The job market is tough and the resume is the first step into finding a great job. While there are more than 100 applicants for every job, the resume needs to be exceptional to make it stand out from the rest.
Writing a resume is one of the most important documents that the job hunter has to compose. It is the ticket to a new job and can also be the reason that you are overlooked for that grand position. Here are tips on writing a resume to ensure that you at least get an interview and attract a great deal of attention with your resume.
1. Plan Ahead
Before attempting to start drafting a resume, make sure to gather all documentation. From the name of the school system that you graduated from to the first place that you worked, all this information is relevant and needed for a resume.
Make sure that all information is factual and accurate. If an employer has gone out of business, make sure to state that on the resume and not put a fake address. Putting any information that is not truthful can lead to big problems should the employer decide to do some fact checking.
2. Presentation Is Everything
While it may be more economical to use computer paper and a basic envelope, using resume stationery can mean all the difference in the world. Some people like to use tactics and think that colored paper might draw more attention to their resume when placed in a stack with others.
Actually, it is proper to only put a resume on white or ivory paper and to make sure that the envelope matches. While it is something so small, sometimes it takes small details to ensure that a resume gets noticed.
3. Proofread and Then Proofread Again
The resume is the first impression that a potential employer will get of an applicant. The resume will speak volumes, especially if it is full of spelling and grammar errors. Employers want to hire competent people and if you cannot spell, you can make sure that your resume will not be considered.
It is easy to run the resume through any spelling and grammar program. This will help even the poorest speller make a good first impression.
4. Attach a Cover Letter
There are many people that think they can skimp on the cover letter and that it is not necessary. Actually, the cover letter allows the employer to get a better overall picture of the person they are considering. This letter is a great place to explain gaps in employment history and also allow the employer to know a bit more about the prospective employee.
Ask yourself questions when writing both the resume and the cover letter, “Why would I hire this person?” With this thought in mind, draft your documents according to making yourself as marketable as possible.
5. Be Truthful
While it is typical to try to spice up accomplishments, it is important not to embellish. With today’s verification systems and all the checks and balances that are in place, it is important to make sure that the information that is stated is factual.
If you were class secretary in High school, it is important to state that you were class secretary and not embellish the position to Class president. Employers always have a way of finding out information and you want to make sure that what you tell them can be verified.
Job history is another area that people try to embellish. A full background check will show dates of employment and other information. Honesty is always the best policy.
6. Less is More
Normally, the resume needs to be no more than one page in length. It is also customary to put a reference page with the resume. If the resume is so full of information that it an employer has to hunt around for the information they need, they are likely to overlook it.
Have clearly defined categories and make sure that they can quickly access the previous job history and education without a great deal of searching. Try to keep jobs to the last five years and if you have an extensive employment history, only focus on the jobs that are key for the position which you have applied.