Resume Q&A- answers to my most frequently asked questions

March 24, 2022
Female black recruiter interviews black male job seeker

I see so many templates and resume designs, what’s the best way to design my resume?

There are a lot of beautiful designs available with a simple Google search that you can use to create your resume. The biggest problem with most of these templates is that the graphics and tables in the formatting often cannot be read by the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) used by the employer. What this means is that while your resume may look beautiful, if the computer can’t scan it and decipher basic info like your name and contact info, the resume may never be viewed by a human.

A simple text resume that clearly conveys your education and expertise is the best bet to make sure your resume is considered for positions you apply to! If you have a warm introduction directly to a hiring manager or a recruiter, you can email them a design-heavy resume, but even then be sure to have a simple text version you can send over to them if they request it. The only folks expected to have a heavily stylized resume are visual/graphic design candidates.

What’s with keywords? I’ve heard about adding keywords to my resume so bots will select me for a job.

It’s important that you include relevant keywords to your resume, but there’s no reason to go overboard adding every term you think could land you an interview. Simply make sure you clearly list your skills and abilities along with the responsibilities in your previous jobs. List by name any software you’ve worked with. More important than having the keyword listed is clearly detailing what you’ve done. If you’re listing your experience with MS Excel, make sure you say if you used it to track customer data, for example.

So I hear video resumes are the new trend?

I’ve seen some great “video resumes” showcasing interesting candidates, but to be honest, I’ve seen these in my personal time when scrolling around the internet and browsing leisurely because that’s when I have enough spare time to explore them. Recruiters and Hiring Managers are busy and have competing priorities. They don’t have time to spend 3-5 minutes watching a video of every candidate that’s a potential match for their position. A clear and concise resume that highlights your experience is still the most important tool in your job search to get you in front of the decision makers.

I’m just coming out of school and don’t have a lot of professional experience; how do I make a resume that will get me into my first real job?

If you don’t have a lot of professional experience, you can list your relevant academic projects in detail so an employer can see what types of relevant accomplishments you’ve made in a University setting. Internship experience is also great, particularly if you can complete a project and get work samples that you can share along with your resume when applying for jobs!

If you’d like one-on-one help with your resume, shoot me a message!

~April Starlight