As a twenty-something in her first job, I’ve been through resume workshops and the hiring process. I’ve had my resumé combed through, picked through, red-lined and trashed. After all that work and suffering, I somehow landed a job. I know that you can definitely get there too!

Even though writing a resumé is a daunting task, you should have one prepared for when a potential employer asks. You really only have to write one, and then update it every so often as you gain more experience. The hardest part is that first line. After that, everything becomes a little bit easier.

To help you on your path to a perfect resumé, read the tips and hints below.

1. Make It One Page

Assuming you’re new to the resumé game, you should only have one page. As you get older and have more experience, you’ll find that one page isn’t enough, but for a twenty-something just out of college or a college girl looking for a head start, keep it short. Use internships or relevant experience, or your most recent on-campus job if you need some extra padding. If you haven’t had a job, find something quick that’s temporary, even if it pays nothing and you only work five hours a week. I’ve heard of recruiters simply throwing out resumés if they look incomplete or if they have to use a stapler. Don’t make the person hiring you work any harder.

2. Name Those Numbers

Recruiters love quantitative descriptions. You entered sales orders for small projects that no one else wanted to do the legwork for? Your resumé should read, “Processed and entered 10+ daily sales orders for high level account managers.” Think about what you did that was helpful – even if it was boring, you pushed the company forward. Spent the summer flipping burgers? “Maintained health code compliant work place and fulfilled over 400 orders per night in coordination with three servers.”

3. Consider the Cover Letter

Extra documentation is fine, but if they only want the resumé, they will only read the resumé. Cover letters, CVs, or references might be appreciated, but most times the resumé is the center of attention. Sometimes the extras will get you noticed, but sometimes they will be thrown out – don’t get discouraged.

4. Share Your Personality

Remember that your resumé is intended to get you a job from another real person, who at one point also had to submit a resumé to be where they are today. Your resumé should be professional, but should also show a bit about who you are. This can include sports, fun clubs you’ve participated in, or even philanthropic initiatives you partook in. Let your personality influence your resumé, because someone who was once in your exact position is now the one determining your fit.

5. Proofread

Proofread once, twice, and three times, and then have someone else do the same. They should be looking not only for spelling errors, but grammatical errors and formatting errors. They should look for anything that a potential employer might see and flag, because that one little flag might be all it takes for your resumé to end up in the trash. A resumé is the first thing a potential employer sees, and it sets the stage for their interpretation of your personality and work ethic.

A great resumé is a stepping stone to a great job. No one likes writing or updating them, but your resumé essentially summarizes your entire career. Make one, update occasionally, proofread extensively, and pass it around until you finally get that interview at your dream job. Once the resumé is mastered, all you need to do is let your charming personality shine through and potential employers will be knocking down your door.