Hunting for the perfect position? Seeking to change careers entirely? Fresh out of your undergraduate or graduate studies? Consider these developments in the resume-composing realm to revamp your list of accomplishments.
1) Digitization: You know about the importance of LinkedIn, the value of your presentation on social networking sites like Facebook, and that taking advantage of free cover letter and resume critiquing sessions. But have you considered the inclusion of videos, social media campaign examples, or mobile-friendly copies? Certain alum, of course, will know that a digital portfolio is often preferred for certain applications, and previous co-op experiences or passion projects will have helped with that. For others, however, if you are applying to more non-traditional industries, start-up companies, or even simply a general job posting, consider adding electronic elements that award your accomplishments a modern twist. An employer may rely on smartphone technology to view your resume, so ensuring that yours is accessible is also key. A recent article from Inc. notes that some companies are now using Instagram to engage in a process known as “purple squirrel hunting,” in which they pursue the most qualified candidates that may be already working, thus they would require less training. With you cooperative education experience, this could prove advantageous to the average job-seeking RIT graduate.
2) Design: Innovation in resume formatting is certainly more applicable to some program graduates more than others, but it is nonetheless attractive and becoming increasingly popular. Consider adding colorful, but not too overpowering, images such as timelines that track accomplishments, charts that compare project growth, pictures that note where you hail from, photographs of major influencers, and the like. As long as text is still the main component, and there are not too many sections, infographics can add a unique element to a resume that extends beyond traditional templates found simply via popular search engines. Stick to a one-page limit, but lay out your profile in a more creative manner.
3) Highlights: Facebook recently unveiled a new feature that attaches star icons to events such as starting a new position, a marriage, the birth of a child, et cetera, and these occasions are what one sees when scrolling through another user’s profile from years past. Why not do something similar with your resume? At each previous position, mention key projects that you assisted with or developed, and note your specific role(s) at any given point. Additionally, include awards received or other forms of recognition and promotion from whom you report. Achievements are just as important as job titles; what did you add to the organization that could transfer over to a different company?Start over: This may sound intimidating, but imagine deleting everything in your resume and starting from scratch. Which successes can you remember that would highlight your assets? Which are less important or relevant? Starting from the beginning can allow for a completely new layout and order of accomplishments, stemming from a new mindset when switching career paths or simply looking for a different position. Ensure that you have a copy of the original resume to copy certain items from, but do not resort to sticking the exact outline use.
By Hayley Johnson, Graduate Intern, RIT Office of Career Services & Cooperative Education