it’s important to keep in mind that aesthetics are important when it comes to your résumé. The best thing to do is make sure that your fonts are consistent and basic, avoiding elegant fonts that are difficult to read. In addition, make sure that your margins are consistent as well. It may be tempting to try and make your font your favorite color, but in general, black ink is the way to go. You want to be appealing, but also professional.