In this economy, it is extremely important to be able to sell yourself to prospective employers. For every job that is actually posted to a job board, there are probably tons of applications that must be sorted through to find the people who actually gain the all important interview. If you are attempting to get your foot in the door, a killer resume is not just important but crucial to your success. Hiring managers look for certain things to be included in this document in order to sort their pile to a manageable level.
What sort of things should be included in a resume to get it noticed? There are many items that are specifically targeted to find a prospective employee. Each of these items will be examined briefly in turn and should be carefully evaluated when constructing your resume.
1. Be sure that your contact information is correct and up to date. There is nothing worse than getting noticed by an employer who then cannot contact you. Double check this before submission.
2. Make certain that spelling, grammar and punctuation are perfect! Don’t rely on spell check to fix any errors that may be present. Remember — it only checks for misspelled words and not misuse of them.
Have another human read it over for you.
3. Be honest — don’t include experience that you don’t have. This is usually caught during the interview and you don’t want to look stupid in that situation.
4. Use a good quality paper — white or off-white are the best (unless you are in advertising). This shows that you are serious about yourself.
5. Check your dates of employment for any former jobs to see if they are right. Don’t lie about when you worked for somebody, this again will be found out later.
6. Include any relevant experience on your resume. This shows that you know something about the job.
7. Most employers will look at job history for applicable skills. Place any jobs that have transferable skills on your job history.
8. To show that you are well rounded, volunteer work should be entered somewhere on the lower half of the page. Most employers like to see that you actually have a life outside work. It also shows the ability to communicate effectively.
9. Tailor the resume to the job itself. After reading the job posting, place keywords from the posting in your resume — usually in the objective portion to grab the attention of the hiring manager.
10. Use the correct resume. If you are just starting out, use your college experience (classes, internships, projects, etc), otherwise a functional resume is best. This outlines all of your experiences into a paragraph summary.
That’s it! Be sure to include these elements into your next resume to get that new job. Remember, this is only to get your foot in the door. The rest is up to you.