So you’ve just earned your business degree, hopefully from Georgia College’s professionally ranked Web MBA program. Now what? Despite the number of awards and accolades you may have accrued over the years, you won’t be able to land your dream job until you’ve perfected your resume. Your resume is the first impression employers will have of you and if they’re not impressed, they may not even invite you to interview. Therefore, it’s essential to have a top of the line resume in order to be a competitive candidate for any job. Here are 10 tips for creating a resume that will blow away any prospective employer:
1. Use a professional font and layout
First and foremost, don’t use outlines or fonts that are difficult to read. Stick to classic, simple lettering and make the structure look crisp and clean. Employers won’t take the time to try to decipher a confusing layout or an unclear font.
2. State your objective
Do you want to obtain a job as a marketing director? A financial consultant, perhaps? Make that clear from the beginning by listing your career objective at the very top of your resume. Just make sure that your objective matches up with the job you are applying for.
3. Start every bullet point with an action word
Your resume shouldn’t be a list of job descriptions and explanations. That makes for boring reading, and will fail to capture the attention of the reader. Instead, your resume should be an exciting catalog of your accomplishments and achievements. Start each sentence with an action word to emphasize your role in each of your positions.
4. Highlight your strong points
Did you have a 3.9 GPA in college? Highlight that! If there’s something you’re extremely skilled at, or you accomplished something impressive at a former job, make sure to include it on your resume in a way that people will notice immediately upon reading it.
5. Tailor each resume to the job you’re applying for
One of the most common resume mistakes is using the same resume for every single job you apply to. If you’re applying to multiple companies, tailor each resume for that specific position. Each employer will be looking for a candidate with a specific skill set, and it is unlikely that all of the qualifications will be the same. Read job descriptions carefully and modify your resume so you appear a competitive candidate for each specific position.
6. Utilize keywords
Tying in with number 5 above, use keywords in your resume that are unique to the job you’re applying for. These days, many large companies scan resumes through a computer program that searches for keywords relating to the job description. Look at the job requirements for each position and be sure that your resume includes the most important keywords.
7. Be honest
It’s important to be creative, but don’t get carried away with embellishments. It is often obvious when people lie on their resumes, and the truth can be quickly uncovered due to the easy accessibility of records on the Internet. Lying shows that you have poor ethics, and employers won’t hesitate to toss out your resume if they find out you’ve been dishonest.
8. Keep it concise
Most employers take less than a minute to scan a resume and evaluate whether they want to consider a candidate or not. Don’t drag on for multiple pages. Keep your resume to one page, if possible. Concise and effective is always better than long and exhaustive.
9. Use the last lines for non work-related details
Do you compete in triathlons? Did you help found a volunteer program? Let the reader of your resume know! Use the last few lines of your resume to include something interesting about yourself, or something unique that you like to do in your free time—even if it doesn’t seem immediately related to the job you’re applying to. Employers like to see that you have passions and interests outside of work. It also makes you a more memorable candidate.
10. Triple-check for spelling and grammar errors
Before you send in that beautiful resume, make sure it’s totally error-free. Many employers won’t even consider candidates with spelling or grammar errors in their resumes. It would be such a shame to pour your heart into an incredible resume only to have it tossed away due to a simple spelling mistake.