Resume Tips: 5 Do’s and Don’ts

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

  1. 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.
  2. Don’t use photos and graphics.  Instead, create a clear, succinct picture of your skills, abilities and experience with powerful words.
  3. Don’t neglect quantifiable data.  If you’ve made money, cut costs, met goals, etc., say so. Employers will want to know the specifics.
  4. 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.
  5. 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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.”.  
  3. Do keep it simple and reader friendly in terms of fonts.  Arial and Times New Roman are always safe choices.
  4. Do present employment dates and other information accurately.  You don’t want your first impression to be one of suspicion.
  5. 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. 
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