Written Resume Do’s and Don’ts

Written Resume Do’s and Don’ts

In my professional opinion these are the 12 basic do’s and don’ts of a resume.

  1. Keep it simple. Don’t use some erratic layout that will get messed up in transition. You may send it to a recruiter, then they send it to a company or you may have to attach it to an online application. If you use a pre-designed format chances are it will get messed up in transition. Stick with basic Microsoft Word and use the highlight, bold, underline and bullet point functions.
  2. Keep your resume to 2-3 pages, anymore and the reader will get bored. You want just enough information on it to catch the reader’s attention and to want to learn more. Once you have them on the phone, then you go more in detail. Utilize buzz words, keywords and other terms that may be industry specific for you. You want it to stand out without being over detailed.
  3. Never put your picture on your resume. Enough said.
  4. Never use flashy colors or fonts.
  5. Leave your “Hobbies and Interests” section off. As a recruiter I care about your qualifications and experience, not which club you belong too or if you’re into scrapbooking or your golf handicap.
  6. NEVER…EVER…EVER…EVER…EVER exaggerate your qualifications or your education. We’ll find out in the long run.
  7. Next to every position with every company make room for a line that briefly explains why you left or are no longer there. And please be honest, because we’ll find that out too.
  8. Some recruiters and hiring authorities really don’t care about the cover letter. If you want the truth, I’m only going to read your cover letter if your resume is interesting.
  9. Header should include your name, city and state, email address and a VALID phone number. If you have a LinkedIn page, the link to that is acceptable. But the valid contact information is the key. “Confidential” resumes are pointless and at my desk will be deleted pretty quickly.
  10. Most trained recruiting professionals can take 15 seconds and look at your resume to tell if you are qualified. Keep that in mind.
  11. References and “References Available Upon Request” no longer belong on a resume. We’ll ask for them anyway if we get to that point of the process. Use that room on your resume for meaningful content.
  12. MOST IMPORTANTLY: Try and talk more about your accomplishments than miniscule responsibilities.

Good luck in your resume writing adventure. If you need help, please feel free to reach out to me and ask.

Happy Job Hunting!

Here’s a couple of bonus ones for ya.

  1. Your email address…make it somewhat normal and/or professional. I’m going to think twice…well maybe 10 times about calling a candidate with the email address beerchugger@hotmail.com.
  2. Just for the love of humanity have a shred of common sense.


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