Posts filed under ‘Writing’

Make a great first impression with these resume basics

Right now, lots of people are dusting off and polishing up their resumes.  With so many people applying for the same jobs, it’s important that your resume make a great first impression.  Here are some tips for making your resume stand out:

  • Double and even triple-check your contact information.  Inaccurate or incomplete contact information on a resume is lethal to your employment prospects.  After all, if you can’t provide even these most basic details, how can an employer know that you will be able to handle more complex information?  Be sure to include a mailing address, email address, and phone number.
  • Use a grown-up email address.  Employers are going to raise an eyebrow at email addresses like or  Use an email address with a basic user name (such as amyragland).  If you have to, open a new email account through a free provider like yahoo or hotmail.
  • Don’t feel it necessary to list every responsibility at every job you’ve ever had.  This can bog your resume down and make the recruiter’s head spin.  Instead, focus on three key responsibilities that are related to the job you are applying for.  Keep sentences concise and short.  Many people are tempted to tell everything about them on their resumes.  That’s what interviews are for.
  • Tailor your resume for the job opening.  Don’t lie about your experience, obviously, but try to highlight any skills or responsibilities you have that pertain to the job you’re applying for.  If you’re applying for a bookkeeping job, for example, include any accounting, bookkeeping, or financial experience that might be relevant.
  • Proofread.  This may seem like a no-brainer, but even one misspelling on a resume can send it on a death march directly to the recruiter’s trash can.
  • Include education and training.  Often, it’s not necessary to have a degree in the field you’re applying for, especially if you’re applying for a job that doesn’t require a lot of technical knowledge.  Sometimes, just having a degree shows employers that you are focused and dedicated to expanding your horizons through learning.

Sometimes, it can be helpful to have another person look over your resume and provide input on how to make it better.  I have done this as a side business for several years.  I have two levels of service: for a flat fee of $25, I will review your resume and make some suggestions for edits or changes that might make it stronger.  I can also work with you to create a resume from scratch.  My hourly rate for that service is $20.  (It usually takes about 2-3 hours total.)

If you’re interested in utilizing my services, feel free to email at  Happy job hunting!


July 17, 2009 at 1:16 pm Leave a comment

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