When writing your resume, there are several things to keep in mind that you should always do. They may sound obvious, and a little nit-picky, but they’re important. So keep the following in mind:
- Make sure to include all of your contact information. If it’s difficult to get in touch with you, recruiters will give up. In the same vein, include your name and phone number on every page of your resume in case the pages get separated.
- Keep your resume short and sweet. One page is best, but two pages is acceptable if you have significant experience.
- Check your resume for spelling and grammar. Nothing will eliminate you from the process more quickly than a poorly written resume.
- Make your resume scanner friendly. Emailing two versions is a good option – one for the scanner that is plain text with no bullets, bolding or underlining, and one for the human being that is attractive to look at and easy to read.
- Be honest. Padding your skills may seem like a good idea, but getting caught not only ruins your chances for getting the job, it seriously damages your reputation.
- Always use a Chronological format – working backward from your current position. Employers like to see how you’ve progressed and grown throughout your career. Work experience is often the deciding factor for an employer.
- Be concise. Recruiters are busy people. they don’t want to read your life history, only the parts that apply to them. Using bullet points and short sentences is the most effective way to accomplish this.
- Be specific. Detail your accomplishments rather than using generalities. “Increased profits 68% through the implementation of a new web-based order tracking system.” rather than “Helped grow the companies profitability.”
While there are some things that you should include in your resume, there are also many things that you shouldn’t. Recruiters receive so many resumes that it is often easier for them to look for ways to eliminate candidates from consideration, rather than reasons that they should be included.
Our advice to you:
- Don’t include personal information such as age, height, weight, race, marital status, social security number, etc. It is illegal for companies to ask for such information, and shows poor judgment on your part – why would you reveal this information to complete strangers?
- Don’t write a novel. If your work history can’t be summarized in 3 pages, something’s wrong. Do some heavy editing. If you’re a CFO, a potential employer doesn’t have to know the details of your position as a staff accountant 15 years ago.
- Don’t use exotic fonts, ALLCAPS, graphics, photographs, or any other bells and whistles. Simple is better (and much easier to scan into a database).
- Don’t use nouns or pronouns. Write “Developed program for inventory control using Visual Basic and C++” not “I developed a program for our inventory control…”
- Don’t repeat yourself. If you’ve used the same skills at several of your jobs, include a skill summary in your resume rather than having redundant information on your resume.
- Don’t send your resume without proofreading it several times. Spelling and grammatical errors do not demonstrate your attentiveness to detail and professionalism.