The Do’s and Don’ts of Resumes
In this very competitive marketplace, it seems that resume writing is getting more complex. Although there are no hard and fast rules, these points should make the process a bit easier.
- Put a title on top to indicate the position you’re applying for. Example: “Target: Junior Financial Analyst Position”.
- Tailor your resume for each advertisement. The one size fits all resume no longer works since hiring managers are looking for specific skills and experience.
- Include a professional profile that tells companies what you can do for them.
- List your technical skills and areas of knowledge.
- Use powerful verbs like “chartered”, “spearheaded” or “captured” to indicate what you did instead of the same old, tired verbs like “handled” or “managed”.
- Quantify your accomplishments, when possible. Instead of saying you made top sales, state the actual dollar amount.
- Include your education, courses or skilled trade training.
- Be consistent with your colour, bullets, headings and font throughout your resume.
- Check and recheck your resume to ensure no typos or grammatical errors slip by.
- Include page numbers. If you have a 2-page resume, format your page numbering as page 1 of 2 and page 2 of 2 so the recruiter knows how long your resume is.
- Put your name and contact information on all your resume’s pages in case a page gets separated from the rest.
- Include a cover letter with your resume to explain what you offer the company and why you’re an ideal candidate.
- Explain why you left your last job. Save that for the interview only if they ask why you left.
- List obvious skills like Outlook or internet because almost everyone has these skills.
- Include confidential information on your resume.
- Use slang. You may think it sounds cool, but hiring managers think it’s unprofessional.
- Use clichés and buzzwords like “results-oriented” or “team player”. These words have been used too many times to be novel anymore.
- List controversial organizations or hobbies unrelated to the desired position.
- Include a photograph of yourself. Some cultures support this, but it’s not common in North America.
- Include a high school education if you graduated from university, college or a trade school.
- Put “References Available Upon Request” at the end of your resume. This is outdated and it’s understood that you’ll send references when asked.
- Use wacky fonts, garish colors or crazy designs. Stick to a crisp, clean look with a font that’s easy to read.
- Use your company’s email and phone number. It’s better to use your personal information even if your boss knows you’re looking.
- Include information that could be discriminated against such as age, marital status, gender, religion, race, color or national origin.
- Lie on your resume. Your sin will find you out, and you can get fired.
By keeping these points in mind, you’re well on your way to creating a professional resume for the job you want.
Giselle Mazurat received her designation as a Certified Resume Strategist from the Career Professionals of Canada. She also writes technical and business content for government and private companies.
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The definitive list of resume dos and don’ts. Don’t break these rules.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Resume Writing