Lean In and Stand Out: The Do’s and Don’ts of Resume Writing

Jobs & Careers

Lean In and Stand Out: The Do’s and Don’ts of Resume Writing

By Shelby Adkisson     Apr 3, 2018

Lean In and Stand Out: The Do’s and Don’ts of Resume Writing

This article is part of the guide: EdSurge’s Guide to Landing a Job (or Finding the Perfect Candidate) .

We live in the era of the Internet and video but most of us will still need one time-honored asset when we start to look for a new job: the resume. Your resume is a snapshot of what you have done professionally. And potential hirers will look at it as a clue for what kind of work you can do for them. So let's dig in. Here are four tips for an eye-catching resume that will have hiring managers putting your name on the top of their "to call" list.

DO: Personalize Every Resume You Send

You’ve spent countless hours scanning dozens–if not hundreds–of job posts and have finally found the position that you’ve been dreaming of. You press "Apply now" and send your three-month old resume with a cover letter to jobs@companyname.com.

Sorry but that is a mistake. I repeat. That. Is. A. Mistake. A hiring manager doesn’t want a generic resume. Sending a generic resume is an immediate red flag that suggests you’re not interested in the role enough to put forth extra effort or that you don’t understand enough about the role or the company to personalize it. Or both.

You don't need to rewrite your resume from top to bottom each time you apply for a role. But you should consider a handful of the key requirements that each job description lists and incorporate into your resume how you can deliver these skills.

For example, say the company that you’re interested in describes the ideal candidate as someone who has a “go-getter attitude and takes initiative without constant guidance.” You could then adjust a bullet point of your current job to emphasize the work that you've done that demonstrates taking initiative.

Insider tip #1: If you're emailing your resume as an attachment, make sure that you’ve named your document appropriately. First, last, company and date is your best bet. (Our fav is: firstname_lastname_company_year) It proves that you didn’t just blast email a generic resume when sending it along to a hiring manager.

Insider tip #2: Do have a generic resume for jobs fairs or to add to your jobseeker profile. Just make sure you’re clear about what kind of role you’re seeking!

DO: Quantify Your Work

Especially if you’re an educator eager to break into edtech, show what you know. Did you rapidly improve test scores during your time as an 8th grade math teacher? Give them the numbers. You’ll be able to speak to your results and also show that you can pull insights from your data. Reading “Increased test scores by 14% year over year” is far more impressive than “Managed a class of 28 students.”

DON'T: Drone On, But Do PROD

Here, then, is your resume-writing acronym: PROD. Your resume should be personalized for the hiring manager, easy to read, organized, and have quality details about what makes you an ideal candidate. A hiring manager would much rather have those core elements in a simple, cleanly presented fashion than a beautifully designed resume that lacks information.

Insider tip #3: Use a spell checker. There is no faster way to have your resume moved to the “Trash” folder than to misspell words or have poor grammar.

DON’T: Your Online Profile and Resume Do Not Need To Be Twins

Your resume and LinkedIn profile do not need to be twins. In fact, think of these as two ways of telling a story—an opportunity to give hiring managers a broader portrait of your skills and experience. They are both tools for you to market yourself as a great fit. What’s your dream role? Are you looking to expand as a Curriculum Designer? Make sure that your LinkedIn profile spotlights relevant accomplishments such as your experience in building strong lesson plans or doing long-term academic planning.

Have more tips? We want to hear them! Drop us a note at jobs@edsurge.com

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