Resume Tips – Dos and Don’ts

Recently in my job search I had to redo my resume and make it more relevant. Along the way I gathered quite a few tips that I wanted to share here. I will keep updating this list from time to time, and will tack on any additional tips if you have to share :)

[Last Update: 9/8/2011]

Do

  • Keep things consistent, such as how you display dates, and where.
  • Highlight through examples and numbers where possible.
  • Bold numbers where you’ve earned a company money or improved operational efficiency. Any other accomplishments that you can think of with impact.
  • Try and limit it to one page, font size min 10 pt. But 2 pages are ok if you have relevant experiences you want to share.
  • Use an action verb to start off every bullet point for a job description. It’s what professional resumes have.
  • Use past tense action verbs when starting to describe your experiences ( i.e. led, authored). Use a current tense action verb to describe your current job (i.e. lead, manage)
  • Take out all the fluff and include relevant experience to the job you’re applying to.
  • Take a look at the job description and try to customize and highlight what the employer is looking for.
  • Keep things chronological, usually from current job to last. But it depends if you want a chronological resume or not. Most are.

Don’t

  • Use larger font sizes because you don’t have enough experience. I wouldn’t go over 14 pt. 12 pt is probably the max I would use for any of the body text and 14 for the heading (your name).
  • Use different fonts. It’s distracting.
  • Make grammatical mistakes. It shows you’re not prepared. Have someone with good English grammar command proofread.
  • Go over 2 pages if you’re just out of college, you don’t really have that much experience.. and if you do, you should highlight the important stuff – no babysitting duties need remain at that point.
  • Use your gmail/yahoo email account when you have a school account you can use. (i.e. a graduate school account is much more professional.) It’s ok if you don’t have one, but if you do, use it.
  • Include extraneous information (i.e. hula hoop champion.. j/k but you get my drift.)
  • Make false statements about the work that you do, these are grounds to get you fired if anyone figures out you’ve falsified anything.