Posted By: Kristen Brownholtz

Applying to a new job? The first piece any application will ask for is a resume. A resume is a formal document outlining your qualifications for a position. Your resume should be legible, consistent, focused, relevant, and carefully edited with relevant responsibilities, workplace history, and achievements. Every circumstance is different, so is every resume. Looking for help with this daunting task? Look no further!

Your resume needs to be professional and polished to get a glance from any hiring manager. Hiring managers often get dozens, if not hundreds of applications for each job. An unprofessional, unpolished resume could cost you a potential interview. Sloppy resumes riddled with typos are often overlooked. Resumes that are not consistent- bullets in some places, dashes in others, bold in some headings, plain texts in others- may not get a second look either. Your resume needs to be effective, consistent, concise, and clear. It also needs to be easy to read. This includes avoiding tiny fonts, dense blocks of text, vague and/ or excessive language, and inconsistent formatting.
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Choose a resume type that works best for you and your personal circumstances. We typically suggest this type of resume to start off with. Templates can help you format, but should be customized and not copied and pasted. When formatting, your resume should be easy to read. You want the hiring manager to read with ease and absorb your work history and accomplishments. Use a legible font- nothing too big or too small. We recommend Times New Roman, Arial, or Calibri in a size between 10-12 with standard margins. The standard margins should be between .5" and 1" around. If you are not sending an electronic resume or bringing a resume to an in person interview, use a white or cream colored paper.

When adding text to your resume, continue to have consistent formatting. For example, if you use bullet points to describe you achievements and work history at one position, continue to use the same bullet throughout. Also, when you are changing the on your resume, be mindful of when to use that style again. It's also important not to include extraneous information. More isn't always better. Your resume should focus on the skills and attributes that qualify you for the job. Leave out any information that won't help you land the job you are applying to.

Don't be afraid to periodically refresh your resume. Be sure to include all your latest achievements, and make sure that your employment, and educational history are up to date. Continuing to update your resume will increase your chances of getting noticed by a recruiter or hiring manager. Make sure the resume you have reflects the job(s) you are applying for.

When finishing your resume, carefully edit it. Spelling and grammatical errors can make an applicant seem inattentive to details. Make sure to proofread your resume to ensure it is consistent and error-free. Then check it again! If possible, find someone else to look at it as well since it is too easy to miss your own typos. You can also use a career counselor or other professional resume service to help you ensure your resume is professional and polished!

Check before you send! If you have various resumes based on different roles you have applied to or currently applying to, make sure you are sending in the correct resume with any other documents the job might require when applying.

Resumes are so important when applying to jobs and crucial to set the tone to any hiring manager. The more consistent you are when looking at your resume and editing it, the more professional it will be. Hopefully, these tips for your resume will help you create or update with ease.
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