Building a Strong Resume

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I created this interactive resume on a very intuitive design website called canva.com. Immediately loving the template (it fit perfectly with my green/black/dark gray color scheme), I was ready to pay whatever necessary to use the design. To my surprise, it was one of their free templates!

If you take a look, you’ll realize that the design is atypical to what an employer might get sent from HR. It may seem obvious to someone reading this, but I had never considered sending a resume in pdf format. What this allows me to do, is create hyperlinks for an employer viewing my resume on a computer (as most do these days). I immediately link to my online portfolio here on TaylorCraigMedia.com and point out the fact that it’s clickable.

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I hope nobody finds that patronizing!

Another strong I aspect I was proud to have thought of is my “Software Competency” section. This is usually represented within the skills section, but I often found those to be redundant. If I say I’m proficient in Adobe Premiere CC, it would be redundant to also mention that I’m a skilled video editor in the same section. Of course, going this route runs the risk of an employer being unfamiliar with the software, but, frankly, they should be aware of a candidates software competence, and inevitably, be able to identify said software. I included the professional skills section to clear up any misconceptions, as well as, list skills that might not have a particular software associated with them.

Another omittance is a “Personal Skills” section. For the sake of space, I decided to express details of my character through quotes from recommendation letters I was honored to receive. I am a journalist after all.

“Few routinely display Mr. Craig’s inquisitiveness and analytical approach. Moreover, Taylor never hesitated to voice well- founded dissent from majority opinion — even when mine was in the majority.”  — Kevin M. Petrich, Ph.D.

Both Kevin M. Petrich, Ph.D. and Stephen Charbonneau Ph.D. spoke very kindly of me in their letters. My belief is that, even on a resume, it may be seen as pretentious to brag about your character. While maintaining what humility you can afford on a resume, I decided having professionals held in high-esteem speaking on your behalf is the best way to convey your personality and work ethic — and finding a way to communicate your personality on a resume is vital.

The most important part of your resume is experience, which is why I allow that section to dominate my resume. Not to get too detailed, but I made a point to accompany each bullet point with a verb that represented an action. If you look at the first word of my current job’s duties, I lead with “Write, Build, Research, Navigate…”. Not only are these strong action verbs, but I’m using them in the present-tense because… I presently work at Channel 7. Makes sense, right? For all of my past work, I used verbs in the past-tense.

At the very top, I have my all-encompassing statement to describe myself.

I’m a high-energy storyteller with an insatiable hunger for delivering news through a variety of media. My most deeply held values are honesty, effort, and maintaining a positive attitude.

This is important, not only for me as a writer, to convey my beliefs precisely, but for anyone who wants to be taken seriously from the very start — and knows their worth.

Comment below! Open to any and all criticisms!

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