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Five Resume Tips to Help Millennials Get Noticed


Feeling like your resume is getting lost in the shuffle? Try some of these easy strategies to stand out from the crowd.

Remember when you were younger and everyone told you as long as you study hard and do well in school you’ll “go places?” If you’ve been on a job hunt lately, you may have discovered a good education isn’t enough to set you apart from the pack anymore. According to the Pew Research Center, millennials are on track to be the most educated generation ever, which means you might need more than a bachelor’s degree to get a job. So whether you’re applying for your dream job or just looking for your first real work opportunities out of school, having an excellent resume is a great way to make yourself stand out.

Even if you’re planning on winning your next job using social media and online tools, you’re still going to need a resume. A good LinkedIn profile is almost as effective as a resume today, but eventually you’re going to have to meet someone in person, and a slick, professional resume is a great way show you mean business!

No experience? Focus on you!

We all have to start somewhere. According to SimplyHired, “The key to landing a job when you have no work experience is to create a resume that emphasizes your skills, education, and potential.” Instead of work history, focus on highlighting your education and skills, and forget an objective; sell yourself quickly with a summary or elevator pitch.

The red flags have changed, so be honest.

Millennials are beginning to take on the role of hiring managers. As we talk over the hiring process, we are looking less at traditional measuring points like work experience and instead choosing to hire individuals who fit an organization’s culture. As this excellent blog from executive search firm Notogroup shows, traditionally, you should minimize red flags like job hopping, omitting information and gaps in employment on your resume, but today, hiring managers are looking for well-rounded individuals. For millennial hiring managers, red flags might include staying in one place too long and lack of balance between work and outside interests. So don’t be embarrassed if you took a year off to travel, it might just be the thing that catches someone’s attention.

Use your social media savvy to your advantage on your resume.

Use your social media savvy to your advantage on your resume.

Make sure your digital profiles match.

If you use a personal webpage, blog or other online presence, make sure they are updated. It doesn’t look good if a recruiter checks out your personal blog to see your last update was in 2009. If you’re rushed or need an easy way to update your webpage to a professional, brag-worthy site, redirect your domain to an page. These sites are extremely professional and can be set up in 10 minutes.

Social media profiles should reflect the information displayed on your resume. If you’ve got previous employer information on your Facebook page or LinkedIn profile make sure your dates match on your resume.

PDFs are your friend.

Whatever word processor or layout tool you use to create your resume, export the final copy as a PDF. Using a PDF file type will preserve any special formatting or fonts you are using in your resume, and it will make sure your resume appears the same regardless of how it’s being viewed. You can’t say the same for documents sent as Word, Open Office, or Pages files. Sending a PDF gives you complete control of how the hiring manger sees your resume.

Link to your digital life if you can.

It may seem like it’s impossible to get through to anyone these days because your message gets lost in a sea of emails, but in other ways, hiring managers, and people making the decisions have never been more accessible. Recruiters are commonly relying on tools like LinkedIn. If you’re actively hunting for a job, LinkedIn is almost a necessity. Being well versed in social media is a huge advantage for millennial job hunters, so don’t just list your active social networks on your resume, link them up! And remember, even if you’re not going to be using them as tools for your job search, make sure you update your social profiles to accurately reflect the information on your resume.

Do you have any suggestions to add? How do you position yourself to stand out in the job hunt?


Christopher is Co-Founder and Managing Editor at The Reply. He has a fondness for strong coffee, good books and foreign news services. When he was five years old his father helped him raise a family of chipmunks over the winter, you should ask him about it. Professionally, he’s spent time as a technology journalist, PR consultant, and freelance blogger. Christopher’s work has appeared in a lot of trade magazines you’ve probably never heard of and maybe some you have. He has a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Toronto and a certificate in Media Foundations from Humber College in Toronto.