As you go through your life (the younger years), you always hear people say: “I’m just doing this to fill out my resume.” But is your resume anything to write home about? Maybe it’s time to take a closer look at your resume or create a new one! This is no easy task, though. It’s going to take preparation and diligence to get your resume to the caliber you want. Future employers will likely assess your resume based on your CQR:
So, whether you want a traditional paper resume or an outstanding t-shirt resume like the picture above, here’s what you can do to improve these 3 criteria and make your talents pop!
#1: Certifications: Degree, Official Training, etc…
Certifications are very important. Most employers want more than just your word that you can actually do what you claim! Depending on the job, you’ll be required to have a certain level of certification or a certain level of education (or both). A simple certification is a great way to cut costs in the first place, but if you are on a tight budget you can find a college that offers an online education program that will certify you in a trade area. Sometimes a certification is all you need for the career you would like to pursue, so check the facts before proceeding. If you are required to get a full-blown degree, then there is a number of great ways you can avoid inflated costs. For instance, most colleges now offer online degrees for students with busy schedules and/or full-time jobs. Just remember that it’s crucial to have some sort of certification under your belt!
#2: Qualifications: Life Experiences, Leadership Roles, etc…
This criterion is scrutinized by almost every employer, but its importance is weighed by the interviewer. Do you recall all of those activities that fit into the “I’m doing this because it will look good on a resume” category? Give them a home in the qualifications area of your resume; anything from church activities to sports teams will be a good fit. In addition to your life experiences, previous job experience should also fill the qualifications section. Play up your relevant job experience and accomplishments to gain a competitive edge. Relevant job experience shows prospective employers that you’re both qualified for and passionate about the position for which you’ve applied.
#3: Recommendations: Professors, Employers, etc…
Caution: though it’s often blown off by applicants, this section of your resume should be carefully put together. You can include professors, church authority figures, family friends, or anyone else you feel would positively impact your application, but be extremely selective about whom you ask. Make sure that your references are reputable figures who think highly of you. Recommendations can reaffirm or utterly destroy the thoughts the employer has about you thus far! Before listing your references, you have to verify that the people you list are going to ONLY say positive things about you. Your lifelong friends or previous employers could give interviewers “constructive” criticism about your job performance instead of backing up your resume’s claims (I’ve seen this happen in the past, and it’s not pretty). To be safe, always check your references before you list them on your resume.
I am confident that perfecting these 3 criteria will allow you to get your foot in the door and provide a better foundation to market yourself in the future.
What do you think are the most important aspects of a resume? Which aspects of resume writing do you struggle with the most? Have you ever used clever, attention-grabbing promotional products (like the resume t-shirt in the heading picture) in tandem with your resume to set yourself apart from other candidates in interviews or at job fairs? Check out our massive selection of giveaway items if you need product ideas.
Don’t forget to comment about your resume experiences – we’d love to hear your thoughts, your tales of horror, and your success stories!