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As the economy begins to improve and the unemployment numbers start to drop, it's becoming increasingly important for candidates to set themselves apart from other applicants when competing for the same position. The most desirable candidates are not only qualified for the position, they are also genuine, honest, and truly interested in the position for which they are applying and interviewing. But if a resume isn't easy to read, the candidate does not put forth a professional presentation in the interview, or they show disinterest, they could easily fall to the bottom of the applicant pile.

The job search process begins with the resume. This is the first representation the employer will see, so it's imperative that your resume accurately and effectively communicates your skills, qualifications, interests, education, and experiences. It's critical that this document is grammatically correct and easy to read. If there are spelling errors or it's hard to understand, it may automatically be rejected.

A resume is a living document. As experiences, skills, and jobs change, so should your resume. There are many ways a resume can be formatted, so choose one that best highlights your skills and qualifications. The resume should typically be no longer than two pages so that it can be quickly read when recruiters glance at it for the first time.

Employers will look at your resume quickly and see your most valuable skills, what positions were held, how long those positions were held, and the essential functions that were performed. Since this is the first impression a potential employer has of you, be sure to make the resume an accurate representation. It's easy to spot a resume that is copied from something or someone else. Originality not only shows you're truly interested in the position, but also that you invested time in putting your best foot forward.

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Candidates have the opportunity to shine once the interview process has started. 

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