As you’re gearing up to pick up a full or part-time hourly position, the biggest nuisance can be putting together a resume. You’ve got the drive and experience, but it feels silly to have to put something on paper to prove you’re ready for this next gig. The truth is, if you don’t have a resume, even for the open position at your local Starbucks, it’s going to be hard to get your foot in the door.
The problem is, with so many typical resumes coming in and out of every shop on the block, it’s tough to stand out—even with a great resume! So you need to make sure that you’ve got everything that’s important on there, and nothing that’s unnecessary.
To figure that out is actually quite simple: get inside the head of your employer. While we all have been lead to believe that a resume has to fit a certain mold for all job types, that’s just not the case. A resume is a great way to prove that you’re organized, professional, and proactive. You won’t prove that just by putting a bunch of words on a piece of paper.
The trick is to prove that you’re right for the job. To do that for virtually any hourly position,follow this checklist below:
Have An Objective
First you want to have an objective statement. It doesn’t have to be clever, or profound, it just has to be direct: “Seeking to obtain a job in the service industry where I can exercise my skills in customer relations, organization, and team work.”
What you’re doing here is simply letting an employer know that this isn’t a mistake: you want this job, and you’re going to work hard to win that position. This shows them that you’re driven, motivated, and eager to take an employment opportunity. For you, this wasn’t something you were put up to, but rather something that you find valuable, and can contribute value to.
Next, while it can be tempting to put your school or GPA first, the primary thing that an employer will worry about is skills and experience. Putting your skills first is a simple way to pique interest, so that they’re motivated to continue reading through the rest of your resume.
Skills are what you’re primarily going to be using throughout the job itself, and hopefully develop even further. While you may not have every skill that the job will eventually teach you, show that you’re someone who can handle the tasks associated with that position.
Experience is vitally important, even if it doesn’t exactly correlate to the job to which you’re applying. If you’ve been employed by someone, show it off. Those people looking at your resume want to see that you can get a job, and hold onto it with success.
Showing your work experience, supplementary to your skills, proves that you’ve been able to apply your skills in similar real life situations to the ones you’ll experience with this new employer.
Education Doesn’t End
While an hourly employer won’t require a PhD in microbiology, that shouldn’t show off your ambition to seek higher education. There are plenty of employers out there who are interested in you starting out hourly, and working your way up to a salaried position in their corporate offices.
Even if you’re still working on that high school diploma, show that you want to go somewhere with your education, and aren’t looking to stop learning any time soon. Show them that you’re involved with extra curricular learning opportunities, and open the door to conversations in your interview about interest in some of their corporate educational opportunities.
Be smart: if you don’t have a GPA that you’re proud of, you’re not required to display it, and that shouldn’t be a reflection of your ability to perform the job well. Don’t let education hold you back—it’s about your desire to learn and grow, so make sure that’s the part that you’re most excited to show off.
Be Concise, and Use Action Words
Nobody wants to read your three page resume—and in fact, they just wont. Everything that you need to fit into your resume can be boiled down to a single page. Include work, school, and volunteer experience, and when describing them, simply use action works.
Rather than talking about what you learned, and what you did on a certain occasion, talk about responsibilities. Talk about objectives that you accomplished on a daily basis and use concrete terms. Rather than saying “We went to Mexico and helped with construction projects” Say, “Our team facilitated the painting and repair of 10 houses over a two week period.” Or, instead of “Worked on cash register,” say, “Averaged 150 daily customer sales transactions.”
You don’t need to be any more impressive than you already are, so remember that lying on your resume is never worth it. Learn how to shape what you’ve done into the best presentation of yourself possible, and remember that resumes aren’t a one-size-fits-all invention. Get inside the head of an employer, shape your resume for that specific job, and then wake up tomorrow and try it all again for a new position.