Cramming all your accomplishments into one neat, succinct and impressive page can take hours, but no matter how much or how little time you put into them, resumes are essential to landing the interview. A great resume can make you look perfect on paper – a bad one can completely ruin your chances.
If your resume looks like a complete mess, here are five tips on how to clean up your resume and put your best foot forward for your job search.
1. Iron out those errors
There’s a reason why resume grammar mistakes are one of the top reasons that students have trouble getting their foot in the door for a job. Grammatical errors are enough to cause employers to disqualify you for an interview — after all, if you can’t be careful when you’re applying for the job, will you really be on your game when you have the job?
Read your resume over and over until you’re absolutely sure that it’s error-free–reading it aloud helps even more. Having another set of eyes is helpful as well, so ask a friend or a career counselor to look it over to make sure your resume is all buttoned up and ready to ship to employers.
2. Remove irrelevant experience
As a general rule, you should always try to remove outdated, irrelevant experience from your resume. For example, if you’re an upperclassman in college, your activities during freshman and sophomore year of high school probably don’t deserve a place on your resume, unless, of course, you were given a Nobel Peace Prize at age 15.
Another great way to cut down on resume clutter is to ensure that only the internships related to your career passion are featured on your resume. For example, if you know you want to manage social media and you chose a job freshman year of college working as a camp counselor, you may not need to include that position.
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3. Name your file well
Because employers will be receiving several resumes during hiring season, it’s not to your advantage send an attachment labeled “Resume2016_Version3.pdf.” Make the file name clear and put your name in it so that employers immediately know which file to associate with you. We recommend Firstname_Lastname_Resume.pdf.
4. Unprofessional email address
When you’re putting contact information on your resume, make sure it’s an email address that won’t make employers do a double take. For example the email, firstname.lastname@example.org probably won’t get as much outreach as a personal email with your first and last name.
You should also make sure that you put a personal email or a school email address–not any information associated with your current internship or part-time job. You want to make sure that you always have access to this account so that regardless of whether or not you change positions, you’ll be able to see that employers are reaching out.
5. Take out abbreviations and jargon
So you were part of the YGFMAF club on campus? That’s great…except that no one reading your resume knows what that is.
Make it easy for employers to understand your activities and your accomplishments by spelling out the parts of your resume that need explaining. The goal is for your resume to be easy to read, so that employers can quickly get an understanding of who you are as a candidate.