Resume Writing Advice for the Unemployed

Being unemployed is difficult enough in and of itself, and you certainly don’t want to go compounding your mistakes by searching for a new job and sending out a resume which is poorly written, incorrectly structured or just flat out doesn’t do justice to your skills and/or educational background. Preparing a resume is essentially a science in which there are ways to structure your information, and certain buzz words that can be used to draw the attention of potential employers.

Having a resume which highlights your best skills and accomplishments can be a massive advantage over other potential job searchers competing for the same position. The real question is, how does one ensure that their resume is going to stand out above all others? Here is a list of the most essential tips/advice when it comes to creating a new resume or altering your current one:

  • What is the point? Meaning, what is the ultimate message that your resume is trying to get across? This isn’t your moment to write a novel about your life so to speak. Your resume is wholly intended to get you in front of an interviewer. Think about descriptive bullet points as opposed to long, drawn out paragraphs.
  • You don’t have much time to make a first impression. Studies have shown you have as little as five seconds to make a first impression. By making your resume stand out with descriptive titles to grab the focus of a potential employer, you increase the likelihood of being called in for an interview. For example, don’t say, “Editor”, say “Content Development Associate”. 
  • Being able to associate your particular skill base and work experience with the job you are applying for can be a major attention grabber. Don’t just list your skills and experience, draw a correlation as to how your specific skills can help you with the job you are applying for.
  • Nothing drives potential employers more nuts than a resume that is improperly structured or even worse so, contain spelling errors. If your resume contains misspelled words it is likely that it will be directly deposited into the trash without a second thought. If you aren’t interested in accurate grammar on your resume, an employer is left to only imagine how little you will care when it comes to completing tasks as their employee.
  • It may seem ridiculous, but the size of the font on your resume, or the particular font itself could be a disqualifying factor for consideration of a potential job opportunity. Generally, a size 12 font is the accepted standard size for the body text of a resume. Under no circumstances should you use all capital letters. Furthermore, when it comes to the font style, you can’t go wrong with Times New Roman, or Arial.
  • It’s the information! Knowing what to put on your resume and what to leave off are equally as important. Ultimately, only the most pertinent information should make it onto your resume. So when it comes time to create your resume, be sure to put the most important/pertinent information first. Generally speaking, your most recent job experience is the most important aspect of your resume, so it should be found at the top. Additionally, when it comes to your educational background, skills and/or experience, always list the most important ones first.
  • You don’t need to put absolutely each and every work experience of your lifetime on a resume. It is likely that your babysitting gig at the age of fifteen or being a camp counselor at the age of sixteen is going to be of no interest to a potential employer and do nothing for you in terms of getting you a new employment opportunity.
  • If you are lucky enough to have people to call your friends or family, then put them to work! Ask them to review your resume and give your any suggestions or criticisms as they see it. Quite often if a mistake is made by use, we can easily overlook it or reason away the reasoning for a particular mistake, wording or structuring of the content.
  • It’s very nice that you are a sports lover and grew up with a love of swimming and reading spy novels, but those things are of no use to a potential employer and are quite likely to turn off a potential employer. Keep your resume strictly professional, and save the personal preferences for your friends and family in your personal life.



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