Your resume is how you introduce yourself to a prospective employer. Are you making the best impression? Here are some tips to improving your resume.
Before writing the resume:
- Research the company thoroughly by reviewing its website, descriptions of positions, and its mission and goals. If possible, talk to someone who has worked for the company. Do you feel you’d be a match for the culture and goals of the company?
- Review any news clippings you can find about the company.
- Prepare yourself to ask questions if selected for an interview.
- Do you have the skills being advertised in the job description? Be sure before you apply. Hiring managers are very busy, and you waste their time and an opportunity if you apply for a position for which you’re not yet qualified.
- List relevant job experience and skills, even part-time employment. Tailor your resume to the specific position for which you’re applying.
- Translate volunteer experience into job-related skills:
- Have you held a leadership position?
- Managed a project from start to finish?
- Been responsible for budgets or finances?
- Built web pages?
- Organized volunteers?
- Planned a major event?
- Use action verbs:
- Be as brief as possible to ensure your resume is read. One to two pages is ideal.
- Be very selective in choosing references. Make sure your reference is qualified to address your skills, work ethic, and work quality. It’s never a good idea to ask a relative to serve as a reference.
- Always be truthful about your work experience and accomplishments. Most companies will verify with a reference check.
- Proofread carefully. Then ask a friend to proofread. Typos and grammatical mistakes are fatal in a resume.
- Write a cover letter that summarizes your major skills and goals and tells a potential employer why you’re a fit for the position.
- Format the resume in a way that is attractive and easy to read, but never place appearance over the actual content of your resume. Employers are interested in what you can bring to the position.