The Do’s and Don’ts of Resumes

The Do’s and Don’ts of Resumes

by Giselle Mazurat
Jobs People Do | JobsPeopleDo.com

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 This is outdated and it’s understood that you’ll send references when asked.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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