Having a powerful resume is the first step in getting noticed by potential employers. Employers receive countless resumes from job candidates on a daily basis. Follow these tips to make sure your resume sets you apart from the rest and lands you an interview!
Tailor Your Objective to Your Potential Employer's Needs
Know what your potential employer is looking for in an employee, and make sure your resume speaks to that. Outline a concise objective, and make sure to list all of your relevant skills and experience as they pertain to your potential employer's needs.
Check Your Grammar
This may seem obvious, but you'd be surprised at how many people overlook the tiny details. Errors on a resume show carelessness and a lack of attention to detail, and will more than likely cause an employer to skip right over you in the initial screening process. Check your spelling, grammar, and punctuation until you are absolutely sure that your resume is a gleaming beacon of perfection. Grammar and writing not your forte? Recruit a friend or family member to check for small mistakes that may otherwise go unnoticed by you. It always helps to have a second set of eyes and a fresh perspective on things.
Be Specific and Concise
Don't ramble! List your relevant skills and accomplishments in a clear, concise manner that's easy to read. You don’t want to bog down your potential employer with too much irrelevant information. Highlight skills and achievements that would be useful to your potential employer and keep it relevant. For example, if you are applying for a job in the medical field you probably won't want to include details about your post graduate summer gig slinging hot dogs at the beach.
Explain Any Gaps or Holes
While it's important to keep your information as relevant as possible to the specific job you are seeking, it’s also important to account for any significant gaps in your resume. Did you take a year off of work to travel, spend time with family, or welcome a new baby into the world? Were you unemployed or freelancing for an extended period of time? Unexplained gaps in a resume are a red flag for most potential employers. The best way to handle a gap in your resume is to briefly explain it in your cover letter. Don't go into too much detail, just write a couple of sentences explaining what you were doing during the time in question.
Use Proper Formatting
Formatting is an integral part of resume building because it organizes your information in a chronological, reader friendly manner. You wouldn't want to read an entire resume in one block paragraph format, would you? Use a template if possible, and make sure your resume doesn't resemble a page out of a novel.
Write a Cover Letter
Make sure to write a personalized cover letter highlighting your relevant experience and explaining specifically how you would be an invaluable asset to your potential employer. The more personal your cover letter is, the more impressed an employer will be by your knowledge of his/her company.
Here's a helpful link that offers many free, downloadable, industry-specific resume templates:
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