Resume Tips from a Curology Hiring Manager
Hi there — I’m Kaitlynn! I’m a Sr. Brand Marketing Generalist at Curology and I’m here to share my experiences with job searching and resume writing. Just as an FYI, these tips are neither comprehensive nor exclusive to Curology’s hiring process, but hopefully for those who are looking for your first gig, they’re helpful and effective!
When I was looking for my first job, I felt I was dropped in the middle of the woods and expected to not only survive, but thrive. Coming from an immigrant family, my parents worked in the service industry and were not able to offer any advice on my job search. My strategy was to submit my resume to any job description that included “marketing”. I tried networking with people on LinkedIn, but to be honest, it didn’t work the way I thought it would. I eventually found someone that took a chance on me, offering me an internship that soon turned into a full time job (shout out to Shammy).
7 years, countless applications and many “we have gone with a more qualified candidate” emails later, I have gathered a number of tips and tricks on creating a strong resume. While I can’t promise you that implementing these will get you a job — or even through the first round — I can tell you that these are the things that would definitely catch my attention now that I’m hiring manager.
It’s also worth mentioning that there’s a lot of systemic reasons and unconscious bias that get in the way of certain resumes being selected. Know that these tips and tricks can apply to anyone and also act as a call to action to hiring managers to increase self-awareness and mitigate their own bias in the resume review process.
Without further ado, here are some insights I wish I knew during my first job search.
Prioritize Quality over Quantity
If you’re like me, your instinct will be to send your resume to as many companies as you can to cast a wide net. LinkedIn’s Easy Apply has made that even more tempting. My advice is to resist this urge. Use that time to focus on roles that excite you most and tailor your resume to each one. Yes, employers seem to have the same marketing, supply chain, product development, etc. roles, but the skills and responsibilities will most likely differ from organization to organization, even if they are in the same industry.
Think of the job description as a checklist for recruiters and hiring managers. When someone reviews your resume, they are quickly skimming to see whether your work experience and skills match what they listed in the job description. Just to reiterate: a recruiter spends an average of 6 seconds looking at your resume. So you want to make the short time you have count. Rather than trying to fit a brief description of every single project you’ve worked on, focus on providing more details on experiences that are most relevant to the role. Try to incorporate the key words and phrases from the job description; I’ve even bolded them on my resume to make them stand out.
If you have not been given the opportunity to work in a corporate setting yet, highlight school assignments, retail experiences, volunteer work, passion projects, etc. where you developed the skills the hiring team is looking for.
Though I just described a job description as a checklist, they’re always reflective of the ideal candidate so don’t be discouraged if you don’t have all of the skills listed. If you have some of the requirements, I would still encourage you to apply. Interesting fact: women are less likely to apply to jobs unless they believe they have all/most the preferred requirements, compared to men who have less of the skills listed. All that is to say, have confidence in yourself and “shoot your shot”.
Show, Don’t Tell
Listing your relevant experience is a good starting point, but don’t stop there. I challenge you to elaborate on each one to focus on the results. Answering these questions will help provide the hiring team a more comprehensive view of your skill set.
- Did it involve any cross-functional work?
- What tools did you use?
- Did you learn anything new?
- Were there any challenges?
- What you would have done differently?
- What were the results? How did they impact your team or company?
Keep in mind these are just thought starters and you don’t need to answer all of these questions within each experience. The point is…
Express Your Communication Style
Remember your resume is an opportunity to showcase your communication skills. Even if it’s not explicitly listed in the job description, being able to communicate your thoughts in a clear and concise way is a valuable skill for any role.
I used to think that I needed a unique layout and color scheme to help my resume stand out. Now that I’m on the other side of the hiring process, I think spending that same energy into the substance of my resume would have been a more effective use of my time.
Granted, I still think how you organize your resume visually is important. You should display the information in a digestible way so it’s easier for the hiring team to find what they are looking for. Just keep in mind that substance, and the way that substance is laid out, is more of a priority than design. *Disclaimer — this might not be the case for a creative-focused role.*
Try Something Different
A famous person once said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” If you’re sending your resume out and not getting any positive responses, I encourage you to switch things up; try something new. Life is about learning and (re)iterating, so why should a job search be any different?
The last piece of advice I’ll leave you with might be the most cliche one, but it’s gotten me through some tough times. Even if you do all the things I mentioned, and you still don’t land that dream job, maybe it really wasn’t your dream job and you were meant for something even greater. Trust me, I have had my heart broken a number of times when things didn’t work out, including the first two times I applied to Curology, believe it or not. In the end, you land where you’re meant to be for that phase of your journey.
Now that I have found my home at Curology, I would love for you to join us! We currently have some open positions, so take a look at our Careers Site and apply for ones that excite you most. While you’re at it, try using some of these tips!