Is Your Resume Too 'Bare Bones'?

Daily inspiration and advice for the ambitious savvy young professional
Is Your Resume Too 'Bare Bones'? blog image

Is Your Resume Too 'Bare Bones'?

We are in between internship seasons right now – students have their fall internships and will start to look for spring internships early November. While we’re in the middle of “down time” take a second to review your resume. Lately, I’ve been looking at a lot of resumes (from extremely qualified students) that just feel a little “bare bones”. Here are a few ways to add more meat and potatoes to your resume:

  • The comment “bare bones” usually means that even if you do have great content on your resume – it’s formatted in a way that it just looks empty and like there isn’t much to it. To fix this, play around with the formatting of your resume.
  • Use your space wisely. You have the entire piece of paper to fill up and talk about your amazing relevant experiences. Sometimes resumes that feel bare bones are centered instead of tabbed over to the left.
  • Beef up your bullet points. Many students have great experiences but they don’t expand enough on what they were responsible for at those jobs/internships/leadership positions. Your job is to knock the socks off the employer. This is your time to brag. Get specific and talk about the 3-4 most impressive tasks you were responsible for at your internship.
  • Bullets shouldn’t be three words. Use complete sentences to paint the picture for the employer and to illustrate what you accomplished at your internship.
  • Use numbers/metrics. Did you increase the Facebook likes on the employer’s social media account from 0 to 100? Write that down! This kind of stuff impresses employers.
  • Condense the skill section. The skill section shouldn’t take up more than one line on your resume. It’s 2014, Microsoft Word isn’t a skill – it’s expected that you know Word. Focus on 3-5 impressive skills you have – including Excel, Photoshop, and Final Cut Pro is a solid example.
  • Make the header pop. Your resume is most likely in a stack of 800 others. Play with the font on your name – experiment with different sizes and shapes to go with. The top of your resume should look professional but stand out.