Read this at — BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – New graduates will soon hit the streets looking for jobs, and competition is tough.

Wes Lybrand, assistant director with the University of Alabama at Birmingham Career and Professional Development Services, shared pointers on how to create a winning resume.

Lybrand stresses the importance of standing out from the crowd, summing up your skills, crafting a resume for the job you want, and calling on friends and family to help make sure your resume is mistake-free.

“The purpose of the resume is to get you to the interview stage of the hiring process, so it should showcase your most relevant skills and qualifications,” Lybrand said. “It should be focused, clear and concise.”

The job market favors employers right now. “They are often receiving hundreds of applications per position, so you really need to stand out from the crowd.”

There are different stats on this, but most recruiters take only about 10 seconds to review your resume. “If you don’t make an impact in that time, you’ll get passed by for the job. If you do make an impact, they will at least take a more in-depth look at your resume.”

Target your resume to the specific job. “About 85 percent of employers agree that you have to tailor your resume for the position for which you are applying. Prioritizing your most important applicable skills and qualifications can make a big difference.”

Word choice is important; computer software is used in many businesses to eliminate as many as half of applicants. “Using keywords, many of which are in the job posting, in your resume can help you get over that hurdle.”

Proofread and get friends or family to read and critique the finished product. “Errors in grammar and spelling, along with typos, are one of the easiest ways to get rejected from an opportunity. In a recent survey, an overwhelming majority of employers indicated they had passed over a candidate due to these types of errors.”

Be concise. “For students just entering the workforce, a one-page resume works for most industries. Because of this, you have to use your space wisely. Eliminate objective statements and the ‘References available upon request’ line.”

When describing your previous experience, accomplishments are better than duties. “A list of job duties tells only what you did on the job, but accomplishments show how well you did those duties and to what effect. Nearly 90 percent of employers prefer to see verifiable accomplishments on the resume.”

About UABKnown for its innovative and interdisciplinary approach to education at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, the University of Alabama at Birmingham is an internationally renowned research university and academic medical center and the state of Alabama’s largest employer, with some 23,000 employees and an economic impact exceeding $5 billion annually on the state. The five pillars of UAB’s mission include education, research, patient care, community service and economic development. UAB: Knowledge that will change your world. Learn more at