UNITED STATES—It is a one page document, the key to securing a job. Of course, most of you should know what I’m referring to: it’s the resume. The resume is the blueprint into your personality. Yes, you may suspect that it’s easy, but to be honest crafting the perfect resume is not something that transpires overnight. I was first introduced to the importance of a resume in high school.

For the life of me, I can’t recall what class I learned about crafting a resume, I just remember I had a leg up on many of my classmates because I already had a job. Yes, I was working by the age of 16, so my resume wasn’t just a blank sheet of paper, highlighting school accomplishments. Recently, I had a glimpse of my old resume, one that I haven’t toyed around with in a little over a year or more. The first thing that immediately popped out to me was the ‘Objective.’ I even had to ask myself if the OBJECTIVE is as important as it used to be.

The primary goal is to craft a brief statement (2-3 sentences at most) about yourself, and what you hope to accomplish or being with the new job that you’re applying for. Yes, this seems so easy at first, but it’s not. I mean it’s not easy to describe yourself with one word. You don’t want to come across as bland or boring, but at the same time the goal is not to come across arrogant or pompous. However, it always helps to adjust the objective on your resume to the job that you are applying for, but at the same time indicate what you hope to bring and gain from the position.

Now education, I think it’s important, but you don’t want to highlight things on the resume that are irrelevant to the position at hand. If the job that you are applying for falls directly within your field of study, that earns major points for you. Keep it simple, keep it concise, but ensure to highlight any potential standouts that can be used as bonus points in relation to the position.

Length, this is perhaps the toughest element when it comes to crafting your resume. I’ve ALWAYS been told from the dawn of time that you want to keep it to at least a page. This is where self-editing yourself because important. There might be a ton of things that you WANT to keep, but in all truth, those things are not vital to the position at hand. If that is the case, you have to remove it. Remember, the employer utilizes the resume as a guide on rather or not they want to consider you for the position. If you have something that stands out for negative reasons you chances immediately plummet. However, if you have something that makes you standout in a positive light, that earns you extra points.

I’m a firm believer that having too many jobs on your resume or gaps within your employment is never a good thing. It shows the employer that you’re not capable of keeping a consistent job or worse, you’ll have to explain what you have a massive gap in between jobs. That is never an easy question to ask when you are placed in the hot seat by your employer. Be honest, be truthful, that goes away a lot further than deceiving or skirting the truth. Last, but not least you have to indicate some skills. This is where you can list a laundry list of things that make you look like the best candidate, but at the same time it could make you overqualified for the position also.

The skill set you mention should be vital to the job at hand. Ensure the employer knows that you have the skills that the job they are seeking to fill requires. It pops and it helps you stand out from the hundreds of applicants whose resume may be sitting on their desk. Be honest if you saw hundreds of resumes and you had only 1 position to fill what would you be looking for: a resume that stands out, but one that isn’t too ‘out there.’ When it comes to your resume, edit it, review it, edit it again and review that it looks solid. You don’t want spelling, grammatical or missing detail that is vital to the job at hand.

Written By Kelsey Thomas