Make your resume great with simple tips
Resumes are your first line of communication when looking for a new job. However, it is important to understand that this step is solely to help you land an interview, not get the job. Employers do not make hiring decisions based only on the content of a resume. If they did, there would be no point in the interview process. Your resume is a means by which you get noticed, and since most employers receive hundreds of resumes for a single position, you have to make sure yours stands out. A great resume can be the difference between landing in the rejection pile and receiving that all-important when can we meet phone call. The following are some of the most important aspects that make sure your resume is noticed.
Keep your resume Neat
Remember the emphasis that your instructors placed on the format of essays and other assignments? Those same principles have to apply to your resume as well. Uneven spacing, wonky margins, and crooked printing are all surefire ways to send your resume to the recycling bin. Potential employers rely on your resume to develop first impressions, so you have to make sure it presents a positive image. If you pay attention to the following, you will send the message that you are detail-oriented and take the time to do things right:
- Equal margins
- Clear breaks between information types
- Even spacing between words, sentences, and paragraphs throughout the resume
- Check for misspellings
- Use concise punctuation
- Use proper capitalization
- Make sure there are no wrinkles, stains, or other issues that detract from the neat appearance
If you address these areas prior to sending out your resume, you are letting employers know that even the smallest details matter.
Make It Easy to Read
Employers spend as little as ten seconds looking at a resume, so you have to make sure yours gets the point across quickly and concisely. The best ways to increase readability are to:
- Use a 12 point font that is easy to read – Times New Roman and Arial are the most popular
- Use a bold header to signify a change to new information, such as work history, education, and certifications
- Use bullet points to focus the reader’s attention on important details
- Use a cover letter that highlights the ways in which you would be a good fit for the position – Make sure to tailor the cover letter to each position, rather than using a generic one for every employer.
The final tip to creating a great resume is to be completely honest. Just because you have used Microsoft Word once or twice does not make you an expert. If an employer hires you based on expert skill levels, he or she will not be impressed when they find out that you can’t handle your first assignment in the way that you presented.
Your resume is an extension of yourself, so make sure it presents you in the best light possible. Neatness, conciseness, and honesty are the keys to getting noticed.