Is Your Resume Holding You Back? 3 Steps You Might Be Overlooking
Published on September 16, 2013 by Staff Writer
We know first impressions are important, especially when it comes to job interviews. But what about the impression we give before the interview? What prompted the employer to schedule an interview in the first place? One very important thing: your resume.
Broadview University–Orem hosted a career fair last month that invited students to come professionally dressed with copies of their resumes to hand out to participating employers. Several students landed interviews simply because they had great resumes.
It should be easy enough to create a great resume, right? All we have to do is list all of our previous jobs, whether we quit or got fired (their loss!), our education history (including classes we failed or had to retake), and a hefty salary requirement—all wrapped up in a pretty package of spelling errors and sloppy grammar. Let the interview calls come pouring in!
. . . Eh, not so fast.
There are a plethora of tips for creating a stellar resume, but let’s focus on three very basic—yet essential—tips for getting noticed (in a good way) and getting your phone to ring by employers.
1. Format like a pro.
Simplicity is your best friend. Don’t make employers dizzy with complicated fonts and styles that are better suited for a Renaissance convention. Formatting also includes clean margins, bullet points (it’s a resume, not a novel), bold words where appropriate, and length: one to two pages max. Use a resume template as a guide.
2. Learn the art of tailoring.
No, I’m not referring to hemming the seams of an Armani suit. Tailoring a resume is a step that is often overlooked but still oh so important. Employers don’t care how many other positions you are applying for; they only care that you are applying for their position. Take the time to customize your resume and cover letter for each job you apply for and explain how your skills, education, and experience will benefit the company you want to work for.
“The digital information age has made it possible for employers to use search engines and keyword searches to match resumes with job postings,” said Randy Johnson, career services director. “If your resume doesn’t have a certain percentage match to the search criteria, you are automatically eliminated without ever being seen by a person. The time spent upfront pays off with more interviews in the long run.”
Spelling and grammatical errors are not only unprofessional, but they can make you look lazy. Your resume is, essentially, a representation of you—the first one that employers will ever see—so make sure it is free from any type of spelling or usage errors that would lead people to question your abilities. Have at least three people review your resume before handing it out.
So next time you’re applying for a job, make sure your resume is in tip-top shape. It could mean the difference between landing a nightmare of a job and landing the job of your dreams.
Broadview University is located at 898 North and 1200 West in Orem. For more information, call 801-822-5800.
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