Last week we shared a post about finding a research position that is right for you. In that article, we stressed the importance of having a great resume in order to attract potential employers and to make sure you create a strong first impression. However, this can be much easier said than done. Writing a resume can be very difficult and take a lot of time, but also has the potential to lead to a huge payoff. This week we wanted to share some unique resume tips that can set you apart from other candidates.
Track your accomplishments
Writing your resume will be much easier if you already have the content prepared. Keep a journal where you can record all of your jobs, responsibilities, and accomplishments as they happen. Trust us, even if you think you will remember something down the line, when compiling a resume you can quickly become overwhelmed and will be happy to have this resource.
Consider whether or not to include your address
If you are applying for a job near where you currently live, you will absolutely want to include your address. However, if you are applying for an out of state job, this may lead employers to hesitate when deciding whether or not to schedule an interview. They may worry about your commitment to the job and whether or not you will actually relocate. In this case, it may be better to provide only an email address and a phone number.
In most cases dropping names is annoying, for example, nobody really cares that you were once at the same bar as Britney Spears. However, on your resume a name drop or two can catch the employer’s eye. If you have worked closely with popular companies through your previous roles adding these to your resumes can help you to stand out.
Avoid using a template
If you do a quick internet search for “resume templates” several hundred results will pop-up. These templates do look great, but hundreds of thousands of people have done the exact same thing and found the very same templates. As a result, the employer may end up with a stack of identical resumes. Formatting your own resume will help you to stand out. Depending on your industry more creative resumes may be acceptable, but whatever you choose your primary goal should be to present the information in a way that is clear and easy to read.
Keep the skills section focused
You may feel tempted to throw every skill you can think of onto your resume, but this can cause the reader’s eyes to glaze over. Instead focus on including a few skills that are targeted to the position. In addition, make sure that you are actually proficient in the skill. Taking one Spanish class in high school does not mean conversational Spanish is one of your skills.
Be thoughtful about your hobbies
Similarly, the hobbies section requires some extra thought. If you have hobbies that tie to skills you will use on the job, those are the ones you want to highlight on your resume. For example, liking to play chess shows that you are an analytical thinker. While doing this, make sure you stay truthful about your hobbies because you don’t want to be caught in a lie during an interview.
Use words to stand out
The verbs you use in the descriptions on your resume are another way to differentiate yourself from others. Be creative with the words you choose and avoid repeating verbs multiple times. This will make your resume more interesting and enjoyable to read.
Utilize feedback from previous employers
Performance reviews from your previous jobs provide great information about what your strengths are and how you have been able to demonstrate them to other people. Including specific information about projects you succeeded on or goals you have met will help your resume to feel substantial and less “fluffy.”
Be careful with keywords
It is pretty common knowledge that many companies now use computer programs to filter resumes based on keywords. As a result, when writing you want to use keywords from the job description in your resume. However, avoid stuffing the maximum number of words you can because they programs can also recognize this tactic and will eliminate those resumes as well because they seem inauthentic.
Make sure your email address is in check
Hopefully you have heard this one before, but if not be sure to use an email address on your resume that is work appropriate. A simple variation of your name is the best choice for this. In addition, use an email address that is generic like @gmail.com, rather than listing your current work email address.
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We hope these tips help you to craft a great resume and land the research position of your dreams! Do you have a favorite resume tip? Let us know on Twitter, @Conserisapp. Happy writing!
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