Resume 101

The first impression anyone gets of you is how you carry yourself, from how you dress to your resume. All these things build your personal brand. Throughout my blog, we’ll focus on building a personal brand you can be proud of.

Today, we’re focusing on the first thing recruiters and hiring managers see: your resume.

The Importance of a Well-Crafted Resume
A resume isn’t just a piece of paper. It reflects you, your skills, your experience, and your aspirations. Just as you wouldn’t show up to an interview in pajamas, you shouldn’t present a resume that is disorganized, irrelevant, or out of date. Your resume is part of your personal brand, and your resume will continue to progress in formatting and style depending on the different stages of your career you’re in.

Employer P.O.V.
Recruiters and hiring managers have tons of resumes to look at for every open position. The critical component to remember is that recruiters usually meet the hiring manager about the criteria they seek. Recruiters will take about 10 seconds to determine if you’re making it to the hiring manager based on your resume … sometimes less. That’s all the time you have to make a lasting impression.

Let’s get into the key components of a resume!

Quantify Your Achievements

Hiring managers look to gain a general overview of what type of work you’ve done: industry, number of employees, and the kind of impact you’ve had on your teams/company. The best way to showcase this is to introduce numbers into your resume. Here are some examples below:

  • For a Program Coordinator who is focused on establishing programs and events for their team:
    • Launched 50+ events and workshops of affinity/dialogue series, cultural celebrations, and Heritage Months 
  • For a Research Assistant:
    • Produced concise and clear summaries for 15+ research briefs, improving readability and understanding of complex topics such as political data, elections, and voting discrimination policies
  • For an IT Intern/Help Desk/ Software Engineer:
    • Processed 20+ access tickets per week error-free, ensuring seamless and secure system access

Another way to quantify your achievements is by showcasing your online presence!

Online Presence

Your resume is the perfect gateway for employers to see your portfolio. You can utilize your header (where your email is) to add your LinkedIn, Grithub (if you’re in IT/Software), or a website if you’re a graphic designer or writer to display your talent and art to life!

Let’s dig a little deeper into the LinkedIn portfolio. Optimize your LinkedIn profile by:

  • Updating your header! Recruiters are constantly sourcing for their hires. Use your header as a placement for the job you’re searching for. 
  • Edit the descriptions for each position you have held
  • Add your volunteer experience. You are more than just an employee or worker, you’re a human being. If you’re giving back and have certain foundations or projects that speak to you, do not be afraid to show it! 
  • Follow companies and industry groups you’re genuinely interested in – it shows you’re continuously looking to grow in your field and stay updated with current trends.

Keep an eye out in the future for a LinkedIn Checklist!

Pro Tip: Keep your Instagram & Facebook private if there are things on there that you wouldn’t want an employer to see!

Job Specific Keywords

Like I said before, recruiters only take about ten seconds to decide if they will move your resume along. One of the ways they dictate this is by seeing if your resume has the keywords associated with the job necessary for you to get the job done and be an asset to the team.

There are tools like, you can use for this. Or you can look at the five top jobs you’d like to apply for. Are they all the same role? If so, look at what they’re looking for. Look at qualifications. If you’re unsure of the role’s necessities, explore industry-specific websites, forums, or LinkedIn groups related to your field. Pay attention to the terms and phrases commonly used by professionals.

Or drop a comment below, and we can talk about it!

Action Verbs

Action Verbs are the keywords you need to explain your key skills. Depending on the role/level/industry, you’ll want to use different ones. Luckily for you, I have given you all access to an easily downloadable freebie of action verbs! This freebie is sorted out by role and goal of the position.

Please remember that your action verbs must be in the current tense in your bullet points!

Remember, your resume is more than just a list of jobs you’ve had; it’s a marketing document designed to sell the most important product: you. Building a strong personal brand starts with a professional, polished resume. Use it to showcase not just what you’ve done, but who you are.

Stay tuned for more posts where we delve deeper into personal branding, from effective networking to optimizing your online presence.