Learn how to put your best foot forward with resume writing tips

Published: Jun. 17, 2016 at 5:10 PM CDT
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A resume is your most important branding tool. Melissa Haught from the Black Hills State College of Business has some advice.

Common Mistakes in Writing a Resume:

* Think of it as your biggest BRANDING TOOL - first impressions matter, have it reviewed by several people for spelling/grammar errors - thrown out immediately; how do you set yourself apart from others? What makes you special? - Internships, study abroad, and foreign language.

* Your resume gets you the interview, you get the job in the interview process. Don't use a template - trying to stand out from others.

* Keep it relevant and tailor it to the position that you are applying for - should not be sending out the same resume to every position. Use keywords that are in the job description. There are software programs that many companies use to search for those keywords.

* Keep a lifelong resume - this is a document that does not get sent out but that has all of your activities, jobs, etc listed for you so that you can copy and paste things. We think that we can recall things but it is difficult. This makes it easy to update your resume.

* Keep it to one page if you are new to the industry, two pages if you have relevant experience. Hiring managers are sorting through 100s of resumes and you want to make it easy for them to read through yours.

* Use the term Relevant Experiences not just Work Experience - this includes everything that you have done group projects, research, activities, volunteer work, organizations you are a part of.

* Think of bullet points under your Relevant Experience as accomplishment statements not just duties from the job description. What did you accomplish in this position? How did you better the company? Increase sales, decrease incidents - quantify your results.

* No need to include "References Upon Request" - think of what you are giving space to on your resume. Valuable space that could be used for something else.

* Clean up your social network presence - 90% of employers seek you out on social media and that is increasing! Don't forget the importance of networking and touching base with people in person and utilizing those individuals in your job search efforts.

* Always, always, always include a cover letter - keep it short but not generic, make sure you include why you want to work for the company, if there is a personal connection, you want to portray that you are a likeable person and a good fit for the company. DO YOUR RESEARCH beforehand. The hiring manager wants to know that you have done your research.

* Follow up 10-14 days as a general rule. Don't stop looking and moving. Some people tend to stop looking when you get that interview.

* Don't give up! It takes time and numerous resumes sent out before you get an interview!