Looking through old pictures, I am in shock of how many butterfly clips I put in my hair in grade school. Okay, and middle school. Another 90s trend I wasn’t ready to let go of that my peers had thrown away.
Resume trends come and go just like the choker necklaces and layered polos we once held near and dear. Keeping in mind what trends will last can help you land the job (or internship) of your dreams. So grab your Lisa Frank notebook – here are some resume trends you should and shouldn’t follow.
Tailor your resume to the specific job. Let your potential employer know that you did some research on their company, as well as the position. This is especially important in a cover letter. Your experiences that are most applicable to the job should stand out, or at least be towards the top. For example, when applying to an internship focused on social media, highlighting the Twitter accounts you manage would be more important than working at a pizza place.
Use too many buzzwords. If the phrase “I am a hard worker” is on your resume, take it off. IMMEDIATELY. Save that for the interview when you can explain WHY you’re a hard worker. Sometimes buzzwords can be important – some companies electronically scan for specific words and sprinkle them lightly throughout. You also don’t want a ton of clichés on a resume. Words such as “led” or “built” can be good words that computers will pick up while also showing off your leadership roles.
Show specifics. Statements with action words about what a past experience entailed can be great, but hard numbers of what this experience accomplished can go a lot further. Being able to show how many placements a news release got or a percentage of increased followers will show them you’re an impact player.
Share your social media outlets if they’re not professional. This should be fairly obvious. If your last 10 tweets include any reference to the following: acting ratchet, twerking, the phrase “turn down for what?” or profane language, clean it up (or create a separate account) before adding it to a resume. However, if you tweet responsibly, a Twitter handle is a great addition to your contact information.
Color. It boils down to “Do #1,” tailoring your resume. When applying to a position where creativity is extremely valued, then adding color and a design can be a great trend to follow. Additionally, formatting your resume in a unique way (i.e. an eye-catching info graphic) can show off design skills. On the other end of the spectrum, if you’re sending your resume in hopes of working in politics, keep color to a minimum. Find a balance between being creative while maintaining professionalism.
Go the extra mile. Following up with the company after you send out a resume is a trend that never goes out of style. Little things such as connecting on LinkedIn, an email or even tweeting at someone can make your resume stand out. Better yet, picking up the phone or sending a hand-written Thank You note can leave a lasting impression. And aren’t good impressions what we’re all about?
Building a strong resume can take time, but it’s worth the time when you come away with something you can be proud of. While it can be important to stay on trend, the most essential aspect about creating a resume is incorporating your own style.
Devon Pine is a senior studying Journalism. You can follow her on Twitter at @LuckyNumbrDevon.