That being said, here are a few tips to ensure your resume is the best it can be.
1. Keep it brief.
“When writing a resume, it is critical to keep it short,“ said Addye Buckley-Burnell, assistant director of career development in the Career Center. “Right now, people are averaging looking over your resume the first time around between six and 15 seconds. So you need this to be an easily scanned document where you can look it over and find what you need very quickly.”
Buckley-Burnell also recommended trying to keep the document to one page.
2. Consider creating an ePortfolio.
Because good resumes are generally so concise, it can be a good idea to design an ePortfolio online that expands upon your experiences, Buckley-Burnell said. Including a link to this ePortfolio in your resume gives employers the chance to see examples of your actual work and provides them more information that may not be listed on your resume.
3. If you think your resume looks boring, you’re probably doing it right.
Many applicants are now looking at design-heavy resumes, but Buckley-Burnell said that is only appropriate if they are applying for a design industry position. “For most of us, it (the resume) is actually going to look pretty boring on paper,” Buckley-Burnell said. “The key here is to make your actual experience stand out by highlighting skill sets that are going to be needed for that specific audience.”
Career counselor in Auburn’s Exploratory Advising Center Marissa Miller shared similar advice.
“Avoid color, graphics and headshots or pictures on the resume,” she said. “They will be more distracting than helpful for the employer or reader.”
4. Check over your resume. Check it again. Repeat.
Making sure your resume is free of grammatical and spelling errors is paramount, Miller advised.
“Triple-check for spelling and grammatical errors,” Miller said. “It may take just one error to move your resume to the ‘no’ pile.”
Buckley-Burnell also suggested having other people look through the resume a few times.
5. Cater your resume to the specific employer’s needs.
Different employers often look for different things, and according to Buckley-Burnell, the best way to make a resume stand out is to target it to a specific audience.
“You’re going to have a different version of your resume for just about every position you apply to because every position looks different.” Miller said. “Generic resumes can be seen from a mile away,” Miller said. “Make sure the experiences you are listing are directly correlated to not only the industry you are pursuing but also to the specific position and company you are applying for.