5 Tips to a Stand Out Resume

January 13, 2016 thetasctest

Have you passed the TASC Test Assessing Secondary Completion™? Or are you just a few months away from accomplishing this milestone in your life? Whichever situation you find yourself in, now is the time to start thinking about your next steps.

Earning your high school equivalency through the TASC test can qualify you to apply for college, interview for a promotion, or finally apply for that new job. The possibilities are endless, and we want to help you achieve success beyond mastering Reading, Writing, Social Studies, Mathematics, and Science for the TASC test.

One of the most important things you can do for yourself as you pursue any professional or academic endeavor is to compose your resume. Having an up-to-date, polished resume will set you apart from the masses as you apply for scholarships and internships, enter the job market, attend interviews, and request consideration for a promotion. 

Set your resume apart from the competition by following these five tips: 

1. Lead with your contact information

It’s important to place your name and contact information above everything else on your resume. This will allow employers, managers, and committee members to know whose resume they’re reviewing. Along with your name, make sure to include your phone number and a professional email address. If you have one, add an address to your LinkedIn profile. Your contact information may look like this:

Joe Smith

555-555-5555   .   joe.smith@gmail.com   .   linkedin.com/in/joesmith

2. Write in reverse chronological order. 

According to CareerMiner.com, a reverse chronological resume is the most common and accepted way to format your work experience. List your educational history first, then list your employment experiences starting with your most recent or current job. Here is an example:

Education

            TASC Test Assessing Secondary Completion, 2016

Work Experience

Forest Lawn Care Services, Boulder, CO                        June 2014 – Present

         Landscape and Sales Assistant                                        

  • Design, consult, and implement outdoor yards and landscapes for residential and business clients.
  • Increased clientele from 25 to 65 from 2014-2015.
  • Expanded services to include insect and pest control solutions.

Blue Ridge Restaurant, Boulder, CO                      April 2012 – May 2014

Server

  • Delivered exceptional, friendly, and fast service.
  • Trained new waiters and staff on expectations, safety procedures, food handling, and restaurant protocols.
  • Managed shift scheduling, opening and closing duties, and inventory checks.

If you’re just starting out in the workforce, don’t panic if you have no relevant work experience to place on your resume. TheMuse.com notes that it’s perfectly acceptable to focus your resume on your skills, accomplishments, and academic projects.

3. Hold your resume to one page. 

The most effective resumes are concise and fit on one page. If your resume spills onto additional pages, take a deeper look at what you’re including. Remember, your resume should only highlight work experiences, accomplishments, and skills that are the most relevant to the job or opportunity you’re applying for.

4. Highlight your skills. 

It’s beneficial to include a section that calls out in-demand and relevant skills you possess. For example, TheMuse.com suggests listing skills such as HTML, Adobe, and any industry-related certifications you have if you’re applying for an IT/computer-based job. If you’re applying for a sales role, show your ability to deliver by highlighting your performance numbers in previous roles.

5. Proofread. Proofread. Proofread.

Once your resume is complete, make sure it is free of spelling, grammatical, and format errors. Proofread your resume several times in a quiet place that will allow you to focus. You can also ask teachers, mentors, coaches, and family members to review your resume. Outside eyes are critical in the editing process, as they bring a fresh perspective to your work.

Looking to create an effective cover letter? We’ve built a tool to help you tell your unique TASC test story. Get started writing your cover letter or college application essay today. 

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