5 Ways to Improve Your Resume

When you apply for a new job, your resumé makes the first impression on the potential employer. If your resumé is incomplete, confusing, or difficult to read, the employer may not offer you an interview. Fortunately, there are several easy ways to improve your resumé and increase your chances of landing a job.

1. Avoid unusual fonts.

One of the best ways to improve the readability of your resumé is to avoid the use of fonts that your potential employer may not recognize. Instead, use a traditional font, such as Times New Roman or Arial. Such fonts are easy for your potential employer to read and understand without much effort. In addition, some employers may scan their resumés into a company database. Using a basic font allows the computer to interpret your resumé as well.

2. Fill in the gaps.

Potential employers may become uncomfortable if your resumé shows long periods of unemployment. If you were unemployed for a significant period of time, you should try to fill it in as best you can. If you did any volunteer work during this time, include it on your resumé. If you did freelance work or were otherwise self-employed, document this as well. If the gaps in your resumé are long and you cannot fill them, consider developing a skills-based resumé instead of a chronological one.

3. Prune your descriptions.

Another great way to improve your resumé is to trim down your job descriptions and educational information. Focus each description's content on your accomplishments rather than your responsibilities. Write concisely to avoid excessive wordiness. Make sure that each entry fully explains the job but is easy to understand. Feel free to eliminate dates where they are not absolutely necessary, and use active speech as much as possible.

4. Highlight your skills.

Your resumé is your one chance to showcase your best skills for your potential employer. Be sure to include only the skills you possess that are relevant to the job you are applying for. If you include too many skills, you may take the focus away from the ones that would impress the employer most. Instead of overwhelming your employer with lavish descriptions of your skills, highlight you best attributes in concise, bulleted points.

5. Read your resumé aloud.

Another technique you can use to improve your resumé requires you to read the document aloud. Reading the resumé aloud allows you to identify errors that you may have missed if you had only read the document silently. If you notice any grammatical errors or confusing sentences, correct them as best you can. Complete this step after you have finished all of your other improvements.