A resume is your first opportunity to make an impression on a hiring manager or recruiter. And it’s important one great first impression. The average recruiter only spends seconds browsing your resume so you need to stand out from the crowd.

We have compiled a list of a few important factors to consider when creating or updating your resume. Here are the 10 most important components of a great resume:

1. Organized format

Structure your resume in an organized way; Keep your font simple, your layout attractive, and your spacing consistent. You want your resume to be easy to read too, so make sure you have enough white space. You don’t want to overwhelm HR managers or recruiters with too much text. An organized resume format will automatically get them to take a closer look at your resume.

2. Correct spelling / grammar

Hiring manager refers to the resume during an interview

Double-check everything for spelling and have someone proofread your resume before submitting it. Spelling or grammatical errors give hiring managers and recruiters the impression that you are not paying attention to details and are not really interested in the position you are applying for. Avoid these mistakes at all costs!

3. Professional attitude

Woman updates her resume

List a professional-sounding email address – not “partyanimal_687” or “2cool4u15”. Also, list a phone number appended to a professional voicemail greeting. Potential employers don’t need to hear reality TV, loud music, crying children, or street noise in the background. If that means you need to re-record your voicemail greeting, so be it.

4. Objective keywords

Applicants hold their résumé before an interview

Leave out subjective words like “reliable” and “hardworking”. A prospective employer will not invite you for an interview because they say you are reliable. They will invite you because they think you can solve a problem for them. This is why it is important to quantify your work experience on your resume.

5. Keywords from the job description

The hiring manager reviews an applicant's résumé

Include words on your resume that are listed in the job description of the position you are applying for. This will help you get your resume through the ATS and also help a hiring manager quickly see that you are suitable for the position.

6. Brief explanations of employment gaps and layoffs

The hiring manager records an applicant's résumé during an interview

If you have been laid off from multiple positions due to downsizing, please mention this. If you have a large gap in your career, explain what you did and what you learned during that time. Keep your explanations short and sweet.

7. Relevant job / internship / volunteer experience

The hiring manager reads a candidate's résumé during an interview

If you’re a veteran in your industry, you don’t need to list the very first job you had decades ago. If you have a significant amount of industry-related experience, keep your professional history to the last 10-15 years. If you recently graduated from college, it’s okay to list the part-time position that you had in college. However, you will also want to list any internship, volunteering, coursework, or project that is relevant to the position. Unpaid experience still counts.

8. Effective use of space

The applicant hands over his résumé to the HR manager

Treat every word on your resume like a beachfront property. Space is so valuable. Make every word you use count. Also, make sure not to jam too much text on your resume. They want just enough information to get hiring managers and recruiters to call you.

9. Individual cover letter

Woman smiles as she reads her resume and cover letter

Your cover letter should contain content that is different from your résumé and very closely related to the job description. This means that you will have to rewrite your cover letter for each position you apply for. For the best results, make sure you write disruptive cover letters so you can stand out in the hiring process.

10. Realistic expectations

Woman checks her resume before an interview

Be optimistic but realistic. If a job description lists a required task that you believe you can do, try to articulate and quantify your previous experience to reflect it. However, if a job description lists seven required skills or certifications and you only have three of them, then you do not meet the qualifications and should not apply.

It’s a good time to update your resume and think a little about your strengths and skills. The ability to effectively and concisely summarize your skills, education and experience is important for everyone – regardless of whether you are looking for a job in the near future. These resume tips are designed to help you get the best possible impression of yourself on paper. You only have one chance to make a good impression so count yours!

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This post was originally published earlier.

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