resume tipsFirst impressions are still a big deal, so since your resume is your first introduction to a hiring manager, isn’t it imperative that it stands out?

Did you know that the difference between a potential employer hiring you or the other guy could come down to how well both of you describe the same thing?

Whether you’re revamping an old resume or putting together your very first resume, there are a few things you need to know to help you land your dream job:


Modify your resume for the job

Always look at the job description when you’re applying for a position because more often than not, companies will give you word-for-word what skills and prior experience they expect to see on your resume. You can use that to modify your personal, volunteer and professional experiences to fit the needs of that specific company.

While it’s not necessary to write separate resumes for each application, minor modifications are encouraged! You should take the time to do a sweep through of your resume and identify areas where you can better align your experience with the job posting.  Whether that entails swapping out some bullet points, keywords or removing older and less relevant entries. For example, putting down that you worked for your college newspaper, just to fill up space, won’t look that impressive to an engineering or technology company.

Don’t just add lists of daily tasks

An experience section should be included in any resume but don’t put a bland, bulleted list of daily tasks you were required to do in every position you’ve held. The easiest way to do that is to write down what you accomplished, rather than what you were told to do.

Writing down specific events and values enhances the overall quality of your experience.  Note: People in general pay more attention to numerical values in a resume than they do long, boring sentences so make sure to add quantitative values wherever you can.

Make sure your bullet points pack a punch

Shorter is almost always better when it comes to writing a resume and the main thing to remember is to write for your audience. Keep in mind that the employer reading your resume has already read dozens of other resumes that day so don’t force them to read an unnecessarily long paper that will only succeed at making them throw it in the trashcan.

A definite no-no are long paragraphs that describe every detail of your past experiences. Compact everything into very concise bullet points that tell a potential employer everything (and nothing more) than they need to know.

It can seem pretty tricky when you’re trying to get someone to hire you based on a couple of bullet points but if you combine this tip with number two, you’ll do great!

Besides creating a clear, concise list of everything you accomplished, one big thing you need to do is put those accomplishments and actions into context. Write sentences that have impact and point out why, how or what results your actions led to within the company you now work for. Qualifying things you did have a positive impact on the value of work you put in.

Make sure to use action verbs, such as “analyzed,” “constructed,” or “managed” when creating your bullet points.

Whether you’re a newbie resume writer or a polished veteran, using some of these tips is the easiest way to polish up your resume and present yourself in the best light!