Improve Your Resume in Ten Minutes or Less: Follow These 4 Quick Tips

If you already have a resume drafted, take 10 minutes to follow these four steps to improve it:

1) Cross out any of these vague descriptors: helped with, supported, related to, concerning.

2) Replace those terms with action verbs that describe what you actually did. Here are several real examples from my students’ community service-learning experiences:

  • interpreted between Spanish-speaking patients and English-speaking health care professionals during intakes at XXX clinic,
  • developed and employed a script for making appointment reminder phone calls to Spanish-speaking patients at XXX clinic,
  • designed and distributed Spanish-language domestic abuse prevention pamphlets,
  • wrote and distributed Spanish-language press releases to promote Spanish-language garden tours at XXX Botanical Gardens.

3) Add quantifiable numbers wherever possible. How many patients and health care professionals in how many clinics? How many hours? Over what period of time?  How many pamphlets? Distributed to how many organizations? How many garden tours? How many attendees?  

4) Scan for any other descriptors that could be interpreted as vague and repeat steps 2 and 3 with them.  

Do you need someone to go over your resume, personal statement or other application materials before you send them out? Contact me: darcylear@gmail.com

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