I'm not a recruiter or HR specialist, however I have sent my résumé out to numerous companies and I have helped my mentees recieved internships/ jobs based on assisting them with their résumés. I promised that with the #InternshipSZN Series I would help in every way possible, and I would never steer you in the wrong direction.
Résumés can be tricky because what one company may see as perfect, another one may see as not enough. However, no matter what company or publication you send it to there are a few aspects of a résumé that should always stay consistent.
1. Stand Out
I get so many daily emails asking me how I stand out, and what are the best ways to make a résumé stand out. There are many ways to stand out and not be the average candidate in the file. For starters, it's okay to add a little bit of color and not have a solid black résumé, especially if you're going into an industry that is not strictly corporate. Add a header with your name that incorporates color, or make the lines that separates sections colorful — just make it you! In addition to color, incorporate hyperlinks into the text. If you have any published work, instead of just saying it can be found somewhere put the direct link so they have the option to click it if they want instead of copying and pasting a link. You can do this in Microsoft Word by highlighting the word you want to link and click (Command + K). Next, add numbers. If a recruiter is skimming your résumé and they see numbers that stands out, and it shares a different aspect of your experience. For example, for my ESSENCE College Ambassador experience I say, "Curated 2 videos and 2 articles a week for ESSENCE.com." Those numbers stand out besides saying, "Curated weekly video and written content for ESSENCE.com." If you've ever worked with celebrities name them, don't just write, "Assisted with management of talent." Let them know who, build some credibility under your belt. Lastly, use action words to fully describe your experience. Find a list of appropriate action words here.
2. Small Things Matter
The smallest things can turn your résumé away from a recruiter. Before you send your résumé out make sure to proofread it and look for the small things that matter. Grammatical errors can look minor, but they're so important. If you make a grammatical error on your résumé, why should anyone trust you with a job? Another small aspect that could get your résumé ignored is having inconsistent fonts and fonts that are too decorative. Don't have Arial for one job experience and Times New Roman for another one because it's noticeable. Also, don't have a font that is too small because no one straining their eyes to read your résumé. Lastly, don't over exaggerate an experience and when you're asked about it in an interview you're dumbfounded. Be realistic with yourself, that's who they're hiring, YOU!
Having a well organized résumé is key. I was in a recruiting session a few days ago and the recruiter told us sometimes she doesn't even read a résumé, but she looks at it to see if it's readable. Are your sections separated well and not cluttered together? Do you have your education, work experience, and volunteer work scattered all over the place? In order to have an organized résumé make sure you separate your sections and make them readable. Put your education on the top, your work experience, extra experience if necessary, and your skills at the bottom. Keep in mind that some work experience may not be relevant to the position you want, so it is okay to remove that for a specific submission. If you have no work experience you have to sell yourself with the relevant experience you do have. If you have relevant courses, or volunteer work then put in on there. For internships or jobs that require a cover letter you can save extra experience to put on there so recruiters can see that you have even more experience than what is shown on your résumé.
I hope this helps!