If you’re a recent graduate looking for your first job or someone who has been out of work for a while and is now looking to find a new position, the task of writing an effective resume can seem daunting. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be! Writing a resume to launch you in the business industry might seem daunting, but it’s actually quite easier than you might think. Resume-writing may feel like one of those things that’s difficult to do well without experience, but this guide will walk you through all the elements you need in order to secure that all-important first interview.

1. Customize Your Resume

Your resume should always be customized to the job you’re applying for. This means that it’s not just enough to have a “one-size fits all” template—you actually need specific content and even design elements to make yours stand out from other applicants who are likely also using templates.

2. Choose an Appropriate Layout

The layout of your resume is also important. It should be neat and crisp and easy to read quickly with a glance. The most common formats for resumes are still chronological (which makes sense), functional, or hybrid/combination styles—but whichever you choose needs to be the right fit if you want yours to be effective.

3. Personalize It with Keywords

One of the most important things to do when writing an effective resume is personalizing your document so that it speaks directly about you and makes employers see how awesome you are. This means tailoring each section, including skills, experiences, education, etc., so that they’re tailored around specific keywords—and not just general terms that anyone could claim.

4. Feature Your Skills and Education

Of course, your work experience and education are typically the most important parts of your resume. Your resume should not only list all relevant information about these two areas in particular but also highlight them so that they stand out to employers looking for specific skills or people who meet certain educational requirements.

5. Your Resume Should Have an Objective Statement

The last important part of your resume is the objective statement. This section should typically be at the top, and it’s a great place to let employers know why you’re applying for this specific job (and not just any role in general). It can also function as an “elevator pitch” that summarizes who you are quickly.

6. Include Both Soft and Technical Skills

Including both soft and technical skills is another critical part of writing a resume. Employers not only want to know that you’re capable, but they also need to see how your experience makes you qualified for this specific role. The best way to communicate those things is by highlighting as many applicable “hard” skills as possible alongside any relevant personality traits.

7. Highlight Your Accomplishments

When it comes to writing resumes, one of the most essential things is highlighting your accomplishments. This means not just detailing what you’ve done in past positions but also speaking about how you achieved specific outcomes and impacted your team or company as a result. It’s one thing to say that you held leadership roles with particular responsibilities; it’s another to show that you were successful at them.

By including all of these elements in your resume, you’ll be able to write a truly useful document that can help set you apart from other applicants.