Résumé Do's and Don'ts

by Vincent, Mary Jeanne Thursday, August 13, 2009
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Résumé writing is sales! You are the product. Well-written resumes are successful marketing tools that attract the attention of potential employers by commu-nicating your value to them. They include specific accomplishments or success stories that demonstrate your contributions in similar situations in the past.

Do’s
  • * Do present yourself accurately and positively.
  • * Include only enough information to encourage the employer to find out more about you.
  • * Use action verbs to describe your contributions.
    Examples: “created,” “directed,” “established,” “negotiated,” and so on.
  • * Stress specific accomplishments and quantify the outcomes.
    Example: “cross-trained staff, increasing productivity by 12% within three months.”
  • * Use keywords to describe your skills and experience.
    Examples: “Word,” “product launch,” “financial analysis,” and “program management.”
  • * Include some industry buzzwords to show your familiarity with the business — but don’t go overboard to the point of making your résumé hard to read or understand.
  • * List recent information and experience. The general rule of thumb is to show only the last ten to twelve years of experience.
  • * Allow plenty of white space. Use a 12-point, non-decorative font.
  • * Proofread your résumé at least three times and ask a friend to proof it as well.
Don’ts
  • * Do not use pronouns such as “I,” “me,” “we,” or “our.”
  • * Do not include salary requirements.
  • * Do not include references or the phrase “References furnished upon request.” It goes without saying that you will be happy to provide references when asked.
  • * Do not include personal information such as race, marital status, age, political affiliation, or interests (golf, sky diving, and so on).
  • * Do not overdo the use of capital letters and bold type.
  • * Do not crowd the margins or use type smaller than 12 point.
  • * Do not use italics, underlining, or shading because these do not scan well.
Copywrite. Mary Jeanne Vincent