5 Tips for Building a Better Resume

How much thought have you put into your resume? If you’re like most of us, you’ve invested more time into your cover letter and interview skills than your resume. While those are both important, a resume is usually the first thing most hiring managers look at. Consider your resume to be your first introduction to a potential employer. Even if you’re not actively searching for a new job, keeping an updated on hand is a key part of networking. With that in mind, is your resume ready to share? Let’s walk through some simple tips that will help your resume stand out.

resume2Don’t settle on a single resume

A resume should be tailored to the job you’re applying for. While the major components of it will remain the same (your education, previous employers, etc.) some of the skills and experience gained will be different depending on your position. It’s important to read the position description carefully and match the experience requirements in it to your resume. You should, though, keep a long resume on your computer, so you can easily pick and choose different points depending on the need.

Brevity is key

Depending on the job, you could be one of dozens of applicants. Investing a lot of time into a comprehensive resume isn’t a good idea. A good rule of thumb is to limit your resume to two pages or less. If you’re just out of college, having a one page resume is perfectly acceptable. You may wonder what should be included and what should be left off. Ask yourself: is this relevant to the job I’m applying for? This will help you keep your resume to a reasonable length. This also means it might be a good idea to take your high school job off your resume.

Use specifics

Remember, your resume should be used to showcase your work. As much as possible, use specific information to make your resume stand out especially if you can point to quantifiable results. Don’t forget to keep your best accomplishments towards the top so they’re easily recognizable. A good rule of thumb is to use your resume to show off the things you’ve done instead of the duties of your job.

Pay attention to formatting

How you order the information on your resume is important. Depending how long you’ve been out of school or your education level, it may not even be the first item you list. For most of us, a good order for a resume is your education, job experience and skills. If you’re stuck, consider looking for resume formats on the internet. There are enough options that there’s a low likelihood your resume won’t stand out.

Consider your font

We all know some fonts are a no go when it comes to resumes. No one ever landed a job with comic sans on their resume. But is there a font that’s better than the rest? Many experts point to more modern fonts as being the top choice. Helvetica, Arial or Calibri are all solid choices when it comes to your resume. Don’t be afraid to use different fonts for headers either; it’ll help break up your resume and highlight specific sections.

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