GeekGirlConnections: Creating a Resume

Hi everyone!

Our Manager of GeekGirlConnections, Terra Olsen, has some fantastic tips in store for the geek on a mission to network and take advantage of a new career! Take a gander at her advice.

Writing a resume, be it your first or your twentieth, can be a daunting task. I have compiled my favorite tips for resume building in the hopes of make it more manageable.

1.) Style Properly
* Use an easy to read font.
* Use a proper format. Chronological formats are popular (experience first, then your education and skills), but it also works well to use a customized format (where you address the job to which you are applying at the top).

2.) Know your Audience
* When building a resume, it is extremely important to know your audience. For example, if you’re applying to a graphic design firm, then it’s appropriate to build a creative resume that stands out. On the other hand, if you’re applying to an engineering firm, then it’s appropriate to have a straightforward and clean resume.
* Try to put only relevant experience on the resume. There is no need to list every single job you’ve ever had. If you’re new to the working world, list the jobs you’ve had, but be sure to make them as relevant as possible for the position to which you’re applying.

3.) Use Keywords
* Make sure to include keywords from the job description into your resume. You might have a stellar resume, but a digital database doesn’t know that—it just looks for the matches. More and more companies are using these digital databases to help them sort through all the candidates, so it is crucial to put keywords (go for the nouns) into your resume.
*A word of caution: do not just copy and paste the job description into your experience section. You do not want your resume to read like a job description. Rather, use these keywords to help describe what you’ve accomplished and why you’re the right fit for the job.

4.) Write Effectively
* By this I mean keep your sentences and descriptions short. Employers have a lot of resumes to look at, so they don’t want to read long, poetic sentences (for the most part). Try to avoid bulky phrases and keep your sentences short.
* I’ve also talked to many employers who do not like reading resumes in first person, so play it safe and don’t do it.

5.) Proofread x10
It is essential to proofread your work. Even better, have someone else proofread your work. It is so easy to scan over a mistake. I have seen resumes addressed to the wrong company, with missing words, incomplete words, extra words, small spelling errors, etc. These mistakes make a terrible impression, and can easily be avoided. Just slow down and take your time.

Thanks, Terra! Be sure to look out for more posts from GeekGirlConnections to keep you opportunity-informed and network-savvy!

Reader, what is your dream opportunity?

Terra Olsen is the Manager of GeekGirlConnections.

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“Rock On!”

2 responses to “GeekGirlConnections: Creating a Resume”

  1. Adrienne says:

    I am in the process of reworking my resume now so this very timely post. But I was wondering what the sources were for Terra’s tips. And, I was wondering if same sources had any recommendations on how to best leverage your geeky side–whether a fandom or a hobby. I have landed for jobs because the hiring manager and I geeked out over Star Trek at the end of an interview. It was a great way to make a connection and be remembered. Any suggestions or further reading recommendations on that topic?

    • Terra says:

      Hi Adrienne! Good question! I actually talked to multiple hiring managers about what they look for in a resume (good and bad). These tips were the universal areas they agreed on regarding a resume, but every hiring manager is different. In regards to leveraging your geeky-side, I think it would depend on what type of job your applying to. If you’re applying to a company that is known for their geeky nature, then I think it would be a good idea to have an ‘interests’ line at the bottom or even list volunteer work/clubs that show your geeky nature. On the other hand, if you’re applying to a financial company, I would leave personal information out. Often times, it is during the interview (as you mentioned) where you can really highlight aspects of your geeky nature (look for a future post on interviews). So as a summary, try to use your best judgement and modify your resume for different companies (e.g. ‘geeky’ resume and regular resume). I hope this helps, and let me know if you have any other questions!

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