first job resume

Resumes are the trickiest bits of writing that the average person is likely to have to deal with in their lifetime. Your resume is also the most important document for your career. What makes resume writing difficult is that you’ve got to put together a document that grabs and hold someone’s attention in a positive way in just a few seconds, and then provide enough useful information to allow them to make an informed decision regarding your competence to fill their position.

Objective statements are outdated and pointless. Unless the employer specifically asks for one there is no need to include one.

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Luckily it doesn’t require stellar computer skills or a writing degree to catch your target company’s attention. Here are a few great resume tips to help you make a great impression so that you’ll get that job interview and the chance to present your skills in greater depth.

Suggested Reading:30 DIY Resume Hacks – Tips to Fast-Track Your Job Search Results: A Get-It-Done

Photo by James L.W on Unsplash

1. Don’t Write a Novel

The length of your resume depends on where you are in your career.  If you have just graduated from college or have only had one or two jobs, a page is as long as it should be.  Many interviewers will throw a resume out without even glancing at it if there is a paperclip attached, regardless of what incredible accomplishments you might have. It’s also not ok to use a smaller font to fit more information on to the page. You simply shouldn’t need to say that much to convince someone to hear you out in person. Ensure you researched the job that you’re applying for enough to know exactly what information, experience and skills are relevant to the job.

“You need to always be looking to grow, to push your experience, and make sure that your resume only ever gets a yes! And this can sound like a lot of work. But, if you want to make sure that you start getting interviews for the jobs you want, you need to recharge your resume. And here’s how.” – 10 Things That Can Recharge Your Resume

2. Only List Related Experience

Don’t list any work experience or accomplishments that don’t relate to the job that you are applying for. If you have diverse experience, consider having multiple resumes (see How Many Resumes Do You Have?). Having gaps in your work history will most likely require an explanation during the interview, but your resume doesn’t need to include an exhaustive list of your past work or accomplishments if the experience doesn’t relate to your current endeavor. This will help ensure that your resume is relevant.

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3. Don’t make an Objective Statement

Objective statements are outdated and pointless. Unless the employer specifically asks for one there is no need to include one. They tend to be pedantic, largely meaningless, and they take up precious real estate on your single page of space that you need to use to fill with all of your relevant skills and qualifications. This might be a bit of an unusual resume tip, since some employers are quite attached to their opening statements, but they rarely contribute anything to your chances at an interview. 

4. Don’t use Graphics or Color

Flashy graphics, highlighted phrases and sentences, or clip art are all not appropriate on your resume. These things distract from the message of your resume (which is that you’re professional and competent) and suggest that you’re trying to distract the reader away from some other part of it. If you want to specifically emphasize a few accomplishments or skills it’s acceptable to use italics or bolding very sparingly. As far as resume tips go, the most important overarching goal is that the whole document needs to look clean, simple, and easily readable. The reader will need to be able to scan over it in a few seconds and have a reasonable idea of who you are, what you’ve done, and why you’re applying.

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5. Customize

There are a huge number of resume templates out there, and chances are that you’re using one of them or a sample resume of some sort if you’re reading this. Don’t feel the need to fill in every bit of information that a template asks for if you don’t think that it’s relevant to the application. Also, if there is something you’d like to mention that doesn’t fit in the proffered template, don’t hesitate to reformat it to suit your needs and reflect your accomplishments as well as possible. These tools exist to assist you, no to constrain you.

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