By Chris Komisarjevsky

No doubt, there are rising seniors at colleges and universities throughout the country – including some set to graduate next semester or even next year – who are asking themselves: “What career is right for me? And how am I going to get the job I want?”

There’s no simple answer. Competition is fierce and the process challenging with so many other graduates facing the same questions.

Even parents might be getting nervous, with images running around their heads of graduates moving back home with no job and too much time left for hanging out in the basement dorm-room style.

But, if you are serious about getting that ideal job, there are two critical factors you have to master:

  • First, showcase your passion and accomplishments.
  • Second, make today’s job search technology work for you: digital applications, machine learning, AI and key words.

Both of those require a strong, purposeful and hard-selling resume.

While it’s certainly true that the internet and all things digital have had a significant impact on the job search process—particu­larly on the way that jobs are posted, opportunities are shared and applications are submitted—the role of the resume remains supreme.

Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook and all those contacts, fol­lowers, friends and likes don’t substitute for a strong re­sume, a targeted job search and taking full advantage of job-search technology.

You still have to have that one page that shares your story. While it may never even be printed, handed over in an interview or sealed in an envelope, your resume is core to your job search and your career. You will post it, extract from it and send it. You will constantly refer to it because it will be the guide for how you position yourself and sell your story.

After all, job search and hiring are two sides of the same coin. On one hand, you want to work and be part of an organization, and on the other, your employer wants to have someone work and be part of their organization. It’s like any transaction: there’s a seller and a buyer. And both must understand what they are getting and come to an agreement.

The first stage of that transaction begins with a single page—your resume.

It is on that page that you will gather your thoughts and write the words that will shape your job search.

Pivotal to your job search, your resume is your source document for all those online applications.

You will turn to it right from the get-go when you are asked to upload your resume. Algorithms will extract background infor­mation, education credentials and employment history from it, and digital filters will sift through your work ex­perience, academic history and extracurricular activities to see if you’re the right fit for the job.

In fact, you can’t even complete an online application without a resume that is available digitally.

Beyond those demands from technology, your resume is crucial because it provides structure, consistency and a clear statement about yourself and your goals. You need that kind of discipline. You will fill out countless applica­tions before you land the perfect job.

And, without a good resume to pull from, the task will become overwhelming.

So, get started with that blank sheet of paper. Think hard before you start to write. Put a lot of thought into it. Otherwise, it’s not going to be the most thoughtful picture of you, your accomplishments and your career aspirations.

Like most things in life worth doing, work hard at it.

Remember: getting a job is now your single most im­portant job.

Culpwrit Note: To get all the ideas, resources and sample resume formats for your job search, read: 

RAMEN NOODLE RESUME: In a digital world, how to write a resume for the job you want … before college graduation comes around and those ramen noodles run out.” Paperback ($11.95) and ebook ($2.99), available on Amazon. Ramen Noodle Website. Instagram. 

CHRIS KOMISARJEVSKY is a retired worldwide CEO of Burson-Marsteller, a leading global public relations counseling firm. His previous books include Peanut Butter and Jelly Management and The Power of Reputation. He serves as an independent director and governance chair of three mutual funds, taught at Boston University as a chaired professor and served in the U.S. Army as a combat helicopter pilot. He has nine children and lives in Atlantic Beach, New York, with his wife, Reina.