Resumes. The bane of nearly everyone's existence, yet still required for applying for most jobs. Seriously, everyone hates resumes. Except for maybe my old college roommate. She has a resume document that was over 6 pages long, which she edits down to one page with relevant job information for each interview. Seriously, she loves resumes.
I, however, do not. I think resumes are the worst. How can anyone possibly make themselves sound perfect for a job, especially when they might not have experience in that particular field (i.e. a recent college graduate)?
You need a good template - Meaning you must have the basics of a resume. Now hear me out. Your template should reflect the type of job you're applying for, i.e. if you're applying for a graphic design internship/job, then it might be in your best interest to invest into one of these, or something like it. If you're applying for a position in business or accounting, cut the cutesy stuff. It's not relevant to the job and it's a fast way to get your application thrown out.
Only include relevant information - The first question you need to ask yourself is this: "What job am I applying for?" You need to find the original job description and know it, inside and out. So, say you're applying for a Social Media Marketing job. What basic things to you think you need to include? If your answer was all of your social media handles, you are correct. The employer wants to see proof of how you can grow their presence on social media. So if I were applying for this job, my main experience would be my blog. I would include a link to it, along with all of my social media channels, and explain that over the course of three months, I grew my blog from 500 page views per month to 20,000 by using SEO and social media. Completely relevant and effective.
Be realistic - You know if you're good at something. Don't embellish. If you say you're proficient in photo editing, you better have a ton of experience in Photoshop, Indesign and Lightroom, not just tinkering around with Snapseed on your phone. You'll look like a fool if/when they hire you on as a graphic designer or photography intern and they fire you. On the flip side, don't sell yourself short. When I add my blog to my resume, I share all the hard work I put into creating daily content, creating pinnable graphics, and interacting with people in order to grow my audience. If I were to just say, "Oh, well, I have a website, and it's kinda cool," or even not mention it at all, I'm leaving off a huge piece of my experience. Know your worth and share it!
Edit your resumes - By this, I mean you need to have someone (probably at least two people other than yourself) look at your resume to make sure that there are no typos or grammatical errors. Chances are you won't catch your own mistakes every time, so be sure to have an extra set of eyes look at your resume. This is an employer's first impression of you, so you need to take every step possible in order to avoid mistakes.
Lastly, don't freak out. Resumes are basically a piece of paper saying how good you are at something. As long as you're honest on your resume, you're going to make a killer first impression.