- Use Resume Keywords. …
- Make Your Resume Header Stand Out. …
- Use Action Words. …
- Get Your Formatting Right. …
- Start With a Strong Objective or Summary. …
- Know When Enough is Enough. …
- Tailor Your Resume to the Job Offer. …
- Add Additional Sections to Your Resume.
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If you watched the most recent episode of The Office, Pam was applying for a new job and her resume was a blank page with a few lines on it—text that was so brief that it “could fit on a Post-it note.” Pam had spent the majority of her career at Dunder Mifflin. ”.
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Sure, it was funny (and yes, she still got the job!)—but for some of us, it hit a little too close to home. You often hear the advice, “keep your resume to one page,” but what if you type out your education and work experience, and you still see a half page of white space left?
Don’t worry. Here are a few clever ways to fill up that page, whether you’ve just graduated from college or, like Pam, have worked for the same company for years.
Do: Consider All of Your Professional Experience
It’s time to reconsider those jobs you thought sounded “young,” like babysitting or the pizza shop you worked at during college because some of them can be surprisingly useful.
Start the process of lengthening your resume by typing out all of your prior employment and adding a few bullet points to each. Even though you might not include each on every resume you submit, it’s still useful to know what you have to work with.
Then, think about the position you’re applying for, and consider including any job that gave you relevant or transferable skills. My first resume, for example, included my time at Abercrombie and Fitch—it was sales experience, and I knew that skill would directly translate to my dream job in fundraising. Were you a shift leader at Starbucks? That’s management experience. And even a babysitting or tutoring job demonstrates that you’ve been hired and deemed responsible.
Do: Expand Upon Accomplishments
Once you’ve finalized your list of jobs, remember that you have a luxury more experienced job seekers don’t—space to get into more detail. Imagine that you and another candidate both held the same first job in social media. The other candidate, who’s also listing many other positions, may only have space for one bullet point—e.g., “maintained integrated online social media program”—but you can use your extra space to really flesh that experience out. List out how many thousands of fans you grew the organization’s Facebook page by, your experience editing videos for YouTube, and the monetized campaign you led on Twitter.
Or perhaps you were an executive assistant in charge of organizing some events. Instead of simply writing, “Assisted with 10 events per year,” break it up into bullet points and describe your skills in invitation design, venue sourcing, and setup management. Even though you’ve only held one position, that doesn’t mean you don’t have a variety of experiences. When you’re just getting started, being able to list them all out will help you stand out to the hiring manager.
Do: List Volunteer Experience
If you have volunteer work but little work experience, this can (and should!) be its own section. It’s a great way to include extra duties and skills, and letting hiring managers know that you participated in charity races or built houses for Habitat for Humanity gives them a better understanding of who you are. List each of your volunteer positions in this section in the same format as your paid employment, including your title (even if it’s simply “Volunteer”), the organization, dates of service, and accomplishments.
Even if it’s stuffing envelopes or hanging flyers, that experience is one more line on the page than you had before, not to mention valuable (and hopefully rewarding) experience. If you don’t have any volunteer experience, sign up for something right away.
Do: Section Out Your Skills
Consider that your “Skills” section indicates that you are proficient in a foreign language, computer software, and leadership, in addition to a few other competencies. That’s great, but it reads like a laundry list and probably won’t be read in its entirety.
So try this: Create a section for one skill that is specifically related to the requirements of the position. Under your “Skills” section, add a new section titled “Language Skills” or “Software Skills,” and describe your experience there, if the job description specifically requests someone with software expertise or fluency. This not only extends the page by a few lines, but it also emphasizes what makes you a particularly strong candidate.
Don’t: Stray from Standard Margins and Font
So what if, even after all of the tips above, you still have a half page left over? While having some white space is OK, dont go to extremes changing the margins and font size to make your resume “look bigger.” This is obvious and comes off as unprofessional—like you didn’t think you had enough to fill a page or you’re trying to “fool” the hiring manager. If you’re really at a loss for what to include, consider including your website or social media profiles or listing your references at the bottom of your resume.
Above all, though, don’t let these early resumes intimidate you. Everyone (including the hiring manager) has been in your position before, and hey, the only way you’re going to increase your experience is by taking on one position at a time. Freelance writer and editor Sara McCord primarily focuses on the career beat. She worked as an editor at The Muse for almost three years, and she frequently provided Mashable with career guidance. Her suggestions have appeared online in publications like Forbes, Newsweek, Fast Company, and TIME, Inc. , Business Insider, CNBC and more). Sara has previous work history in program management, executive director advisory, building strategic partnerships, hiring, interviewing, and referring job candidates, as well as assisting a large network of volunteers nationwide. Learn more and send her a note through.
Write an Incredible Resume: 5 Golden Rules!
How do you beef up skills on a resume?
Choose the best template for your skills, experience, and goals from these 10 effective resume updates. Add qualifications or specialties next to or beneath your name Include a robust and compelling objective. Display your online presence. Use relevant keywords. Use action verbs. Quantify your accomplishments in previous roles.
What is the 30 second rule for resume?
Recruiters might screen hundreds of resumes each week. Some resumes are not given a second glance, while others might be quickly rejected. When crafting your resume, keep in mind that it typically takes recruiters 30 seconds to decide whether they want to read more about you or not.
What does beef up your resume mean?
You can strengthen your resume by including skills relevant to the position you’re applying for. Additionally, you must ensure that your resume is current and pertinent. This implies that you must update it whenever your employment history changes or if you receive a promotion at work.