One of the hardest parts of the job search is building a solid resume that really sells you as a candidate for employment. Most employers will only spend one minute or less reading your resume, so you want to make sure that you really get their attention. A good resume should have information about your background such as previous work history, achievements you may have earned, and your education. Always make sure to list details with your work history, achievements and education.

The bullets below are great building blocks that you should incorporate into your resume which may land you your next job.

  • Always make sure that your resume reflects who you are. In most cases its best to be specific about your past work experience and responsibilities. Longer resumes are not necessarily better.
  • Bullets in your resume (like the ones you are reading now) are better than long paragraphs about you. Remember, most employers will spend less than one minute viewing your resume. Bullets provide them with enough detail and can be read quickly which they will appreciate.
  • Always be authentic and honest when you detail who you are, and why you should be hired. Every element of your resume might be called out in an interview, so its not good to over embellish.
  • Its best to be succinct and you verbs that address activity and responsibility. Words such as (managed, responsible, organized, developed, and executed) are all great adjectives to describe you as a candidate.
  • Double-check everything! This is perhaps the most important step, a misspelling or grammatical error could be the one small detail that influences a hiring manager to choose the other person over you.
  • Triple-check your entire resume, and then give it to a friend of family member to check again. Do not rely on your own proof-reading. Sometimes you will miss your own errors no matter how many times you have proof-read something you wrote. It is always easier to catch spelling and grammar errors others have made than our own.

It is also common practice to include basic facts about you. Full name, address, email and any references that you may want to include on your resume. Another good tip is to include that your availability is “open”, which suggests that you can start when they need you to start.

Depending on the job type, a cover letter may be necessary. These are simple one page summaries that tell the employer a quick overview in paragraph format of your past work, skills, and why you would be a good fit for the job.

Most employers will expect a cover letter. Keep it short and simple. Your cover letter should explain to the employer how you found the position (this is particularly important if you have a contact within the organization), and why you think you would be a good candidate for the job. It is important to make sure you tailor each cover letter specific to every job and employer. Every hiring manager can tell a blanket cover letter from a personalized one. Your cover letter should stand out and offer something insightful to the employer about you.

Always make sure to follow up with your potential employer within three to five days and make sure they received your resume. Send an email to make sure the appropriate decision makers all received your resume and indicate that you are very much still interested in the job. Be enthusiastic, but not desperate.