5 Tips to Creating A Resume That Will Set You Apart

When graduating college two years ago, I distinctly remember the feeling of not having any idea what comes next. It started out as a small, occasional thought and eventually built up to a terrified feeling in the pit of my stomach that just didn't go away until things started to fall into place. While graduating college is a huge and exciting time in our lives, it certainly doesn't have to be a scary one! 

It took me about two months before I got my first job out of college; some people take more, some take less, and that's all totally fine! It all depends on a number of factors and some of those factors, like the state of your desired field, may be out of our control. The important thing, though, is to do exceptionally well in the aspects of a job hunt that you CAN control. The first step? Creating a kickass resume that'll set you apart amongst potentially hundreds of applicants. Today, I'm happy to share five tips to creating a resume that'll set you apart and I'm giving you a chance to receive a fun and helpful guide at the end of the post!

Photo courtesy Sandra Manton Mills

Photo courtesy Sandra Manton Mills

1. Format it wisely. I like to put what I believe to be the most important information about myself at the top of my resume — my skill sets. This method works for me because I've learned multiple different skills at each position I've had, so having all of the best ones listed right at the top ensures that whoever may be reading it is seeing the best aspects of myself right away. Whether you think your skill sets or previous experience should be up there is up to you to decide! Make it easy to read with a clean font and left-justified layout and let your best aspects do all the talkin'.

2. List accomplishments AND responsibilities. While it is important to include your main responsibilities for each position you've held, it's just as important to include how you went above and beyond in those roles. Were you given any awards or accomplished any major achievements while there? Include specifics of how you made the most of the role and really accomplished a lot within the company!

3. Make the most of everything you include. Since the person reviewing your resume probably has tons and tons of others to review, as well, make the most of every single job and responsibility you list. Start off each job description you provide strong with words that'll encourage them to read more about you, rather than just skim through it all and move on to the next one. Keep it concise and Kaptivating😉.

4. Tailor your resume to each position you apply to. Much to your dismay, you'll probably want to consider rewriting certain parts of your resume to pertain to each specific position. Every job description has keywords or skill sets (for example "highly proficient in Microsoft Office" or "detail-oriented"), so take the ones that apply to you most and put them right into the objective or skills section of your resume! It's also a good idea to have your resume match the job you're applying for. As Aliza Licht explains in Leave Your Mark, "If you are applying to be the executive assistant to a CEO in finance, then perhaps your lavender resume paper and swirly, scripted font might be better suited to a bridal shower invitation." If the position you're applying for seems artistic and creative, then let your photoshop skills shine through in your resume! If not, keep it simple and straightforward for the best results.

5. PROOFREAD! Once you're finished creating your resume, proofread it twice — once in your head, and once out loud. Then have your parents proofread it. You can also email it to a friend, neighbor or sibling to look over. Seriously, proofread the thing more times than you can count. I recall the one time I didn't proofread my resume before sending it off (because I was so excited about the opportunity) and immediately finding a spelling error after... I was so mad at myself! We want to show off our best possible self through our resume, so taking the time to proofread and perfect it is a must. 

Now that you have all of the tools to creating a perfect resume, I know you're going to want to nail the interview! I've created a guide with five tips to doing your absolute best in a job interview, which you can get right in your inbox by signing up below! You'll receive the Kaptivating Thoughts newsletter and a guide to to your best in your interview this week!

What are your best tips to creating a great resume? Share in the comments below!