A resume may seem like a simple thing, but it should be treated with the utmost respect and reverence. They say that you never get a second chance to make a first impression, and a resume is your first impression in many cases when it comes to job hunting. Most employers will see your resume first, long before they meet you or shake your hand. Here are the top 5 tips to improve a resume.

5. Spell Check

Nothing turns off a potential employer faster than glaring misspellings and grammar errors. That’s a quick way to get your resume tossed right into the trash. Running it through a word processor’s spelling and grammar check is only part of it, however. Before you send it to any potential employers, print out a copy of your resume and read it out loud. This allows you to get a better idea of how it will sound to someone reading it. Also, hand it to a friend or family member to read. It might sound silly, but it is better to get a second opinion on how it sounds.

4. Typing

In addition to looking good on the resume itself, typing skills make it much easier to create a streamlined and professional looking resume. Hunt and peck typists have to look down at the keyboard every other keystroke to find the next key, which can make it difficult to write in a way that makes sense to other readers. Employers also tend to look at your typing speed and accuracy when considering you for a position. The ability type properly is one of the most important skills that you can learn, and it will serve you throughout the remainder of your life.

3. Practice

It doesn’t take long to whip up a high quality resume, but it does require a bit of practice. There are a number of sites that can help you improve your resume by taking you though step by step how to create the best resume for your situation. There are even more sites that will write a high quality resume for you, for a small fee. Most word processors, like Microsoft Word, come with blank resume templates preloaded in the software. With the sheer number of free tools available on the Internet, there is no excuse to have a poorly written or unprofessional looking resume.

2. Simplicity

It may be tempting to print your resume on bright blue card stock and scent it with the finest perfumes. While you may think it will set you apart, it’s just as likely to get your resume tossed in the garbage. Simple resumes, printed on high quality paper, are the ones that usually get the most attention. Choose a basic font and don’t overdo it with bold and italics. Most resume templates will have a suggested design for fonts, font sizes, and text placement, and your best bet is to follow those suggestions in order to create the best resume possible.

1. Customization

A good rule of thumb is that you don’t want to use a resume to apply to more than one job. If you, like most people, keep your resume in a digital format, then it is easy to make it infinitely customizable. Keep a template that has your basic work history and all of your up to date contact information. Everything else should be easily changeable. You may have a large number of skills and awards that you want to brag about, but if they don’t have anything to do with the job that you are applying for, then it just looks like you’re padding your resume.
Few more tips at http://jobsearch.about.com/od/resumes/qt/profresume.htm.

The most important thing to keep in mind when it comes to resumes is that it is the first thing that a potential employer will see. Do you want to be bypassed for the job as someone who is illiterate and useless? Or do you want to appear as an asset that they should add to the company? It all comes down to that one simple piece of paper. A good resume is the difference between landing a job and landing on the unemployment line. With the amount of tools available, there is literally no excuse to have an unprofessional resume. These are just a fraction of the tips that you can use to help create the best and most professional resume possible.

Adam Fort is an educator and touch typing enthusiast. His goal is to help kids around the world to learn 21th century skills.