Especially for new job-hunters, it won't do in this climate to send the same resume to every business.
"Many people just have one resume and send the same one to 15 different companies," says Jason Lauzer, jobs expert for JustAnswer. "You need to tailor to the company and position. Don't lie and make things up, but tweak it just enough so they know that you've read about the position."
"Whatever position you are looking for, make sure your resume speaks to your ability to excel in that role," Hall says. "Craft your experience so it closely parallels the job description."
Tailoring a resume to each position can seem daunting for someone who doesn't have much experience beyond their degree. What's a new grad to put on all of these resumes? Hall suggests listing any extra-curricular activities you may have participated in.
"Employers look to see if you went above and beyond what was expected," Hall says. "Did you participate in sports or were you on the debate team? Did you participate in any internships, or were you active in student government? Did you perform any volunteer work? Did you do something more than just go to class? You want to be able to demonstrate the value you can bring to a potential employer by showing that you can stretch if needed."
Too busy over the last four or five years to do anything but study? Janice Bryant Howroyd, CEO of Act-1, based in Torrance, Calif., says there's still time to find some resume fodder.
"Last-minute resume boosting can be difficult but not impossible," she says. "Find any kind of volunteer work and get on it, especially if you can learn something. However, if you need something immediately, The Red Cross is always looking for good volunteers, and employers will love your community spirit."
Howroyd adds that those really short on skills can look for an internship or part-time work in a related field for the short-term to gain experience.
"Part-time or temporary work in the right environment is often the best opportunity to show your stuff and add solid value to the company," she says. "When a full-time job comes along, you'll have the inside track."
New grads may be tempted to make up for holes in their resume with fancy formatting. Hall recommends a simpler approach.
"Creative formatting can be left off -- use standard block formatting," he says. "Your resume will look uniform and employers will appreciate not having to weed through your 'unique' formatting." Special fonts and graphics should be kept to a minimum.
Another thing that can generally be left off unless specially requested is references, Lauzer says.
"The space that a reference section takes up could be used to detail past employment or skills that a candidate has," he says. "If a potential employer is specifically requesting references, it should be included separate from the resume, on a separate page."
The time you save in formatting your resume should instead be used to carefully look it over for errors.
"With literally hundreds of resumes being sent in, you do not want to get excluded because of a typo," Hall says. "Take your time and make sure it's correct. Proofread, proofread and then proofread again. Take it a step further and have someone else proofread it for you."
He suggests making an appointment at your campus career center to have someone look over your resume. "Listen to their advice. They can greatly aid your job search," Hall says.