OPINION: Resumes act as your one-page first impression

(Savannah Thaemert | The Collegian)

First impressions are extremely important in all aspects of life, especially when it comes to getting a job. During your job hunt, this first impression is often your resume.

Those who are applying for a job have to figure out how to leave the best first impression possible through a piece a paper, and did I mention you only have a few seconds to make that impression?

The average employer only spends seconds looking at a resume, according to Susan Kihn’s Careerminer.com article, “Why it is so important to have a good resume.” Depending on the job you’re applying for, there are different formats that stand out more and make a better impression on employers:

  • Chronological resumes: This is the traditional method of formatting a resume, and places more emphasis on your job titles and your employment history over your skills.
  • Functional resumes: The functional resume will focus far more on your skills and achievements, rather than job titles and places of employment.

Knowing this, it is important to think about what makes you better for the job than another applicant, and I think it comes down to the little things.

By the little things I mean stick to one page while also making it look professional, as well as provide contact information, work experience and education.

However, two things that really matter and are often forgotten are to watch your writing and to get feedback. Sometimes we miss our own errors, so it might be good to ask to a professor or even a friend to take a look at your resume, according to The College Board article, “How to create your resume.

However, what we should really focus on is what the employer is looking for, according to Jacquelyn Smith’s Business Insider article, “6 things you should always include on your resume.”

“Employers want to see where candidates have earned, learned and contributed,” Smith said.

According to Kerry Hannon’s Forbes article “Want an unbeatable resume? Read these tips from a top recruiter,” people focus too much on the details. Hannon, author of the book “What’s Next? Follow Your Passion and Find Your Dream Job,” said the same was true of her friends when they have asked her to help them on their resumes.

“They agonize over the details,” Hannon said. “They’re frustrated beyond belief. They shoot their resumes off in a flick of a button when they hear about a job opening, and then silence-no response.”

A few tips Hannon gave to make a great resume included:

  • Simplicity
  • Consistency
  • Keep it short
  • Reverse chronology

“The primary reason people spend so much time, money, and effort in writing a resume is that this is the one activity within the job search that they can control,” Tony Beshara, a Dallas-based recruiter, said in Hannon’s article.

So, if you really want to stand out and get the job, remember your resume is the first step and what will ultimately help in the decision of someone hiring you or someone else. Not often do you get the chance to make a good first impression, so make it count.