Whether you are searching for a part-time job or a full-time career after high school, creating a resume that outlines your potential is extremely important to your success. There are several components of a resume, and each should be thoughtfully included to help maximize your chances at landing a job. Follow these simple tips for developing a knockout resume.

Make Your Summary Standout

A resume may be the only first impression you get when applying for a new position. It is important that the summary about yourself stands out! A resume summary consists of a few sentences at the beginning. The details included in this brief section should encompass important details about yourself and immediately capture a potential employer’s attention.

In the summary, you will want to highlight your biggest assets that would be beneficial to a new employer. Every detail that you include should outline your strengths and why you would be a valuable addition to any team. For instance, it would be important to note any relevant experience and/or qualifications you have that would prove beneficial in the position in which you are applying such as computer certifications, training, and so on.

Because the resume summary is so important in capturing the attention of a new employer, avoid including “filler” items that do not pertain to the job for which you are applying such as hobbies (unless they are relevant), certifications that are unrelated, irrelevant experience, etc. The goal of a summary is to impress a potential employer before they have even had a chance to meet you face to face. A well-executed summary should compel an employer to interview you for the job.

Tailor Your Resume for Each Job

In addition to making sure that your summary stands out, it is equally important to tailor your resume for the job in which you are applying. Nothing is less useful (or more harmful to your job search) than a resume filled with irrelevant and unnecessary information. You want to make sure that you include items that match the job you are applying for.

If you are applying for a position that requires computer skills, be sure that you list your experience or certification with computers. If you are applying to be a childcare worker, it is important to list any items that show your experience in that area such as babysitting experience or being CPR- and first aid-certified. If the job you are applying for requires teamwork skills, highlight the jobs or projects that you have done that required collaborating with a team.

Essentially, you want to put your “best foot forward” and detail any and all experience that you have had in the field in which you are applying. By doing so, you become more valuable to a potential employer.

Include All Relevant Education

In continuing with including relevant information, when listing your educational background, include items that relate to the position you are applying for. Do not include classes that you have completed in health science if you are applying for a position as a cashier. However, it would be helpful to include that you have completed an accounting class to further show your qualifications as a cashier.

Include Extracurricular Activities and Community Service

Another important aspect of a resume is to give an employer a glimpse at your character and personality. You do not want to overshare, but employers want to know who they are hiring. In this portion of the resume, you may list your connections to the community. Do you service the community in some way? Have you volunteered for a local organization? What do you spend the majority of your free time doing? As we have said, keep this section of your resume short and sweet, but list items about yourself that shed some light on your idea of fun, your ability to show compassion, and your cooperation with others.

Spotlight Your Achievements and Awards

The entire purpose of a resume is to show a potential employer how qualified you are to fill a position at their place of business. It is crucial that you list any achievements and awards that you have earned. Listing these gives an employer an idea of your work ethic and ability to perform a job. For instance, did you earn the title of “employee of the month” at a previous job? List it! Did you earn academic honors? List that, too! Potential employers need to see that others have acknowledged your abilities. This gives them an idea about how you will perform on the job if hired.

Make Sure It’s Short, Professional, and Proofread!

Resumes should be short and to the point. Again, resumes should be short and to the point! When hiring for a position, employers receive several resumes that they must comb through. They narrow down the resumes to find the top candidates to interview. I dare say that a lengthy resume would be more of a hindrance than a help in getting yourself hired. Employers do not have the time to read through lengthy resumes. Instead, as mentioned before, keep your resume short and sweet. Highlight your most important qualities that would be beneficial to the employer to ensure that your resume gets noticed.

The last step in creating a resume is proofread! Double-check your spelling and grammar all throughout the resume; consider asking a friend or parent to proofread as well. Spelling mistakes and bad grammar simply put a “bad taste” in a potential employer’s mouth! Always, always read through every detail of your resume to ensure that it is top notch before submitting it for a job.