When you’re writing your resume, it’s absolutely imperative that you present your best image. After all, a resume that’s sloppy, badly formatted, or riddled with grammatical and spelling errors isn’t going to get a second glance by any hiring manager. In fact, it may not get to the hiring manager at all. Don’t sabotage your chances for a great opportunity by making a poor first impression. Keep these five tips in mind when you’re preparing your resume to go out.
1. Stay Professional: When you’re applying for a job, include relevant information about your experience and background, in the context of how it makes you a good fit for this new role. Leave out the personal information, such as your spouse and children, religious preference (unless it’s relevant to the job you want), medical history, or political affiliations (again, unless you’re trying to land a job with a political party). It’s also a good idea to omit mention of specific hobbies, unless you can find a way to translate it into a work-related set of skills.
2. Stay Honest: Don’t ever lie about your certifications, educational background, work experience, or anything else on your resume. In addition to being easily discoverable by anyone doing a background check, it speaks volumes about your integrity if you’re dishonest on your resume.
3. Stay Organized: Your resume not only showcases your skill and expertise, it’s also a good litmus test for how concise and focused your writing abilities are. Use bullet points to highlight quantifiable skills and numbers, space things evenly for ease of reading, and list items in chronological order where possible.
4. Stay Industry-Specific: You know your industry better than anyone, and if you want to move forward in your career, you’ll need to show a hiring manager just what your knowledge base includes. Use industry jargon and terminology where relevant. In addition to showing what you understand about the market, it will demonstrate what you understand about your potential employer.
5. Stay Neat: Before you submit your resume, have someone you know professionally look over it. They’re far more likely to catch errors than your spouse or your best friend, and it never hurts to have an extra set of eyes looking out for typos or grammar errors. It may seem obvious, but double check to make sure your own name, email address, and phone number are correct. If you’re submitting a printed copy of your resume, make sure it’s free of coffee stains, pet hair, and wrinkles before you turn it in.