Six Tips to A Winning Resume - Geneva College
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Six Tips to A Winning Resume

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Whether you're entering the job market for the first time or wanting to give yourself a competitive edge as you seek new opportunities in your field, your resume is the starting point. A great resume ensures hiring managers take a second look, which is exactly what you need when entering an overly saturated job market. Here are some proven strategies you can use to ensure your resume really stands out.


  1. Choose the Right Length

How long should your resume be? The rule of thumb is to make its length mirror your length of experience. For less than 5 years of experience, aim for one page. For more than 5 years, aim for two. Remember, the resume only gets read for about 10 seconds. Regardless of the length, make sure you show early on how you can help the company with their need. The one exception to this rule is jobs in consulting and investment banking, in which one page is best regardless of experience.


  1. Keep It Simple

Don't use a fancy font or special effects. This won't make your resume stand out in a good way. Stick with Times New Roman, black type and white paper. Use italics, underlining and bold print sparingly. The only formatting you should consider is a slightly different font size for name and the name of companies you have worked for, otherwise, stay consistent.


  1. Position Information Carefully

Where should your information be positioned? Your goal should be to showcase your most recent activities and accomplishments first. This means recent graduates should put their education first, where people who've been in the field for a few years, should put it at the bottom.


  1. Know What to Leave Off

There are some tried-and-true aspects of the resume that you're actually better off ignoring. For example, you may have heard that you should put "personal objectives" and a "summary" at the top of your resume. Forbes indicates this is not necessary. It takes up unneeded space. If you have a poor GPA, leave that off as well. Anything that puts a negative spin on your experience is best left off, even if it's something you would normally be told to include.


  1. Use the Right Keywords

Some companies will search resumes for keywords before determining which to look at, so make sure your keywords grab attention. The key to this is to focus on words that refer to titles of jobs. Words like customer service, manager and accountant hold more weight than vague words like creative and communication skills.


  1. Phrase Qualities Carefully

One of the keys to making your resume stand out is phrasing your qualities carefully. For instance, if you are applying for a job in marketing, you may wish to draw on your past social media experience. If you helped a past client or customer grow their social media prescience from 50 to 100, that doesn't sound impressive. But, if you say you saw a 100 percent increase in social media followers, it does. Find ways to phrase your qualities and experience so they seem as impressive as possible, without changing the truth.



Creating a resume that wins is a key factor in landing a job quickly. For more information on how Geneva College can help you pursue your personal and career goals, contact us at 855-979-5563 or

Opinions expressed in the Geneva Blog are those of its contributors and do not necessarily represent the opinions or official position of the College. The Geneva Blog is a place for faculty and contributing writers to express points of view, academic insights, and contribute to national conversations to spark thought, conversation, and the pursuit of truth, in line with our philosophy as a Christian, liberal arts institution.

Apr 26, 2017

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