Resumes and cover letters

How to Highlight Your Experience and Skills to Help Your Resume Stand Out

Learn how to update your resume, plus quick tips you need to know.

Your resume is living document that will change and evolve throughout your career. Every time you gain new skills and experience, or look for a job or internship, you should go through your resume and refine it. Here are some tips for updating your resume, as well as some general resume do’s and don’ts.

Updating your experience

Before adding a new internship or job to your resume, make a list of your main responsibilities and accomplishments. Then think about what is most important and relevant to the roles that you’ll be applying for next. Look at similar open jobs on Handshake and see what desired experience and skills are listed. Then be sure to highlight any experiences you’ve gained that match those job postings.

When you have a draft of what you’d like to add, ask your manager if they could review it with you. They can help you with how to phrase your experience to make it stronger, or think of anything else you have missed.

Be sure to always lead each bullet point with strong action verbs, and include numbers, percentages or other concrete measures of success whenever possible. 

You can also list any major class projects you’ve worked on recently, if they’re related to the roles you’re applying for. 

Adding new skills

Read through the skills section and make sure you have listed all of your relevant skills. 

There are two types of skills to include on your resume: hard or technical skills, and soft skills. Examples of hard skills include a foreign language or an industry-specific software program. Soft skills include communication, problem solving, and creativity. One type isn’t more important than the other—employers are looking for both soft skills and hard skills in potential job candidates. 

Your skills should show how you’re a good fit for the roles you’re applying for. If you have skills that are mentioned in the job description, list them.

Resume Quick Tips

  • Be concise. Your resume should be one page, so summarize your experience as succinctly as possible. No long paragraphs—each bullet point should be one to two lines.
  • Be consistent. Use the same font, layout and style throughout. This includes spacing, indentation, capitalization, verb tense and bulleted lists.
  • Spell it out. Don’t use abbreviations or slang. 
  • No unusual fonts. Choose one that is easy to read, such as Times New Roman, Arial or Calibri, and stick to size 11 or 12. 
  • Proofread. Take time to double and triple check your spelling and grammar. Ask a friend or family member to review it as well.

Need to create a resume? Download this free resume template to get started.

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