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The latest in rocking your resume, from font to word choices

Sprucing up a resume can be daunting in light of shifting trends, so what’s the latest? Let’s examine.

now hiring sign resume

now hiring sign resume

Resume trends change over the years

It seems that every year, more and more people flood into the job market – all fighting to be noticed. While the concept of a resume has proven to be an effective method for many years, it is difficult to make yourself stand out on a piece of paper when you do not have the opportunity for initial face-to-face interaction.

Whenever a job opens up, a plethora of resumes pour in with the hope of being selected for an interview. It would stand to reason that many of those resumes probably say a variation of the same thing; “Attended Yada Yada University and am skilled in both PC and Mac”.

For my interpersonal communication major, we were required to take an introductory course to better understand what communication studies entails. Something we touched on was navigating through the job market by using “buzz words” on a resume.

This idea was recently examined on Imgur, where we found a list comprised of what should (and should not) be included on a resume in order to make yourself stand out.

Phrases to use (and avoid)

The first step was phrases to use. The phrases were broken up into categories of Communication, Organizational Skills, Interpersonal Skills, Management Skills, and Research and Planning.

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Communication: Writes clearly and concisely, Speaks effectively, Listens attentively, Openly expresses ideas, Negotiates/resolves differences, Leads group discussions, Provides feedback, Persuades others, Provides well-thought out solutions, Gathers appropriate information, Confidently speaks in public.

Organizational Skills: Handles details, Coordinates tasks, Punctual, Manages projects effectively, Meets deadlines, Sets goals, Keeps control over budget, Plans and arranges activities, Multi-tasks.

Interpersonal Skills: Works well with others, Sensitive, Supportive, Motivates others, Shares credit, Counsels, Cooperates, Delegates effectively, Represents others, Understands feelings, Self-confident, Accepts responsibility.

Management Skills: Leads groups, Teaches/trains/instructs, Coaches/counsels, Manages conflict, Delegates responsibility, Makes decisions, Directs others, Implements decisions, Enforces policies, Takes charge.

Research and Planning: Forecasts/predicts, Creates ideas, Identifies problems, Meets goals, Identifies resources, Gathers information, Solves problems, Defines needs, Analyzes issues, Develops strategies, Assesses situations.

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Words you should definitely use

There are some strong words that you should utilize to make your resume stand out. These include: Advises, Critiques, Designs, Establishes, Guides, Hypothesizes, Illustrates, Motivates, Negotiates, Oversees, Prepares, Recruits, Supervises, Trains, and Upgrades.

Words to avoid like the plague

On the flip side, there are words you should avoid using on a resume. These include: Tries, References available, Upon request, Objectives, Responsibilities include, and loves.

And font choice matters, friends

The last idea that this list urges you to consider is font styles. Fonts that should be used on a resume include: Arial, Georgia, and Times New Roman. Never use anything funky like a Comic Sans; that will give your resume a one-way ticket to the trash bin.

Check out the full list below:

resume cheat sheet


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Staff Writer, Taylor Leddin is a publicist and freelance writer for a number of national outlets. She was featured on Thrive Global as a successful woman in journalism, and is the editor-in-chief of The Tidbit. Taylor resides in Chicago and has a Bachelor in Communication Studies from Illinois State University.

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