With a dwindling market, the way you search for a job and present yourself to potential employers is a job, itself. For every job you apply for, there could be any number of other candidates that are just as qualified or more qualified than you. Providing potential employers with less than stellar resume will only hurt your chances of getting the job, if the hiring manager even gives your resume a second glance.

Layout and Design

Interesting resume designs and layouts can help distinguish your resume from all the others. When you choose to change the layout or design of your resume, you must keep in mind that you still need to include all relevant information in an easy-to-read format. Making your resume look interesting can be as easy as adding a personal touch, such as a logo at the top or bottom of the resume. Different fonts can also make your resume stand out more. However, the font must be readable and not distracting.

While unique layouts and designs may seem like a good idea, the most important aspect of any resume design is how easy it is for someone to glance over, find the information they need, and move on.

Selling Yourself

Many resumes go unnoticed simply because of the phrasing and information. When you use boring words, avoid action words and fail to include vital information that is relative to the job, you end up selling yourself short. Potential employers briefly glance over a resume. If nothing stands out to them, your resume might not ever be looked at again.

Use buzzwords when you describe your work experience and your educational experience. Using buzzwords helps your resume stand out both electronically, and to a physical person. When you write out your resume, it is vital that you include relevant work experience. Including experience that does not pertain to your potential job ends up being filler.

A resume should never simply list jobs you have held. Instead, a resume is a way to show potential employers your abilities. Unlike a job application, resumes give you the chance to go further in-depth regarding your past employment and educational experiences.

Providing a resume that gives little to no insight about who you are, makes it generic and boring. Prevent your resume from getting lost among the stacks of others by being honest about your qualifications and only discussing relevant job experience.

Avoid Lies

Getting a job in the current market can be tough, but you should never lie on your resume. If you wish to disguise a gap in your employment history, or if you wish to make yourself look better by inflating yourrole at a prior company, you might be tempted to put a little white lie in your resume. You must resist this temptation at all costs, however. Even the tiniest lie in your resume can spell doom for your job search.

While some employers are sloppy, most employers complete their due diligence when reviewing resumes. They will call prior employers to verify the work history of applications. They will call colleges to verify attendance. When employers uncover a lie on an applicant’s resume, they will summarily reject that applicant. The applicant will never be able to get any job at that company again. The company might even tell every other employer out there about said applicant’s dishonesty. There have been cases in the past where dishonest applicants were blacklisted in their entire industries. Do not let this happen to you. Even if a lie seems so slight that it would never draw attention, the risk is too great to take.

The challenge of life, I have found, is to build a resume that doesn’t simply tell a story about what you want to be, but it’s a story about who you want to be.

Oprah Winfrey

If you feel like you need to lie to make yourself attractive for a particular job, then you probably do not have any business applying to the specific job in the first place. You owe it to yourself and your potential employer to find a good fit job. If you lie and end up securing a job that is too difficult for you, who benefits? At best, you will have to work countless extra hours to keep up with your duties. At worst, you will get fired after a few weeks because you do not measure up. Being fired after a short time is much worse than never taking a job to begin with.

Another reason not to lie is that lying causes stress. After you have lied on your resume, just thinking about the possibility of getting caught can produce a lot of anxiety. If you subsequently make it to the interview stage, you may have difficulty keeping track of your lies. You might slip up in the heat of the moment when potential employers ask you questions. It is much harder to keep track of lies than it is to keep track of the truth. Be honest.