PERFECTING YOUR BUSINESS RESUME
A well-constructed resume is a foundational part of being a successful woman in business. The perfect resume is precisely tailored to the busy recruiter: at first glance, it must show who you are and what your instant value to the firm is. Sounds difficult? Not to worry - our interns were terrified too! That is why the SWIB BizEd team prepared a startling workshop aimed at teaching the art of resume-crafting. We were so happy to see our fear-free interns, that we decided to share the tips and tricks of the workshop with you!
IMAGINE YOU’RE A RECRUITER
Recruiters have hundreds of resumes to read in a short amount of time. They should be able to identify your value just from a quick skim. Make sure you bump your most significant achievements to the top of your resume and carefully select the experiences you include.
If resume-building were a game, these would be the ground rules:
Restrict your resume to no more than a page
Pick one easy-to-read font and use it throughout
Use narrow margins: 0.5’’ on each side
Convert your file to PDF before sending it
Your resume consists of a Header and a Body. The header should make up approximately 10-15% of your paper. It should include your name, contact information, education history, and honors and awards. Your name should be in all-caps and your contact information should fit in one line.
Your body should make up the rest of the page and should contain relevant experiences. Often times, the body is divided in Work and Leadership Experience, but that may vary from person-to-person. Your recent experience should be placed at the top. To enhance the visual aspect, you can bold the names of organizations and italicize dates and roles.
Miscellaneous sections can be creative! You can highlight your computer skills, languages, projects, publications, hobbies, or interests. Just remember to keep it professional and unique. These should be fun facts that the interviewer can ask you about and will round you out as a person.
As mentioned, it is extremely important to select the information you include in your resume. But how? First, tailor your resume to the receiving organization. Read the job description and ensure each line showcases how amazing you would be for that particular job. Then, keeping the following questions in mind, describe your experiences further:
How did I perform beyond the job description?
Did I work alone, with a team, or both?
Which piece of work am I most proud of?
How did my work impact the big-picture of that organization?
If I were the CEO, why would I care about what I did?
Do I have a legacy at the organization?
We recommend a maximum of three bullet points per experience - a.k.a, the golden three!
REVISING THE LANGUAGE
Once you have a rough draft of your resume, it's time for a language check. Don't you just love checklists?
Use action verbs to express your achievements in a concise and persuasive manner
Be precise and quantify your accomplishments
Don't duplicate important words or facts - it takes up valuable space
Eliminate general-sounding fluff
Remember: each word must earn its place!
FINAL CHECK: AESTHETIC AND GRAMMAR
Keeping with the checklist theme, here is the final one for a perfect resume:
Zoom out: is it pleasant to look at?
Check for accidental indents and consistent spacing between lines
Adjust the length of oddly short or long bullet points
Proofread with family or friends: they might spot something you missed!
Remember to package for impact!
Big firms: pack the top left quadrant of your resume and keep it simple.
- Startups: showcase scrappiness and independence