As you can imagine, we get a lot of questions about resumes. For the most part, people just want to know how to make their resume stand out from the crowd.
Or, in the words of Spinal Tap’s Nigel Tufnel, they want to take their resumes to 11.
Before you reach for the volume knob, you first need to make sure your resume covers the basics. You can find several articles about this on Talent Market’s website, including Resume Tips, Your Resume and Cover Letter, Creating a Clear, Logical Story About Your Career, and The Six Second Resume.
Once you’ve mastered those bits of advice, here are three tips that will help crank your resume amp past 10.
- Quantify your work/accomplishments. Whenever possible, use numbers to explain what you’ve done. Doing so will provide employers with much needed context about your work.For instance, instead of this:
-Recruited college students to the internship program
-Set intern scheduleDo this:
-Supervised 100 interns per year over the course of three internship programs (spring, summer, and fall)
-Recruited potential interns by traveling frequently and connecting with 1,000+ students per year at conferences and events
-Organized and scheduled 50 lectures per semester with 30+ different speakers
After all, there is a big difference between supervising three interns and 100 and between organizing five lectures and 50! Providing these numbers illustrates the depth and breadth of your experience.
- Specify results. You’ve heard people talk about outputs versus outcomes. In addition to providing relevant numbers (outputs), make sure to include specific results (outcomes) when possible.For instance:
-Increased the competitiveness of the program over four years, taking the average GPA from 3.2 to 3.8 and improving the average SAT score by nearly 20%
- Highlight instances of going above and beyond. In addition to using numbers and metrics, you should explain the ways you exceeded expectations and/or went beyond your job description.For instance:
-Proactively took ownership of the research, selection, and implementation of a new donor database to increase efficiency and functionality
-Identified previously unknown vulnerabilities in our technology security protocols; led the development/implementation of new, more secure system
-Recognized a lack of engagement with students and recent graduates on our social media platform; proactively created new social media plan, sought and received senior management buy-in, and executed plan that has resulted in a four-fold increase in engagement of that demographic
If you can create a resume that addresses these three items, you’ll be on your way to rock star status.