How to Help Students Build a Smashing Resume

Certiport’s mantra has long been “Learn, Practice, Certify.” But earning a certification is one of the first steps to job success. Which is why we’re adding a fourth element to our pathway, “Learn, Practice, Certify, Advance”. Sharpening skills and gaining industry recognized credentials allows our candidates to advance in their career and education.

However, to be able to effectively advance, students and professionals need to build a resume that communicates their skills and knowledge to potential employers. Luckily, Certiport’s partnered with Resume-Library to help candidates get access to one of the fastest growing job boards in the United States. As part of CSB Academy, we sat down with the team at Resume-Library to get advice on how to build a smashing resume that will help students land their dream job. Ready to advance?

Tailor the Resume to Each Role

Before downloading a template and filling it with work experience, students should take a step back. A smashing resume requires specialization. First, have them research the role, company, and industry of the job to which they’re applying. This will help them write an informed and passionate professional profile. Next, look at the job description and identify the key responsibilities needed for the role. Once they have a list, have them identify experiences where they used those skills or gained similar experiences. These experiences can be from their time at school, college, work, or personal life. Make sure they include these examples within the appropriate sections on their resume.

Perfect the Layout

Once they’ve nailed down the examples and experiences they want to include for their role, it’s time to nail down the layout. Resumes should be clear, concise, and easy to read. Remind students that this is their first impression to their future employer, so keep fonts and email addresses professional. Give their resume some solid proofing as well, making sure they avoid poor grammar and verbose language. Overall, they don’t want their resume to exceed two pages.

While you’re reading through their resumes, make sure to run through the checklist of sections to include:

  1. Contact information: Name, email, and city/state should be plenty.
  2. Professional profile: This is where they want to go granular. Make sure they use nomenclature relevant to the role they’re applying for.
  3. Work experience: Always list work experience in reverse chronological order, since their most recent roles are likely the most applicable. No need to list more than the last two or three jobs.
  4. Qualifications: Highlight their special skills and certifications.
  5. Accomplishments and awards: They’ve worked hard in past positions and this is their chance to show that off! Plus, this is a great conversation starter during the interview.

While not a hard and fast rule, be wary of including the following details, as they can result in discriminatory hiring practices: Gender, date of birth, marital status, nationality, or profile photo.

Beat the Bots

If students are applying for a job online, as nearly everyone does, machines will likely be reading their resume before a human does. If they want to beat the bots and connect with people who will review their resume, there are a few tricks to keep in mind. First, make sure their resume is easily read by machine. Word documents are easily read, especially if they avoid embedding graphics or images.

Second, bots will scan resumes against job descriptions to see how many keywords match. That’s why tailoring their resume is so important. Use keywords specific to the role they’re applying for. This way they’re more likely to get past the machines and land their dream job.

Looking to expand your students communication skills, including building professional resumes? Communication Skills for Business certification is for you. Learn more here.