3 Ways to Make Your Resume Standout in the Washington, DC Job Market

TFAS requires all applicants to submit a one-page resume as part of their application. While the Admissions Committee takes many things into account when making admissions and scholarship decisions, the one-page resume exemplifies an applicant’s ability to be concise and communicate effectively, it is also an opportunity for the applicant to showcase their greatest accomplishments and further build their case as to why they are a great fit for the TFAS D.C. Program.

Below are 3 tips to ensure your one-page resume is ready for the competitive Washington, DC job market.

1. Cut the Fluff

When an employer asks for a one-page resume, they are testing to see if you are able to communicate in a concise manner. Can you distill something very large and complex into a small neat package of just the main points? Real-estate is at a minimum on a one-page resume, unnecessary information has no place here. Your resume should be brief and only highlight experiences that directly relate to job you are applying for. That being said, when you expand on your relevant experiences (internships, part-time jobs, volunteer positions and summer jobs), be sure to highlight results and skills that directly relate to the job at hand. Read the job post and ensure that each experience you mention on your resume hits on a qualification or skill listed in the post.

2. Consistent Formatting is Key

Good design is key to a strong resume. Pick a style and stick to it. Ensure you use the same font, font size, font color and indentation throughout the document. If you use bullets to describe the details of your relevant experience, make sure you do that throughout. Avoid crowding on your resume. What’s the point of a well-written resume if it’s in a 6 pt font and so squished together it’s unreadable? Strategic use of white space can draw the eye to the things you want to highlight. Always save your final resume as a PDF and not a Word Document to ensure your formatting doesn’t get lost in translation. Include your name in the file name instead of the generic Resume. Finally, proofread. It can be beneficial to have someone unfamiliar with your work to read your resume to ensure that you’re not omitting a major detail.

3. Show, Don’t Tell

When you are describing your relevant experience be sure to emphasize results, don’t just regurgitate the duties and responsibilities. Draw inspiration from the STAR method when expanding on your relevant experience, it will keep you focused on the important details to include and will also help you when it comes time to interview. Choose a skill from the job you are applying to and use the STAR method to highlight a past experience that demonstrated your competency.

SituationBriefly provide context for the reader
TaskState the issue and challenges
ActionDescribe how you solved the problem
ResultExplain the results