Resumes, resumes, and more resumes… How to make your resume pop and get interviews!!

So long story short I had 25 interviews in 3.5 months. My resume did well...  Here is the story in case you want to have a little read: 25 interviews in 3 months... Say What?? But it didn't always do well. In fact for months it did absolutely terrible. With my previous resume I received 3 interviews in 5 months. It was like the Sahara Desert of interviews. I was applying for the same type of jobs I was applying for now.  After realizing my resume wasn't doing well I knew I had to reach out for changes to be made. The first person who helped me did a great job... But for the business industry. Business resumes and student affairs resumes are verrrryyyy different. I allowed the business resume to sit for a while and when I realized I wasn't getting hits on that I reached out to another person and received the knowledge of how to make my resume pop for student affairs. Here are 21 TIPS that helped my resume go from not being seen to having 2-3 interviews A DAY. 

1. Be prepared to overhaul your whole resume. From format, font, font size, length, wording, and anything else. Seriously. Be willing. You can't expect great things to happen staying with your current resume.

2.Understand your font size. Don't use 8 or 9. Stick with 11.5-12 as a minimum and a maximum.

3.Have your contact information on two lines maximum with your name a few sizes bigger- you don't want to waste important resume real estate on your contact information.

4.Your resume length depends on how much job experience you have had. Fresh out of college- 4 years, you can probably get away with 1, maybe 2 pages. The more experience, jobs, and years, the more pages you will accumulate. Don't try to cut it down to a certain length and take out crucial information that word searching software will miss out on. It is better to have quality information for each position than to short statements. Mine was 4 pages long.

5.Human Resource departments use software to look for certain words. If your resume doesn't have certain words in it, no matter how great your resume is YOU WON'T MAKE IT TO THE NEXT ROUND.

6.Pay attention to the important words and phrases within the job description. If it says "needs to know how to make bacon" do not put "has worked with different types of pork." You need to write "knows how to work with bacon, Canadian bacon, maple bacon, and etc". DO NOT BE SUBTLE. This is not the time. Be direct with what you have done in relation to what they are looking for.

7.Your work experience needs to be in the past tense. Example: You created, assisted, directed, advised.

8.There are many websites that give you an extensive list of words to use in your resume. USE IT, LOVE IT. Yes, you need to find another word for directed. You can’t use it every other sentence. Here are two links I used. 185 Powerful Words and Whole bunch of awesome words to use

10.No objectives. Everyone knows why you are applying for the job. They aren't looking at the objective hoping you want this job. They already know. Instead, use an executive summary that fits the job description. They should be able to look at the summary and gain valid information about you without looking at the resume. Example: Highly passionate and self-motivated professional with years of higher education experience in... Excellent knowledge of ... Especially adept at...

11.Make sure when you put a job that you don’t just put basic, generic, gives no true information statements like: planned programming for halls. NO NO NO NO NO!!!! The people who are reading your resume don’t know what that means, and leaving out that information could leave you out of a job. INSTEAD: Planned educational programming for 300 students, worked with a budget of $20,000, developed a marketing plan, worked with diverse populations to create programming conducive to their needs, and so on. Elaborating will be your best friend!! Another example below: Example: Reported to the Head Master; oversaw an operational and scholarship budget of over $800,000 budget; prepared purchase orders, payment invoices, check requests, travel reimbursements, and approved budget expenditures; responsible for all recruit visit paperwork and scheduling; supervised academic progress of student-athletes; provided logistical support for all programs; assessed individual workshops and programs; heavily advised students on academic, social and personal development with referral to appropriate campus partner

12.Put your name is on all pages on the bottom with page numbers. The last thing you want to happen to you is they lose a page of your resume and miss out on you.

13.Do not make it hard for them to have access to your information.

14.If you worked with budgets make sure to put that information along with the amounts. Everyone likes someone who has worked with money.

15.Do not put your hobbies. No one cares you like hopscotch, grilling, basket weaving, and long walks

16.When doing dates make sure they are justified ALL the way to the right side and are month and year written out. Example: May 2013- May 2016 for everything that has dates.

17.Do not put references available on request- they know if they ask you will give them. I do not think they believe you would withhold the references. NO THESE ARE MINE, YOU CAN'T SEE THEM

18.If you are transitioning from one industry to another industry make sure you write the resume FOR THAT INDUSTRY.  Do not be lazy and just think you can use your old resume format for a new career. It won't work. I have tried it and it resulted in 3 interviews in 5 months. Student affairs like a  certain format and it will help you to tailor your format to that one.

19.Don't think you have to have months or years of experience to put an item on there. If you did it then you have experience.

20.Put your professional associations. Not the conferences you attended. The conferences don't matter as it depends on the budgets you have and your employers have.

21.Put your education at the end of your resume. You do not want to waste good space at the beginning of your resume with stuff that doesn't help you, and when you put your education make it very simple.

Masters of Awesomeness             Circus University                      2008
Bachelors of Greatness                 Clown University                     2002

That is all that I got for you!! I hope what I learned and the tips will be able to help you with your resume. Be willing to be open minded and try new things- ESPECIALLY if your source has been successful. If you stay locked to your resume saying it has been successful with 5 hits just imagine what you are missing out on if you changed it up. You could have 15 hits!! 

Be willing to be daring! If you are interested in being consulted please email me at to chat about pricing, I am reasonable and will work with you. 

#resumes #interviews

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