5 ways to hack your activist résumé
This post comes from ONE’s official in-house recruiter, William Sanders. For more résumé tips and information, or for more info on jobs at ONE, make sure to follow him on Twitter @williamrecruits.
Hi, ONE Campus members! My name’s William, and I’m the in-house recruiter for ONE, which means I’m in charge of the hiring process across all of our offices around the globe. Whether you realize it or not, all the work you have done while being a part of ONE Campus – all of the advocacy, campaigning, lobbying, and educating – will look great on your résumé as you continue fighting against extreme poverty and preventable disease. And as a recruiter, if there is anything I know, it’s a résumé.
It’s a well-known fact that the average hiring manager spends about six seconds scanning a résumé to determine whether or not a person is right for the job, which means you have exactly six seconds to knock it out of the park. Which means you have to make sure that a potential employer knows that you are not only right for the job but that you are the best one for the job.
Have no fear, I’m here to help. Here are five résumé hacks you can use to strengthen your activist résumé!
1, Get Your Point Across: The fastest way to hold my attention once your résumé is in front of me is to have a professional summary that nails who you are and why I should hire you. What are your core areas of expertise? What kind of tools do you know how to use? What are you passionate about? These are the kinds of things that I’d like to see before I move any further.
2. Lead. Manage. Support. Repeat. You’re a ONE Campus member! You arranged trips to meet with your members of Congress. You delivered big asks of our world leaders. You mobilized and led teams across your campus communities. You rocked, and these are the kind of experiences you should highlight on your résumé. Even if you weren’t a Campus Leader, but served on an Executive Board, you know more about poverty, global health, infrastructure and nutrition than most people, so you can show me how you used this knowledge to save the world through the programs or projects you led, and what process(es) you’ve managed and/or supported.
3. Open Your Social Toolbox: Do your tweets engage your campus community? Are you the “Master of Snapchat?” There is a HUGE digital component to being successful in today’s advocacy space, making it easier to reach thousands and millions with just a tap on your screen. Show your next boss that you have mastered social media by creating a separate section with some cool graphics showing your social media chops.
4. Organization is a Major Key: One of the ways I learned to stand out was to sort my résumé the same way a job description is written; as this will make the information the reader seeks easier to find. For example, if you are applying to a job where you will be doing communications, social media, and web support, you want to highlight your skills in each of those areas. Going back to the six second rule listed above, you want to make sure that the content of your résumé is aligned to the job description and is concise to hold the reader’s attention.
5. Be Creative: What’s black and white, but probably not read all over? I hope the answer is not your résumé. If it is, one way you can stand out from the crowd is by showing your creative chops and creating a cool, fresh template to showcase your experience. Not sure of what color(s) to use? Get a feel for the website’s primary and secondary colors and use those to bring your résumé to life.