Last weekend I ventured to my alma mater to see my little brother graduate from college. I still find it hard to believe that I graduated three years ago! Where did the time go?!
While watching all the students walk across the stage, I reminisced on my college experience. It is easy to remember all the classes that you absolutely dreaded, the classes where you had a tremendous amount of busy work, and the classes that you felt actually prepared you for life after college. One of the classes that helped me prepare for my future taught resume and cover letter writing. This is no easy task, but a solid resume will greatly improve your chances of landing that dream job.
With this fresh class of graduates getting ready to enter into today’s job market, it is important to write a resume that helps you stand out as an exceptional candidate for the job you are seeking! Here are some tips to keep in mind when creating your resume and cover letter:
One resume for each employer. If you are applying to numerous jobs, you may be tempted to send a “standard” resume to all employers with job openings. However, this can reduce the chances of landing a job. You should take the time to tailor your cover letter and resume for each employer. Use industry-specific language and make references to the job description.
Use numbers. To catch the attention of a potential employer, highlight tangible results on your resume. Don’t just state that you increased sales or reduced costs. Did you increase the sales by 15 percent or reduce costs by 25 percent?
Use bullet points. Make sure you use bullet points and short sentences to describe your career objectives, educational background, and other experiences. Being clear and concise is crucial!
Proofread! Typos and grammar matter big time! Your resumes and cover letters must be error free! It is imperative to check and then double-check for any grammatical or formatting errors. A small oversight can make a poor impression. This is your one opportunity to “wow” a potential employer.
Get someone else to review your resume or cover letter. Even if you have looked over your resume or cover letter multiple times, it is still a good idea to have others review and provide you with feedback. You may be surprised what errors you overlooked!
With a little effort, you can have a resume and cover letter that help you “win” with potential employers. Do you have any tips or suggestions for writing a winning resume?
For an updated version of how to write a winning resume, click here.
You’re right, grammar (and punctuation) DO matter big time. I’ve known employers to throw away ANY resume they see that has any mistake, grammatical or otherwise. It’s harsh but that’s the job market reality.
I think the biggest difference that has to be learned is between a ‘resume’ and a ‘curriculum vitae’. I would say *Don’t waste time in writing essays about yourself ( is anybody interested reading?? ) and be clear i.e. precise and to the point. I second the idea of using a cover letter: it think it is all about ‘establishing your credentials”. Nothing annoy an employer more than this that he has to look/search for details in order to contact you.
Thanks for the post, I am sure this will be of great help 🙂
Thanks for your comments!
I agree with your point that resumes need to be quick and to the point. It is important not to waste your interviewer’s time and you definitely don’t want them to get bored of your resume.