Aaron Gouveia has worked as the Content Manager of Salary.com since 2011. Prior to that, he was an award-winning journalist at several prominent New England newspapers. Read more...
Your resume will determine whether you’re even worthy of a job interview. So if it isn’t up to snuff, you won’t even sniff the dream job you're trying to get.
Start basic: is everything spelled correctly? This should be common sense, but hiring managers have recycling bins full of resumes from people who claim to be “intellegent” but obviously can’t tell the difference between "there," "their" and "they’re." And while you don't necessarily have to keep your resume to one page, it generally shouldn't be more than two. Keep all the relevant job experience and nix the stuff that is outdated and useless.
Furthermore, make sure your cover letter is specifically tailored to the company to which you’re applying. You’re probably up against dozens -- if not hundreds -- of other jobseekers, so a generic form letter isn't the best way to set yourself apart.
Your resume should speak for you. If you’ve carelessly thrown it together without proofreading it, then it is all but shouting that you don’t deserve the job.