A resume is a difficult thing to craft. It should be professional, but accurately represent you. It should be short, but portray enough information to allow an employer to know that they would be interested in hiring you. There are lots of ways to make sure your resume is up to par, however.

First of all, use a template if you are truly at a loss for how to get started. These templates often have different formats, designs, and even color schemes. Here are a few places templates are easily available:

https://docs.google.com/templates?q=resume

http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/templates/results.aspx?qu=resumes

http://resumizer.com/free_resume_templates.htm

http://www.primermagazine.com/2011/earn/7-free-resume-templates

Tori Cole, columnist

Tori Cole, columnist

There are some general guidelines to help your resume stand out among the rest.

  • Keep it clean and easy to read. Extra words, phrases, and sentences bog it down and may cause it to be overlooked.
  • Include only relevant information. While it may be tempting to include everything you’ve done, completely unrelated information will slow an employer down and may end up hurting you.
  • Explain accomplishments, not just tasks. Employers want to know what you learned and accomplished, not just the day to day tasks you were able to do.
  • Proofread several times. It may sound simple, but even the smallest grammatical error could hurt your chances.
  • Use keywords. A lot of employers use technology to scan for keywords. Do a little research to find out what these might be for the job you are applying for (usually nouns related to the position), and if there is a place where it fits in naturally and honestly, put them in.