Once you’ve nailed down the content and format of your resume, it’s time to to consider these 5 “Do’s” and “Don’ts”. An optimal resume is both informative and easy to read. Consider the following when drafting your resume.
Let’s start with the Don’ts
- Don’t commit spelling and grammar errors. Nothing sends a resume to the trash faster than poor writing. At a minimum, run spelling and grammar checking checks. Even better, consult reputable writing texts or online guides to make sure your resume is crafted to impress.
- Don’t use photos and graphics. Instead, create a clear, succinct picture of your skills, abilities and experience with powerful words.
- Don’t neglect quantifiable data. If you’ve made money, cut costs, met goals, etc., say so. Employers will want to know the specifics.
- Don’t rely on clichés to sell yourself or your accomplishments. Terms like “dynamic” and “self-starter” are overused and don’t do much tell the reviewer what you have specifically done.
- Don’t sacrifice paper quality when you intend to print. Use a higher quality white or ivory bond paper and black ink. Resume paper in the 24-32 lb. range is easily accessible at office supply stores and retailers.
And now the Don’ts
- Do be 100% honest about your responsibilities and accomplishments. Remember, your references have agreed to vouch for you and being true to your word is your greatest personal asset.
- Do spell out words instead of abbreviating. Keyword scanning software will most likely identify a term like “accountant” but will not always identify expressions like “acct.”.
- Do keep it simple and reader friendly in terms of fonts. Arial and Times New Roman are always safe choices.
- Do present employment dates and other information accurately. You don’t want your first impression to be one of suspicion.
- Do avoid using articles (“a,” “the”) or pronouns (“I”). These slow the reviewer down, take away from the actual accomplishment and add to resume length.