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A resume that stands out

We’ve all been there. You’re writing up your resume, maybe dropping it off somewhere, and you can’t help but think–Is my resume any different than all the others? And it’s a good question. It’s important to have a strong and effective resume since it can play a key role in helping you score that oh-so-desired job! Remember, a goal without a plan is just a wish.

The task of putting together your perfect resume can seem daunting, especially if it’s your first time doing so, but fear not! We have the perfect tips to help you out and achieve your goals!

Before we get into what you can do to make your resume fantastic, let’s start with what not to do. At GEMinar Four: Getting Your Goals the wonderful RBC panel gave us some great tips on this. The most helpful thing that the talented ladies from RBC said when asked what makes a great resume is that less is more. This doesn’t mean that you should have a minuscule resume, but make sure to keep it no longer than a page! An employer isn’t interested in flipping through pages and pages of info on you when they’ve got other resumes to look at. Another tip they gave us is to avoid things like fancy fonts or pretty paper. This takes them away from the focus–which is you! You want to highlight what makes you the best candidate for the job, not why your resume looks nicer than the rest. You also want it to be easy to read. Keep it fresh, clean, and most importantly, professional.

Although you should keep your resume professional, this doesn’t mean you should be communicating like a robot. One of the things that can make your resume stand out is the presence of human language in your document. It may not seem like a make or break aspect, but don’t overdue your industry keywords. Phrases like “I accomplished” or “I manage” will only be effective if they are used in the natural language of the document, not if they are littered all over it. This ties into your resume’s format, too. Use something modern and don’t be afraid to make it look pleasing to the eye as long it doesn’t focus more on visuals than your resume content. You want to be taken as a serious candidate.

One more tip that will prove the most beneficial to making your resume stand out is to tailor your resume to the job you’re applying to. Chances are, your employer is looking for specifics–they’ve got a vision of the candidate they want to choose. If you have certain skills/aptitudes and experience that is relevant to the job, then be sure to include that. And the same goes for the reverse. If you’ve got irrelevant information on your resume, get rid of it–there’s no room for clutter.

Lastly, let your resume tell your employer a story. Show them how far you’ve come in your career. Now, this doesn’t mean you should be submitting a biography. Organize your information so that it is effectively customized to show your growth. It should take your reader on a journey of your professional experiences and accomplishments as well as skills and knowledge. Doing this will give your employer the opportunity to see how you’ve advanced over time what you’re bringing to them.

These are just a few tips on how to make your resume stand out. Good luck on crafting that perfect resume! Keep this advice in mind and remember the basics too–don’t lie, have your contact info available, etc. Most importantly though, remember to be confident in yourself. You know what you’re capable of, GEMgirl! Get your goals!

How To Get Your Dream Summer Job

GEMinar 6 was all about the prepping for interviews and landing the job. It was hosted by GEM mentor Jenna Claires, who gave a wonderful presentation, which involved many activities like; drawing your interview outfit, and interview role play. This served by giving us a better understanding of the situations, and the activities that will help us remember the tips for longer.

We might as well make use of the two months we have off from school to get a summer job, and work experience. The question is, how do you get a job, when you have little work experience? Getting a job can take months of preparation, and requires a lot of attention to the smallest of details. Everything from the shoes you wear to an interview, and to the last line on your resume says something about you.

Resume and cover letters: One of the first things you’ll need to get a job, is a good resume. A good resume will contain a brief description highlighting your objective and the skills you can use to achieve it. It also shows the employer what you have to offer and should be unique as it is at the top of the page.

First Impressions: Arrive on time, and be prepared. Bring a pen, and a note-pad, a portfolio of your work, and a list of your references. Also give a firm handshake, and maintain an appropriate level of eye-contact.

Formalities: It’s important to send a Thank-you letter or e-mail, to your interviewer. Thank them for their time, and when they do receive your letter or e-mail, they will be reminded of you again.

Interview Outfit: Give yourself plenty of time to get ready for the interview. It may even help if you have your outfit picked out and ironed beforehand. Stick to neutral coloured, and modest clothes. Perfume is not recommended, but deodorant is.

Prepare for the Interview: Have someone ask you mock questions that you have to answer on the spot. This way you’ll have a better understanding of what kind of questions to expect, and how to respond under pressure.

If you’re planning on getting a summer job, it is in your best interest to get started as soon as possible. Use apps like the Workin App, and check job postings on LinkedIn, Jobposting.ca, and Youth Employment Services.

AND BIG THANK-YOU to Marc Anthony for the hair product SWAG! We’ll look and smell good at our interviews!

Tabassum Lakhi is a Creative Writing Intern at GEM and also a GEMgirl.