With unemployment in Utah reaching over 150,000 claims in the last seven weeks, you might be among those needing to dust off your resume. That can be an intimidating task, especially if you haven’t done it for a while! We talked with Britt Larsen, a local career coach and entrepreneur, to get some of her best resume tips.
Britt is the creator of Livlyhood, a community for women who work, is a champion of women in the workplace. She hosts the Livlyhood podcast to celebrate working women and to help them find joy in their jobs. Her extensive career in public affairs prepared her to now assist working women figure out how to get what they want and need from their careers. With a history as a Vice President of Client Services, a Director of Communications, and so much more, Britt knows how to put your best foot forward when it comes to your resume.
Why does that first impression matter so much? Britt says most resumes are looked at initially for about 30 seconds. That’s not much time to convince someone that you’re the perfect person to hire! Here are her best resume tips to help that 30 seconds get your foot in the door.
As a hiring manager, Britt looked for resumes that were clean and focused. It’s important to consider the industry that you’re applying for; a graphic design firm will likely expect some visual interest, where a large engineering firm won’t even notice. In fact, Britt says many large companies use application tracking systems that will convert your resume to a text only file. So don’t over stress the look! Choose fonts that are easy to read, give adequate white space, and focus on your skills.
Often we’re tempted to fill resumes with responsibilities we were given but we neglect to include the results of our work. Britt emphasizes that “It’s all about the money!” to companies, and they want to know how you deliver real, quantifiable value to your employer. That looks like:
- Managed $XXX project and delivered XX weeks ahead of schedule
- Signed XX clients in 2019 that have generated $XXX in revenue as of May 2020
- Led an efficiency initiative that saved XXX hours of labor, representing $XXX in cost savings
Focusing on skills and results shows companies that you aren’t just educated, you’re also dedicated to creating value.
Resumes used to commonly include some personal information, such as your address. Britt warns that things like your home address, GPA, and too many details about hobbies or volunteer efforts won’t help you land the job and could jeopardize your personal information as well. Stick with skills and experience, not personal info or politics.
Using a Resume Well
First, Britt says your resume should match your LinkedIn profile. Chances are that if an employer is getting ready to interview you that they’ll go looking for you online, so you want your personas to agree with each other. Make sure your work history and education match, and include as many endorsements and skills on LinkedIn as possible that align with your resume.
How important is it to customize your resume to a job posting? Very, according to Britt. Take a few minutes and grab important phrases from the job post and work them naturally into your resume. Large companies have been known to use electronic resume tools that will disregard resumes that don’t have the targeted terms and phrases, which are almost always in the job posting. Customizing your resume will also help you make sure you’re highlighting your most applicable experience.
When you’re ready to hit “submit” on a job application, make sure that the resume that you are emailing or uploading is a PDF file. This is especially important to preserve formatting and spacing on your resume, particularly if you’re using less common fonts or design elements.
Free Job Interview Prep Class
Want more career advice from Britt? Follow her at Livlyhood or join some of her FREE classes hosted by Shift Summit! On May 20th Britt is giving a class on preparing for job interviews. So put these resume tips to work and then come get ready to nail your next interview!
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