Five Tips for a Flawless Resume

Opportunity can strike when you least expect, so it’s always a good idea to have an updated resume ready at a moment’s notice. Your resume offers both a first impression and a chance to stand out from the crowd, so invest the time and energy to make it shine.

Here are some ways to avoid common pitfalls and help ensure your resume stands out from the crowd.

Word-for-Word, Line-by-Line – Typos happen to the best of us. No matter how many times you may read through your resume, common misspellings are bound to slip through. While one or two errors may seem insignificant, they unfortunately provide hiring managers with an easy way to weed out applicants. It’s easy to overlook errors when proofreading on a computer screen, so be sure to print out your resume on copy paper and proofread a hard copy. To help ensure it is 100 percent error-free, place another sheet of paper on top to cover up the rest of the resume, and proofread word-for-word, line-by-line.

Give It Action – To describe your work experience, begin with strong action verbs. List the most impressive and important descriptions first. Examples include “Implemented new strategy that increased sales by 10 percent,” or “Managed budget for new advertising campaign.” When choosing action words, remember that hiring managers often search for keywords related to the position. Many of these are often embedded in the job description, so be sure to review the job description and incorporate as many as possible.

Be Selective – If you find the perfect job opening, create a tailored resume that’s customized precisely for the position. Emphasize previous positions and accomplishments that are most relevant to the opening, and research the company beforehand to uncover any key values or skills that they seem to highlight. Resist temptation to include irrelevant duties that may draw focus away from the points that truly matter most.

Always Make it a PDF – Software conversion can wreak havoc on an otherwise well-formatted resume, so when applying to a position via email, always save and attach your resume as a PDF to ensure it will look exactly the way you want it to when opened. Likewise, using resume builders for online job applications may seem like a time-saver, but may introduce errors in formatting and spacing – or worse, fail to upload all your information. If you cannot attach your resume as a PDF, it’s better to take the time to retype it word-for-word into the application.

Quality Counts – Your resume is an opportunity to impress, so always print and bring extra copies of your resume to an interview and use a high quality paper like Boise POLARIS® Premium Color Copy. Taking this extra step shows thoughtfulness and attention to detail – two key messages that indicate to the hiring manager that you’re both serious and prepared.