The resume and cover letter are the first things potential employers see when one is applying for a job and can determine whether or not an employer wants to grant an interview. Crafting a resume can be a complicated endeavor, especially in a technical field where the employer is far more likely to be more familiar with computer software. Based on my experience and reviewing the recommendations of many experts, I’ve gathered eight tips that will help you produce a polished resume.

1. Neat, Clean Layout: Everything on the page should be neatly aligned, making it easy for employers to read. Formatting should be consistent across the entire document, for example, if one section is Bold, size 12, Helvetica font, they should all be. Bullets can be easier to read than paragraphs. Resumes that are sloppily laid out are likely to be throw out and not advance to an interview.

2. Don’t Use A Template: This is especially true for tech careers. Employers have seen those default Microsoft Word resume templates hundreds if not thousands of times. Using a template suggests that candidate is in a rush and doesn’t care enough to create their own resume, which really isn’t that difficult. Building a resume from scratch is fairly easy by simply using tabs in Microsoft Word. Templates, on the other hand, tend to break and be difficult to update.

3. Be Accurate: Make sure all information on a resume is 100% accurate. It is best to assume that potential employers will research everything on a candidate’s resume to verify its validity. The internet makes it very easy for employers to look-up candidates. If an employer finds one error, whether it was an accidental error or not, they are extremely unlikely to advance candidates to the interview process.

4. Proofread, Proofread, Proofread: Resumes should ways be proofread not just once, but as many times as it takes to make it perfect. This should be done for all materials submitted to a potential employer, since a single typo or grammatical error could cost one the job. Although typos are common in everyday communication, to future employers it shows the candidate isn’t detail-oriented or doesn’t have the time or care enough to proofread.

5. Keep it to one page, unless you have the experience to warrant two: Employers often have to go through hundred of resumes, and many time just scan them for keywords relevant for the job If the first page doesn’t catch their interest, they are unlikely to look at page two and will move on to the next candidate. Those whose resumes that just make it to two pages or have less relevant experience on the second page may want to consider reducing it to a single page. In the case of individuals without a lot of experience, as is the case many recent graduates, a concise one page resume is best.

6. Include Link to Website/Online Portfolio:  Having a blog, website or online portfolio where employers can find out more about a candidate is a great advantage. Especially in a technology-oriented position, an online presence is a huge advantage, provided it gives the employer a good impression. Including a web link with further information gives the employer a chance to find more out about a future employee and potentially see examples of work they have done  previously. It also demonstrates that a candidate is willing to go the extra mile to show what they can do and are proud of their work.  Links should be in the header of a resume with one’s contact information, and should be plain text, not a hyperlink.

7. Include Links to Social Media Profiles: It is also a good idea to include links to social media profiles on a resume, since checking candidates social media profiles has become routine for many employers. It can also can be an asset to those who use social media to communicate about their field of interest to show passion for their field and make them more a more attractive candidate to an employer. However, social media profiles are a double-edged sword and can cost candidates the job if they have unprofessional content.

8. Tailor Each Resume to the Specific Job: Depending on the position one is applying for, some experience may be more relevant than others. Customize your resume to show the experience that is most relevant to the position. If a company provides a job description for the position, it’s a great idea to use keywords from the job description on one’s resume to help stand out.

While there are no guarantees that these tips will bring candidates their dream job, they can help a resume stand out and increase the likelihood of an interview.  Here is my Resume as an example.

About the Author

MikeMike Gdovin has been blogging about technology since 2006 on his blog, He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Electronic Media from Kutztown University with a minor in Journalism, Public Relations and Business. In addition to blogging about technology, Mike is a video producer, technology consultant and social media expert.