The job market is tough nowadays – very, very tough. You may have great qualifications, from an amazing college or university, and you may well even have the awesome life-experiences to set yourself out from the crowd – but sadly, that’s not enough nowadays.

The first thing any prospective employer will look at is your resume. So, if that isn’t perfect, you’re not going to get very far. That’s why we’ll take you through five ways to ensure that your resume doesn’t just look good, but reads even better.

  1. Keep your resume to the point

Your resume length is dependent on the professional level you are at, unless you are senior level or in academia, you should not go over two pages – otherwise it becomes a novel, and not a summary of your professional experience. The person reviewing applications, whether it’s the business owner, or somebody in HR, will probably have hundreds to get through. If what you’re saying doesn’t get to the point, it will be dismissed. There are no two ways about it.

  1. Make sure your resume looks professional

Sure, you could just start with a blank document, work in an introduction and then list any work-experience. Boom, resume done. Sadly, it’s not that easy. Without the right template, your resume is going to look unprofessional. Using a well-established resume builder you’ll ensure that any employer you approach is met with a professional document, perfectly tuned for their eyes (there’s a lot of theory in how employers approach resumes, you know).

  1. Always, always, include your achievements

For the greatest impact, we recommend you create an ‘achievements’ section, which will add flair and grab the reader’s attention. Nobody likes to gloat (well, not everybody), but in this situation it’s all about showing off.

Don’t think that everybody else will be doing the same? Well, there’s a good chance that they’ll be doing more than gloating, as hiring managers have found 56% of job candidates lie on their resume. Now, we’re not saying go ahead and fabricate the truth, but at least have the confidence to put forward all your achievements.

  1. Ensure that your resume is readable

This is in the same ball-park as our first point, but this is more to do with the aesthetics of your resume. Ensure you separate your resume into different sections (personal profile, achievements, work history, education etc.) – this will make things easier for your reader to take in. Next avoid any long winding sentences as they’ll put people off straight away. Finally, check grammar and spelling errors: there’s nothing more off-putting than a resume riddled with mistakes because it implies you don’t care.

  1. Make sure to target your resume

You won’t be the first person to use a generic resume – after all, job hunting is a long and drawn out process. One way to stand out though is by tailoring your resume to the organization you’re applying to. For example, by changing your profile to include reasons why you’d be a great fit for business XYZ, it comes across as if you care, and people who care generally get jobs.