5 simple tips to improve your resume

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The start of summer is approaching and if you’re not attending summer school you will need something to do with your spare time.

Yes, in the beginning of summer people always think of a million things they want to accomplish, but the truth is that by the start of school in September you will look back and wonder ‘where did time go?’

If you’re trying to get a job in Vancouver for the summer, start now. Businesses have already started hiring for the summer, but you’re not too late. Here are five tips that will make your resume, and you, stand out from the stacks on an employers desk.

1. It’s not always about how it looks

It is important that you do not print your resume on coloured paper or have multiple spelling mistakes, but it’s not always about how it looks. It is important to set up, or format your resume that fits you and the job you are applying for. Instead of looking at ‘sample resumes’ online, put some thought into – ‘how will my resume be organized?’.

There are many ways to format your resume, but the two most popular would be chronological and functional. Chronological resumes focus on your work history, whereas functional resumes focus on the skills you have that are applicable to the job you are applying for.

Use a functional resume format if you are entering into a field that you have no experience in, have a gap in your work history, or have had problems with past employers.

Use a chronological resume format if you are applying for a new job, but in the same or similar field that you are currently in.

2. Volunteer, volunteer, volunteer

If you are looking for your first job or are looking to get into a new career field, it’s key to get volunteer experience. Whether it is relevant to your end goal or not, volunteer work will show your prospective employer that you are passionate and eager to learn new things. Volunteer work can also lead to a paid position if you have a good attitude and work hard. Just think of it as an investment for your future.

3. Get rid of unimportant information

At the bottom of your current resume where it says, ‘interests and hobbies’. Scratch that. Not only does it look and sound childish, but it rarely has any significance to the job your are applying for. Instead incorporate your interests into your ‘skills’ section. ie. like to read, I am an avid reader, which means I can read important documents in a fast paced environment. This incorporates your hobbies and interest into your resume while presenting them in a way that makes it a skill.

4. Got awards and certificates? Add them

You may not think your soccer trophies or glowing customer comments matter, but they could help you get the job you want. If you have awards, or certificates for an extra curricular sport, include it in your resume to show that you received these awards while attending school or working part time (or both).

Also if you have received any scholarships or bursaries while attending school, it shows your prospective employer that you worked hard while in school and you did not just ‘get by’.

5. Make your objective descriptive and short

The last thing you want to do is start off your resume with basic objective that could be copy and pasted to many job your are applying for. Eliminate the ‘to work for your company’ and beef it up with specifics. This is your chance to tell the person looking at your resume what you want without being face to face. ie. ‘to work as a cashier at your Davie street Safeway.

This shows that you are truly interested in working for that specific job or company and haven’t handed out a bunch of resumes all having the same objectives.

 

Featured Image: career path via Shutterstock

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Katrina Pedersen Editorial Intern at Vancity Buzz.

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