3 Ways to Rescue Your Resume

It’s always job hunting season and the goal is to stand out among your many peers who are just as eager for the same opportunities. Even for those who may not be looking right now, it’s important to keep these tips in mind for when the day does come (and you may also have lots of free time because of the COVID lockdown). From nearly 100 submissions that I’ve received through Resume Rescue, I’m sharing the top 3 pieces of feedback that I’ve given out in 2019.

❗BONUS: You will also see before (based on submissions I’ve received) + after examples (snippets of my own resume)


1. Be Clear & Concise

On average, you have 7 seconds to catch the eye of a recruiter or hiring manager.

AVOID professional summaries that are full sentences (this is NOT English class). Avoid resumes that are over 1 page.
CHOOSE the top 3-5 most impressive bullet points that make you unique and are relevant to the job description. Keep your bullet points to one line* (trim out the fat and juicy words that you think add value but really do not). Start all bullet points with action verbs.

Before: Responsible for planning and leading sponsorship initiatives by creating partnerships with local businesses through networking with executive stakeholders
*After: Raised $80,000 to exceed sponsorship targets by 100% and developed 15+ local business partnerships

2. Emphasize Your Value Add. Quantify Your Impact.

Hiring managers care about what you have done, not what you should do.

AVOID reiterating your roles and responsibilities (aka copying/pasting from your current job description).
BE SPECIFIC about how you added value to your team. Did you increase efficiencies or outperform your target by X%? How many issues did you resolve? How many stakeholders did you impact? Did you take initiative to work on any unique/interesting personal or ad-hoc projects? Make sure that every bullet point is relevant* to the job you’re applying for (use keywords).

Before: Delivered informational presentations to employees from various departments and facilitated training workshops
*After: Trained 100+ managers, senior staff, and students in information management and O365 collaboration (ex: SharePoint)

3. Choose a Clean & Consistent Format

Formatting (font size, font style, dates) is often overlooked, but the devil is in the details.

AVOID using columns in resumes (IMO: they waste precious white space). Avoid using different fonts and formats. Making your resume look “cool” with a complicated design may actually prevent your resume from passing through ATS scanners.
ENSURE that your date formats are the same throughout your entire resume. Stick to 2-3 font sizes (Name: 16-18pt; Headings/Body: 11pt). Choose an accent colour to make your resume pop a bit. Choose sans-serif fonts (ex: lato, arial) for a more modern feel and serif fonts (ex: times new roman, georgia) for a more serious feel.

Before (dates):
– VP of Internal Events (September 2016 – April 2017)
– Toastmasters Participant (Fall 2015)
After (dates):
– President, International Business Students’ Association (Jun 2016 – May 2017)
– First Year Scholars Participant (Sep 2014 – Apr 2015)


What Now?

Although these basics will give you a head start in editing your resume, always get a second opinion from your career advisors, mentors, and peers (to catch things you may have missed). It’s okay to have different versions of your resume because you may be applying for different roles in several industries.

If you need more detailed feedback and revisions to take your resume to the next level, submit your resume to kkarenism.com/resumerescue for a FREE and confidential review!

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