5 Ways to Plump Up Your Bare Bones Resume

By Chelsea Babin

No, your resume doesn’t need to be 10 pages long but, if yours barely fills out a page despite the fact that you’ve had several professional jobs or contracts under your belt, you may need a little help plumping it up. You want your resume to be concise yet detailed and, sometimes, in an effort to strike that balance, it can be easy to go too far one way or the other. If you’re one of the people who was so focused on having a concise resume you cut it down to the bare bones, do these 5 things to plump it up to a nice, average size that reflects you well.

1. Side Projects: If you’re the kind of person who is always attending coding camps and doing fun technical side projects you should totally add a section at the end of your resume to let employers know what you’ve been up to! This shows your passion for technology, your dedication to growth, and your ability to do more than just the tasks you’re assigned at your job.

2. Your Key Responsibilities: Rather than just listing your last five positions, the years you were there, and the company you worked for try including bullet points or a short paragraph about some of your key responsibilities. What a .Net Developer does at one company isn’t necessarily what they’ll do at another so these key responsibilities allow you to go over a few specifics so employers have a better idea of what you were actually doing in your previous jobs, rather than just knowing what your title was.

3. Comb Through Job Ads: When you see words like detail oriented or natural leader or outgoing in a job ad and you’re eager to apply to that position because you think you fit that mold to a T, make sure your resume hints at that! When employers specify traits they’re looking for in a job ad, they’re doing it because those traits are a high priority for them. Obviously you’ll still need to have the right technical experience but, if your resume is sprinkled with those key words (and you actually possess those traits), it will stand out to employers and make them want to call you in for an interview ASAP!

4. Provide a Skill Bank: Like a word bank helps in a word search, having a skill bank at the top of your resume can help employers know what kind of experience you have before they ever get to the rest of your resume. Your skill bank shouldn’t list every skill you’ve ever known (seriously, it’s okay to leave things like Email off at this point) but it should be a set of the skills you focus on and the ones you’re most proud of. Place it at the top of your resume, just under your name and contact information (or under your objective should you choose to include that) so it’s easily visible and as helpful as can be.

5. Personal Interests: Some companies like hiring based on personality and, if none of your personal interests are mentioned on your resume they may get the impression that all you do is work. Personal interests sections certainly aren’t required but if you know you’re applying to a company that prioritizes personality make sure you show a little of your own by including some of your personal interests at the end of your resume!

Take your bare bones resume and plump it up the right way with these 5 tactics. It will let employers know a little more about you, help you tailor your resume to each position you apply for, and simply look better sitting in a stack of resumes that may not be as balanced as yours. When it comes to resumes you need to strive for that balance between concise and detailed and these 5 methods can help you achieve just that!

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