Pickens Technical College students are being constantly reminded that their studies will only pay off if they can get a job in the industry they’ve studied. Once students get the skills and hands-on experience they need from Pickens, they’ll need to show a potential employer they
have what it takes to succeed. But you can’t get in the door if you don’t have at least a functional resume. Many jobs don’t require a fancy accounting of past accomplishments, and for most jobs, (excluding positions like Graphic Designer, etc.) your resume doesn’t need many of the bells and whistles you’ll find in the millions of resume editors and templates on the Internet.
What every resume needs instead is concise language, clear explanations of past duties and accomplishments, and at least some concern for the reader. No matter if you’re just starting your academic career at Pickens or getting ready to head out in search of the beginning of your
career, you shouldn’t forget about your resume. Here are three tips to improve your resume right now:
Eliminate All Errors
Sometimes SpellCheck isn’t enough. This sounds like common sense, but most job applicants are surprised by how many of their peers turn in resumes for a job littered with spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors. If you turn in a completely clean resume, you’ll have the advantage of an appalling percentage of other applicants. It’s not fun or fast, but making sure your resume is clean is worth it. First, fix all the issues your word processor flags, then sign up for another spelling and grammar checker online. Grammarly is a great, free product for this.
Paste all your sentences and paragraphs into this online checker, and resolve all those issues. Then, finally, read through every word and sentence on your resume. Read it out loud to catch hidden awkward sentences.
Create a Master Resume to Customize as Needed
I have one resume that lists all the jobs I’ve had since 2013. It’s far too long to send anywhere, but I use it to customize the experiences and jobs I’ve had that fit the best with the job I’m applying for. You can develop any kind of system you want for resume customization, but you must customize each resume for each job you apply to. Even jobs within the same industry and requiring many of the same skills might require slightly different job experience, with hiring managers looking for slightly different responses in the resumes they receive.
Make Your Resume Easy to Read
Even applicants for mechanic positions need to pay attention to this. Obviously, for many jobs, you won’t need to go above and beyond on resume design. But at the bare minimum, you have to ensure that your resume is easy to read. Many applicants simply try to squeeze as many words and lines onto the page as possible, widening margins and shrinking font sizes as much as possible. Instead of trying to cram as many work and educational accomplishments onto one page as possible (resumes for most positions should be one page), re-write your sentences and make choices about which experiences to include and which to exclude. It’s never too early to develop a resume. Start gathering the information you need into one document now so that you won’t have to start from scratch when it’s time to apply for jobs.