One of the most important documents you will ever create is your resume. Too often, people rush through it. I know. I have reviewed hundreds of resumes in my technical writing classes, and it is amazing how many are so poorly written. There is an art to a great resume, but there are also basic things you should do to give your resume the best chances of not being rejected immediately.
I cannot stress enough that you need to read through your resume over and over again. Not only that, you should get your most picky and critical friend who is good at proofreading to go through your resume too. This is not a time for ego. Put it aside, and take whatever comments come your way. You may not follow every single comment made (especially if your friend does not know your industry jargon), but you should take each one seriously.
Lists Items in a Logical Order
A resume is a technical document, and it should be consistent in presentation and style. That means you need to take the time and order your material. In most instances, your education and your employment should be listed in chronological order with the most recent first. In addition, list information consistently. For instance, put company, location, position and dates of employment in the same order for each job you have held. You could put dates of employment, position, company and location, but whatever you do for one job, you do for each job listed.
Tailor the Resume for the Position You Are Applying for
One mistake people often make is having one resume that they submit for everything. Depending on the job you are applying for, you may want to emphasize one set of skills over another. Have more than one version of your resume and keep all the copies while you are job searching. Take the time to tailor your resume to the position you are applying for. That attention to detail will pay off in the long run.
Apply for Jobs You Are Truly Qualified for
Okay. This is not necessarily a tip about how to create a resume, but it is an important one. I sat on a hiring committee once and had the chance to review resumes in a real life situation. I was amazed at how many people applied for a position they had no qualifications for. What did we do with those resumes? They ended up in the waste basket right way with the ones that had mistakes and typos.
If you have the budget, it may pay to hire someone with resume writing experience to help you craft resumes that are professional and accurate. If you do not have the budget, then invest your time and recruit your friends to proofread.