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Useful Resume Tips
- KISS – Keep It Short and Simple! The last thing you want to do it overwhelm your reader. Look over your resume, would you want to read it? If your answer is no, you may want to consider making some changes. The average length should be 1-2 pages.
- Make it error free. Absolutely NO typographical, grammatical, or punctuation errors! Have someone else proofread your resume, chances are they will catch something you have missed.
- Be sure your resume is easy to read. Too much or too little information can distract your reader. You want the focus to be on the skills you have decided to highlight, not anything else. Don’t photocopy a copy of your resume, it is unprofessional. Always use professional resume paper.
- Make sure your contact information stands out and is easy to find. Use action words to describe your skills and not “I” statements.
- Do not include dates for education, it will tip employers off as to your age. You do not want them to use this knowledge about your age, because they could used this knowledge against you.
- Always include a clear objective. Your objective should state which position you are seeking and a few key details about you and what you have to offer an employer.
- Remember, a resume is ALWAYS a work in progress. You may need more than just one resume, for each unique type of job for which you are applying. Even when you are not seeking, it’s a good idea to continually keep it updated while the information is fresh in your mind.
- When emailing a resume always put the position you are applying for in the subject line. Also, always attach a resume in a Word Doc or Rich Text Format. When using Microsoft Works or Word Perfect save as a rich text format. (These programs are becoming obsolete and many employers may not be able to open your resume.)
1. Appearances Count — Don’t try to save money by printing your resume on cheap copy paper instead of good quality stock. Check for typos, grammatical errors and coffee stains. Use the spell check feature on your word processor and ask a friend to review the resume to find mistakes you might have missed.
2. Does Size Matter? — If your career warrants a two-page resume, then go ahead and create a document that reflects the full range of your experience and accomplishments. Don’t reduce the type size to such a degree that your resume becomes difficult to read.3. Truth or Consequences — Don’t fudge over dates or titles on your resume to hide the fact that you have been unemployed, that you switched jobs too frequently or that you held low-level positions. If a prospective employer conducts a background check and discovers that you lied, you can kiss the job good-bye.4. State Your Case — If you are seeking a job in a field in which you have no prior experience, don’t use the chronological format for your resume. By using a functional or skills-oriented format, you can present your relevant experience and skills up front.5. Put Your Best Foot Forward — Don’t simply copy the job description jargon from your company’s HR manual. To show that you are more qualified than the competition for the positions you are seeking, you need to do more than simply list your job responsibilities. Present specific accomplishments and achievements: percentages increased, accounts expanded, awards won, etc.6. No Excuses — Don’t include the reasons you are no longer working at each job listed on your resume. The phrases “Company sold,” “Boss was an idiot” and “Left to make more money” have no place on your resume.7. What Have You Done Lately? — While it is certainly acceptable to have a two-page resume, don’t list every single job you’ve ever held. Personnel managers are interested in your most recent and most relevant career experience.8. Target Your Audience — Don’t mail out your resume to every ad in the Sunday newspaper. If you are not even remotely qualified for a position, don’t apply. Read the ads, determine if you have the right credentials and save the wear and tear on your printer.9. No Extra Papers, Please — When you send out your resume, don’t include copies of transcripts, letters of recommendation or awards, unless you are specifically asked to do so. If you are called in for an interview, you may bring these extra materials along in your briefcase for show-and-tell.10. Don’t Get Personal — Personal information does not belong on a resume in the United States. Don’t include information on your marital status, age, race, family or hobbies.
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