Are you looking to land a higher paying job, or even trying to land your dream job? In most cases, your first impression to your future employer comes from your resume. Based on your application, many employers make the decision whether or not they will talk to you or schedule an interview. They’re also looking at hundreds of other applications as well, so make sure your resume stands out in the crowd.
1. Double, Triple Check
Even if your documents are almost always error free, typos happen when we least expect them. Try reading in your head and out loud to make sure you’re catching any mistakes. Send it to a trusted friend to look it over again. There are also professional resources like TextBroker.com that will check your resume for any errors and make sure it reads in a business tone. If you are still in college, your Writing Center or Career Department will often have workshops and resources. Bottom line – it’s important to double and triple check your resume for grammar and typing errors. Focus on the first impression – the last thing you want is a typo in your resume reaching a potential employer.
2. Keep Contact Information Valid/Up-to-date
It’s important to validate your contact information every time you send in your resume. If you list an email address, make sure it’s one you check often, preferably connected to your phone. If your voicemail says something like, “Hey Dude, It’s Johnny, leave yo’ digits,” it might be time for an update. Make sure when someone contacts you, they are reaching a professional.
3. Avoid Vague Words/Phrases
While your resume isn’t an exhaustive listing of your various skills and previous job responsibilities, it should include key details. Using general words such as “many”or phrases such as “a wide variety of” make it seem as if your experience was thrown together. Instead of saying “many clients” give a number like “10 clients in 2014” or list your top three skills instead of saying “a wide variety”. Doing this provides concrete experience that an employer can measure.
4. Avoid a Universal Resume
Some people like to write one resume and call it a day – using this same document for each application. While some information in will stay the same from job to job (education and job history), your qualities and proficiencies should specifically relate to the job you are applying for. Each time you submit your resume, customize it so it’s relevant and stands out.
5. Keep the Good Stuff On Top
Chances are your resume is going to be in a stack (or inbox) with a bunch of others. Keep what’s truly important on top so your best skills are highlighted. This will allow your future employer to see why you’re the best person for the job right away.
The key to a great resume is summarizing your skills, experience, and attributes as they relate to the job you are applying for. Do this in a way that will quickly grab the attention of the hiring manager and you’re on your way!