Landing A Job: 6 Tips for Improving Your Resume

You’re growing up and entering the real world — the real world of prospective employers asking you for a resume when you apply for a job. Don’t let this frighten you.

You probably know what a resume is already, but have you put much thought into what you want yours to look like? What it should look like? Maybe you’ve already created one but it doesn’t represent you the way you want it to.

Long gone are the days of a boring resume. When it comes to applying for a job or internship, make a resume you’re proud of and get creative. The following are some guidelines you should follow when creating your new resume or updating your old one.

Important information

Important information would classify as things such as your name and contact information.

Name

You’ll want your name to stand out the most so make it prominent! You can do this by making the font slightly larger, using a different typeface just for your name or by using a logo of your initials. This small touch will get your name to stand out just enough for your future employer (fingers crossed) to remember. Don’t go overboard and make it too distracting though.

Contact information

Along with your name, you’ll also want to include a way for them to reach you. Your phone number and email address should suffice. When including your email address, be sure it’s professional. Chances are your 8th grade AOL email address won’t make the cut. Try an email address using some form of your name, initials, etc.

Keep it short

The last thing your prospective employer wants to read are several essay-long resumes from various applicants. Keeping it short will not only help them out but it makes your job a little easier, well, sort of. One page should suffice. Don’t add unnecessary fluff. Get to the point.

Style and format

Avoid the paragraph style

Avoid the paragraph style and go the bullet route. Writing in paragraphs will give a chunky appearance and using bullets or something of the sort will make your resume easier to scan.

Avoid templates

When you’re designing your resume, I would also try to avoid the templates given on Microsoft Word. While it’s nice to use a template that you can just enter information into, you wouldn’t want a fellow applicant’s resume to look similar to yours, now would you? You want your resume to be memorable and distinct, not just blend in with the resumes of other applicants. Play it safe and avoid these types of templates.

White space isn’t a bad thing

Having a good amount of white space makes your resume more easily readable and also a lot neater. You don’t have to have words and designs going all over your resume. A good amount of white space will be more appealing to the reader than words, words and more words.

Avoid too much color

When your prospective employer looks at your resume, you won’t want them to think your little brother’s crayons exploded all over it. Keep it simple. It’s okay to add one or two colors, just don’t go overboard with borders and the whole color spectrum.

Spell check and grammar

I can’t stress this enough. Once you’ve completed your resume, be sure to check it for spelling and grammar mistakes — more than once. Save yourself the embarrassment of spelling something wrong or putting a comma where there should be a period. Yikes.

Fit the position

Make your resume fit the specific position you’re applying for. In other words, don’t use one general resume for all of your job applications. If you’re applying for a writing position, saying you won some science award probably won’t help you get the writing job.

With that being said, place your most recent jobs first. It’s probably best for your prospective employer to see your most recent jobs or achievements first rather than something you did when you were in junior high school.

PDF Format

If you’re sending your prospective employer your resume in a PDF format, link any and all urls to any online projects or work samples you have and want to share. This will let them see just that much more of the work you’ve done in the past in order to consider your prospective position.

Above all, have confidence. Applying for jobs can be a bit nerve-racking but I assure you, with a great resume, you’ll knock their socks off.

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Kassi Luja

Kassi Luja

Kassi Luja is a junior at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo pursuing a degree in journalism with a concentration in news-editorial. At school, she can often be found in the Mustang Daily newsroom where she works as a copy editor. Outside of school, she enjoys reading, listening to music and spending time with family and friends.
Kassi Luja

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