Hire Me Up: 5 Steps To Writing The Perfect Resume

Gen is a Bay Area native that works as a Talent Development Manager in San Francisco. If you can't find her, she's probably crafting, cooking, taking pictures, or stretching in her studio apartment. She will always take two scoops of ice cream and renown chefs are her celebrity. See more of Gen's extracurriculars at www.GenLau.com

Your resume is your first foray into a company, and like esteemed rapper Eminem once said, you only have one shot to start forming your first impression on the recruitment team. Recruitment, fortunately, is one of the teams at a company that truly lives by the “don’t judge a book by its cover” rule — recruiters know that what ultimately matters is the content of your resume. Color and font are great ways to organize your resume but they are secondary if your content isn’t thoughtfully written out.

We reached out to Jessica Brauser, founder and head counselor at Private Applications, to guide us, and with our own personal experience, put together some really useful tips.

1. This is your chance to brag about yourself

Don’t sell yourself short! This is the time to show how talented you are and what you’ve accomplished. Get rid of dismissive verbiage like “just” or “kind of” and tell them that you managed a team of four interns from another office and was still able to build rapport over a video screen. Everything you do at work is impressive.


2. Turn your bullet points into a win

Do it by adding more detail and using verb-first terminology: “Took ownership of the organizational process by becoming proficient in Google Docs” sounds a whole lot better than “Responsible for file organization.” Each bullet should feel like you took action and making your statements verb-first makes it seem like you did everything actively, not passively.


3. The job description is your cheat sheet

The job description is filled with buzzwords, terms, and skills the company want in its perfect candidate. Each resume needs to be thoughtful. The highest likelihood of an interview goes to resumes that are catered to each job. Recruiters can tell when you don’t put time into a resume like a moth to a flame.

Pro tip: sit with the job description, highlight all the descriptive words that stick out to you and find a way to use them to describe yourself. Does the job description say that you should be proficient in Excel? Then make sure you talk about Excel in your skills.


4. Do you have a website, blog, or official social media page? Link it.

Recruiters are, by nature, curious. If you send a PDF or Word Document, make sure to link your site with an interactive hyperlink. They’re guaranteed to check it out and click around out of sheer curiosity. Especially at boutique agencies and firms, your sites are an expression of who you are, and this can help gauge your fit in the company’s culture for the recruiters.


5. The pretty stuff

Remember, how pretty your resume looks is nothing if your content doesn’t speak for itself, but once you’ve got that down you can focus on aesthetics.

Do: Don’t:
  • Use color if you’re in a creative/casual industry
  • Submit a multiple-page resume
  • Send samples of your work if appropriate
  • Use font that is too small or too big
  • Use an easy-to-read font (Times New Roman is tried and true)
  • Use lazy words. Like in the movie Dead Poet’s Society, don’t use the word “very.”
  • Bring out your personality

These are great tips to really show you put some thought into your application. No matter how early in your career you are, you can make anything sound like a milestone and help you showcase how ambitious and eager to learn you are. That’s what’s most important.

For more information on Jessica and her website, visit www.PrivateApplications.com.

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