Your Resume: What Sections are Necessary?

Everyone at one point or another has had to sit down and put their resume together. Then you ask yourself the question…so where do I start? Let us help you get started by sharing the sections of our Simple Resume.


Now understand that while we list and describe these sections, you may or may not have information to put in them all, so just don’t use the sections you don’t need. Simple right? So let’s get started.


  1. The Header

This is the very top of your resume and includes 3 lines. The top line is your name; second line is your address, city, state and zip code and lastly the bottom line includes your contact phone number and email address. If you have a LinkedIn profile (make sure it’s up to date and good) put the link to that profile as line number 4 of the header.


  1. The Summary

Years ago this was the location for the “Objective” but let’s be honest here…everyone has the same objective right? So the Objective is now obsolete, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, and enter The Summary. This is where you introduce yourself…in 3-4 sentences average. This is a glorified Elevator Pitch. (Not sure what that is? Ask us at This is where you first catch the attention of the reader. Who are you? What are you? What can you do for the employer and what are you looking for?


  1. Skills & Attributes

This section can be named in a few ways. As listed here or you can add Professional; Career or Special in front of Skills, it’s really up to you. But here is where you start making a list of the skills you have and the attributes that you can bring to a company. Make the list between 10 and 15, highlight this list then choose the Column format selection 2 or 3 columns. Just be sure the columns are all even. These key words and phrases are ones that HR Managers, Hiring Managers and Recruiters are looking for when reviewing and searching for resumes.


  1. Professional Experience

Pretty simple stuff here, this is where you list your work history with the name of the company; city and state; month/year of time spent there; your title and 5-8 bullet points of not only duties and responsibilities, but accomplishments. Accomplishment are a must! A trend happening now is some people are adding a short line to each position stating why they left the position/company. For those with a lengthy work history, we recommend listing no more than 15 years.


  1. Education

Any education you have is listed here. School, degree, major, dates.


  1. Significant Accomplishments

If you have a specialty career this is an optional section where you can list significant career accomplishments that may not be affiliated specifically with a certain position.


  1. Certifications / Training / Awards

This is another optional section that can be combined altogether or list them separately. Here you will list any career specific certifications…the key here being career specific. Employee awards, student awards, project training, work training, etc.


  1. Community Involvement

If you are a member of a volunteer organization, list them in this section even if they are not career specific. Why? Because this section shows your character and a lot of companies hire just as much for character as they do experience. Being an involved member of the community is absolutely you want on your resume. But be simple and concise, never glorify.



That’s is. That is the basis for The Simple Resume. No pictures, No references, No hobbies. No “References upon request”. That is the most overused and unnecessary line in the history of resumes. Think about it for a second. If you are requested to give references are you NOT going to provide them?


As always, if you need help with your current resume, putting together a new one or just have a question, contact us at 910.726-3689 or email


Happy Resume Writing!

Lean Six Sigma CNC/Machining Engineer

Lean Six Sigma CNC/Machining Engineer

Location: Yonkers, NY, US                                                                                                       Salary: $80k – $120k

Our Client is a rapidly growing and leading manufacturer of fine sporting firearms with locations in NY, NJ and MT and has an immediate opening for an experienced Lean Six Sigma CNC/Machining Engineer based in their Yonkers, NY location. In this role the successful candidate will develop CNC/Machining Operations Roadmaps aligned to the business plan in order to achieve Safety, Quality, Delivery and Cost Objectives for CNC/Machining Operations using lean tools, techniques and method.

Lean Six Sigma CNC/Machining Engineer Responsibilities:

  • Collect and analyze data top develop statistical problem and goal statements designed to deliver on S, Q, D, C objectives
  • Convene and lead / facilitate continuous improvement project management teams for CNC/Machining Operations motived to execute Kaizen and Rapid Improvement Events (RIEs) in collaboration with value stream leaders and employees to jointly deliver on S, Q, D, C objectives
  • Provide frequent updates in an effective and efficient manner through formal and informal presentation skills and techniques. Ensure change management objective are met while all employees pertinent to the project are informed, engaged and committed in delivering on project deliverables / objectives
  • Develop, identify and share best practices methods and ideas across CNC/Machining cells, as well as coach and mentor peers and leadership in lean sigma methods
  • Provide leadership counsel and understanding of current and advanced lean techniques to drive business results as it relates to CNC/Machining Operations
  • Develop factory master plan options in collaboration with other value streams to improve the CNC/Machining capability with alignment to the overall factory master plan, (current, future and ideal states)
  • Interpret customer needs and requirements, translate concepts into best practices, identify Assembly and Finishing process improvement opportunities, and quantify results and trends

Lean Six Sigma CNC/Machining Engineer Qualifications:

  • The successful candidate will possess at least 5 years of relevant experience.
  • 5 – 10 years of manufacturing experience in durable goods in roles that directly affected manufacturing results (Safety, Quality, Delivery and Cost). Particular experience required in CNC/Machining
  • Certified Black Belt through ASQ or equivalent certification firm
  • Basic factory master planning experience in participating and / or leading the development and execution of a small to medium size factory master plan focused on CNC/Machining operations

Lean Six Sigma CNC/Machining Engineer Educational Requirements:

  • Required: Bachelor’s degree in IE or Quality engineering or equivalent field – Preferred:  Master’s degree

Alliance Career Group, Inc. – Interview Questions

Google “Interview Questions” and you will find thousands of different questions that you may encounter in an interview, be it on the phone or in person. Alliance has compiled a list of their most used and favorite questions. We believe that these questions are the most asked and you as a job seeker should know the answers to before you go into any interview. (Well at least most of them)


Basic Interview Questions

  • What are you looking for in a new company/position?
  • What do you like most about what you do?
  • What would you say is your crowning achievement in your career?
  • Every professional, no matter the profession has a weakness…what is yours?
  • (IF RELEVANT) How difficult of a relocation would it be for you? Is your family onboard? Do you own or rent?
  • What is your availability to interview and start the position?
  • What is your current salary?
  • What are you looking for in terms of salary?
  • How did you hear about us? Why are you interested in working here?
  • Do you have any criminal history?
  • What are your salary expectations?
  • What are your greatest strengths? Weaknesses?
  • What are your career goals?
  • Detail any special skills that you within your career field.
  • Why you? Why should I hire you? What stands out about you and what do you bring to the table that other candidates for this position may not bring?

More About You

  • Give me a 2 minute overview of your career & experience.
  • What are your long term career goals/plans?
  • What are your strengths?
  • What area of your professional experience would say needs the most improvement?
  • What is your biggest failure and what did you learn from it?
  • Describe a process or idea that you implemented within your career.
  • What is your personal mission statement?
  • What are you passionate about? What drives you?
  • List five (5) words that describe your character.
  • If you could ask me / (potential new employer) only ONE question, what would it be?

Behavioral Questions

  • When work becomes stressful or overwhelming, how do you handle it?
  • Tell me a time when you had a difficult time with a direct supervisor and what the result was.
  • Tell me about a time when you had numerous tasks at once. How did you prioritize?
  • Tell me about a time when you had challenging goals at work. What did you do to make sure you accomplished the goals?
  • Tell me about a time you worked on a team and had to depend on someone else to get your work completed.
  • Describe in your opinion the difference between a boss and a leader.
  • Describe a time when you disagreed with your boss and how you handled it.
  • There is no right or wrong answer, but if you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you be and why?
  • Tell me 5 ways to use a pen other than writing with it.
  • If you could choose to have one superhero power, what would it be and why?

Management Questions

  • If I were to ask one or more of the people that worked under you (or still do) why they like working for you, what would they tell me?
  • What, in your opinion, is the difference between a boss and a leader?
  • In your experience, what does it take to build a good team?
  • Tell me about a time when you had to handle a situation with a difficult employee. How did you handle the situation and what was the result.
  • Do you consider yourself a desk manager or a floor manager?
  • Can you give me an example when you had to think out of the box?
  • How do you motivate your employees?
  • Detail for me how you go about organizing your day.
  • An employee 100% disagrees with you about a decision. How do you handle that?
  • Describe how you create a positive working environment.


Career Counseling Packages and Pricing – Individual, Corporate and Custom Services

Alliance Career Group, Inc.

Career Counseling Division │ Wilmington, NC

Toll Free: 866.496.0894 | Local: 910.726.3689

Career Counseling Packages – Individual, Corporate & Custom Services

  • Career Preparation
  • Career Explorer
  • Career Maintenance
  • Individual Counseling Services
  • Custom Services for Corporations & Groups
  • Corporate Services
  • Educational Career Classes


CAREER COUNSELING PACKAGES¹ – The career coaching packages described below are designed to fit every stage of your job search or career management plan. The packages offer a discounted cost over the individual services and if required, additional services can be added to any package.


Career Preparation Package
  • Intake Session: Initial 30 minute session reviewing the clients’ needs for their career search.
  • Career Counseling: Two (2) thirty-minute sessions within one month. Individual career coaching tailored to client’s specific job search/career transition/career development goals.
  • Interim Coaching: Interim coaching support by email between coaching sessions.
  • Service Includes: The Simple Resume; Job Search Plan Creation and CareerCare Profile Questionnaire

Price: $285.00


Career Explorer Package
  • Intake Session: Initial 30 minute session reviewing the clients’ needs for their career search.
  • Career Counseling: Four (4) thirty-minute sessions within six (6) weeks. Individual career coaching tailored to client’s specific job search/career transition/career development goals.
  • Interim Coaching: Interim coaching support by email between coaching sessions.
  • Service Includes: The Simple Resume; Job Search Plan Creation, Telephone & In person interview Techniques; Job Search Account Set Up and CareerCare Profile Questionnaire

Price: $485.00


Career Maintenance Package
  • Intake Session: Initial 30 minute session reviewing the clients’ needs for their career search.
  • Career Counseling: Eight (8) thirty-minute sessions within three (3) months. Individual career coaching tailored to client’s specific job search/career transition/career development goals.
  • Interim Coaching: Interim coaching support by email between coaching sessions.
  • Service Includes: The Simple Resume; Job Search Plan Creation, Telephone & In-Person Interview Techniques; Job Search Account Set Up; CareerCare Profile Questionnaire; Targeted Cover Letter and LinkedIn Profile

Price: $785.00


INDIVIDUAL SERVICES¹ – In addition to the packages above, the services below are available on an individual basis. They can also be added to any of the packages. Additional time may be purchased for each service in and individual or hourly segment. Ask for details.


Hourly Career Counseling Package
  • Three (3) 30 minute sessions via in person, email and/or telephone
  • Individual career coaching tailored to client’s specific job search/career transition/career development goals.
  • Interim coaching support by email between coaching sessions with any other ordered service or package.
  • Not sure exactly what you need but sure that you need guidance? In this competitive job market, get an edge on your competition.
  • Over email, on the phone, in person or a mixture of all, we will guide you through the process of getting you ready for your next career step.

Price: $125.00 (Each additional hour $45.00)


The Simple Resume – Consultation, Review & Repair
  • Are you applying for jobs and not getting any interest?
  • Are you aware of how important the layout, format and content of your resume is when applying for jobs?
  • Alliance offers a complete review and consultation of your resume including creating, re-writing and/or repair of your existing resume.

There is No Charge for the Initial Consultation

Pricing Options as Follows:

Review and Assess with Suggestions – $25.00

Format & Layout Revision Only – $50.00

Repair & Re-write – $75.00 to $100.00

Create from Scratch – $150.00

Please note that the above pricing does not include any consultation fees via phone and/or email that normally will occur. Consulting fees are based on $65 per hour.


Job Search Plan Creation
  • The most important service that Alliance Career Group offers. Do you have a plan? Do you know where to start? We can help you.
  • A creation of a detailed job search action plan with up to two (2) 30 minute sessions of phone, in person and/or email support.
  • The goal is to provide an effective, efficient job search strategy tailored to your needs and goals.

Price: $75.00


Telephone & Skype Interviewing Techniques
  • Alliance has proven and tested tips for you to ace your initial telephone interview.
  • Service includes:
  • A comprehensive list of “do’s and don’ts”
  • One (1) (up to) 30 minute telephone mock telephone/Skype Interview with a review.

Price: $65.00


In-Person Interviewing Techniques
  • The toughest and most nerve racking, yet most important part of the interview process.
  • Are you ready? Do you know what to say? What not to say? What questions to ask?
  • Service includes:
  • One (1) 30 minute initial intake and preparation of your interview
  • Two (2) 15 minute one on one intensive in person mock interview sessions, with 15 minute critique and conversation sessions
  • A comprehensive list of questions asked by interviewers for you to prepare
  • A comprehensive list of “do’s and don’ts”

Price: $165.00


CareerCare Extensive Career Profile
  • This career questionnaire will give you the edge against the competition.
  • Attach it to your resume so potential employers will know more about you than any other applicant.

Price: $50.00


Job Search Account Setup
  • Are you on the top job boards? Are you on them the right way maximizing your exposure?
  • Do you know how Recruiters, HR Managers and Hiring Managers search on these job boards?
  • We will work with you to create a job search account and job search alert setup on three (4) of the top job board sites and educate you on how you are found or in many cases, lost in the shuffle.
  • CareerBuilder; Monster; Zip Recruiter; Indeed

Price: $115.00


Targeted Cover Letter
  • We will help you write a targeted cover letter for one (1) job utilizing key words and matching the job requirements to your accomplishments, qualifications and passions.

Pricing Options as Follows:

Complete Design of your Cover Letter – $85.00

Revision and Enhancement of current Cover Letter – $50.00



LinkedIn Profile
  • For anyone that is active in today’s job market a well written and designed LinkedIn profile is a necessity.
  • LinkedIn is the #1 social media site that Recruiters, HR Managers and Hiring Managers go to first, we will make sure that your profile stands out and that you are utilizing the site to its fullest potential.
  • Service includes the creation and development of your LinkedIn profile utilizing key words, resume and background information.

Pricing Options as Follows:

Complete Design of your Profile – $150.00

Revision and enhancement of current Profile – $85.00



Reverse Recruiting²
  • Searching for a new job can be a job in itself. We will do all of the leg work for you.
  • Included in our fee is our Career Maintenance Package and a targeted job search in attempt to connect you to hiring companies of your interest.
  • Down Payment (Non-refundable) + Contingent rate based on your first year’s base salary payable upon your successful placement into a new position. Down payment will be deducted from the contingency rate if hired.

(Ex. $60,000 per year salary at hire = $6,000 fee – $500.00 down payment = $5,500.00 Total Fee Due)

Down Payment Structure:

Entry Level/Early Career – $250.00 Down +5% Contingent Rate

Mid-Level Career (7.5%) – $500.00 Down + 7.5% Contingent Rate

Executive Level – $1000.00 Down + 10% Contingent Rate


Next-Gen Video Interview

Coming Soon! Details & Pricing Not Yet Available


Custom Coaching Services
  • Other customized services for corporations, groups, and individuals are also available. For more information on these, please contact us for a specialized quote at or call (866)496-0894 or (910)726-3689.


Corporate Services

Alliance offers a variety of services to companies of all types and sizes.

Call or email for details on the following services. Pricing is on a case by case basis.

  • Corporate Recruiting
  • Retained or Contingency based Recruiting
  • Contract Staffing
  • Employment & Hiring Consulting
  • Group Motivational Seminars
  • Recruitment Process Outsourcing


Payment Options

Alliance Career Group accepts Cash, Checks, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover.

A $35 fee will be charged on all returned checks.


  1. All programs and services will require clients to sign the Alliance Career Group, Inc.’s Simple Consulting Agreement
  2. Special contract terms for Reverse Recruiting exists. Clients will be required to sign the Simple Reverse Recruiting Consulting Agreement.

For more information on Alliance Career Group, please visit

Why People Leave their jobs – #1 Reason!

For the bosses reading this article, TAKE NOTES.  There are various foundational elements that cross all borders of management.  Whether a factory manager, a shift lead in a fast food company, or an manager at a FORTUNE 100 – the basics remain the same.  So take a quick look at why the people say they leave and then we can discuss how to solve the issue.  Professional staff members leave due to the way they are treated – something that has little to do with their duties.  How the manager looks at them, speaks to them, associates with inside/outside the office, encourages them, etc. all were the largest factors when determining  how an employee evaluates a boss.  If you do not think these factors matter, look at this.  One of the reports written states that 75% of employees site their direct manager as the most stressful part of their day.  So how does a manager truly manage people?

I believe that there is so much more to managing people than simply overseeing them in their tasks.  The question is engagement, how does a boss engage the people he/she oversees is the real factor that makes all the difference.  Engagement covers all the intangible interactions that we mentioned above and weigh the most on how staff assess their leadership.  The old school thoughts are management up here and the rest of the people down here.  If you are looking to keep losing people, remain in that school of thought – they will fall away in droves.  Lack of engagement is the core foundation of the old school way of management.  So why engage?  People are people, one of the forgotten principles of management in today’s business world.  To influence people and get the job done, managers need to engage people.  To do so, you must treat people the right way.  Sounds simple enough – does it not?  Why is it so hard then?  In addition to change management, training, and the fear that all of those bring – technology is one of the single largest factors in the inability of managers to be able to engage.  Email, phone, tele-conference, etc all remove the need for engagement and place people in isolated verticals without management training.  All this equals people consistently ranking their bosses low in performance ratings and leaving their positions for “the grass being greener” on the other side.

How to Explain Leaving a Hostile Work Environment on a Resume

How to Explain Leaving a Hostile Work Environment on a Resume

by Kay Bosworth, Demand Media

“Hostile work environment” is a legal term that is not necessarily appropriate for a resume. A hostile work environment, by legal definition, is not the same as a workplace that is occasionally hostile. A bullying boss or an obnoxious coworker can be annoying, but not rise to the level of creating a legally hostile work environment. Inappropriate use of the term on a resume could make a negative impression on a prospective employer.

Step 1Understand the correct terminology. Specific federal anti-discrimination laws prohibit creation of a hostile work environment. Legally, a hostile work environment is one in which one or more employees experience discriminatory harassment. The basis of this harassment must be race, color, national origin, religion, disability, age or gender. Illegal harassment must be severe and intentional to the extent that it interferes with the employee’s job performance. The victim or other employees must believe that they have to put up with the situation to keep their jobs.
Unless your situation is severe enough to warrant a complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the equivalent state agency, it is not a genuine hostile work environment and should not be described as such. If you have, in fact, filed an official complaint with the EEOC, that information should not be mentioned on a resume.

Step 2Use the constructive discharge defense. An employer might deliberately create a hostile environment to force an employee to quit. If this is the case, mention your reason for leaving on the resume if you feel it may require an explanation. In a cover letter or an interview, you can elaborate by explaining that you tried your best to cope with the situation.

Step 3Leave it out. Reasons for leaving a job are not part of most resume formats. Simply include the start and end dates of the job along with your accomplishments. If your interviewer asks why you left, put a positive spin on the departure. Without criticizing your employer, briefly focus on the goals and results that you achieved and emphasize that you welcome new opportunities to grow and learn. Employers want to know that you are adaptable, flexible, loyal and a team player. They don’t want to suspect that you are thin-skinned, uncooperative or given to whining and complaining.


The Dreaded Cover Letter

According to plenty of experts in the career-sphere, including myself, the cover letter is growing obsolete.

But according to the results of a recent OfficeTeam study, which surveyed senior managers at companies with 20 or more employees, cover letters are still an important part of the job seeker’s toolbox.

Ninety-one percent of the more than 1,000 executives queried say cover letters are either somewhat or very valuable when evaluating a job candidate.

“Although the job application process has increasingly moved online, the importance of a cover letter shouldn’t be underestimated,” says Robert Hosking, executive director of OfficeTeam. “It often is the first opportunity to make a positive impression on hiring managers.”

Cover letters are also a good opportunity to build rapport with a prospective employer and show how the skills on your resume fit with the job for which you’re applying.

Here are some tips for getting it right:

  1. Make it look good.Before someone starts reading your cover letter, they’re going to look it over. So if your cover letter looks like a chore to read, you’ve already fallen behind.

Avoid long sentences and big blocks of unbroken text. Keep your sentences short, direct, and active. Separate paragraphs (there should only be two to four) with a single space. Think about using bullet points when listing skills and accomplishments to make the text look airy and less daunting.

  1. Make it original. Every job opportunity deserves its own cover letter—that means non-generic in form. Take a good look at the job posting and tailor your cover letter to it by using similar terminology and tone, but be yourself at the same time.

You can follow a standard three-paragraph format for most letters:

  • Introduce yourself and tell them why you’re writing.
  • Match your qualifications to the job using specific examples.
  • Reiterate your qualifications, request an interview and let them know how you’ll follow up.
  1. Make it relevant.Your cover letter shouldn’t just be a list of your skills and experience (that’s the purpose of your resume). Instead, it should make the case for why your skills and experience are right for a particular position. Match your qualifications with some of the job requirements using real-life examples. Remember to keep it brief. With any luck—and a good cover letter—you’ll be able to elaborate during your interview.
  2. Use names.First, do your best to find out who will read your letter and address it to that person—there’s nobody named “To Whom it May Concern.” Also, if you have an inside connection at the company (who doesn’t mind vouching for you) work it into the first paragraph.
  3. Make it perfect.Typos, bad grammar, and poor spelling kill cover letters. So don’t just dash off a cover letter and send it. After your first draft, set the letter aside for a few minutes. Then reread it. Look for ways to strengthen the points you make while tightening your language and deleting unnecessary words. Then read it again. Use spell check (but remember to double check it). And, finally, let someone else give it a read.


How to Enhance Your Resume Without Stretching the Truth

How to Enhance Your Resume Without Stretching the Truth

Finding a job is rarely easy, but for the millions of people who are currently unemployed, it seems nearly impossible. Saving money is a luxury many can no longer afford because they can hardly keep up with day-to-day expenses.

Are you beginning to think your job hunting efforts are hopeless? Does submitting your resume online feel like sending it into a black hole? When your livelihood is on the line, it might be tempting to resort to questionable tactics to gain an edge over the competition. Maybe you’re considering embellishing your resume to make yourself a more attractive candidate.

You should know that lying to get a job is just about guaranteed to backfire, big time. Whether it’s your experience, education or abilities, stretching the truth is always a bad idea. It is possible, however, to make your resume stand out as an applicant and without having to lie–it’s all about how you present the information.

  1. Axe the objective and reference sections.The simple act of submitting your resume makes your objective very clear: You want the job. Resumes should be kept as concise as possible, and writing an objective wastes prime real estate on the page. If you do feel like stating an objective, save it for your cover letter.

The same is true when you end the page with “References available upon request.” Yes, let’s hope they are. It’s much more helpful to bring along a separate page with references and contact information already listed, so that in the case your interview goes well, you can provide it on the spot. (Here are some other old-fashioned resume elements and outdated job-search advice to ignore.)

  1. Place keywords strategically.Using meaningless business buzzwords to describe yourself does the opposite of make you stand out. Instead, your resume blends in with the hundreds of others characterizing “go-getters” with “can-do” attitudes and “outside-the-box” thinking.

In fact, these 7 words & phrases should be banished from resumes completely:

  1. Responsible for
  2. Self-motivated
  3. Experienced
  4. Excellent written communication skills
  5. Team player
  6. Detail oriented
  7. Successful


Instead, research and identify words that describe what your potential employer is looking for in the position specifically. Read the job description thoroughly, and check the company website’s “About Us” and “Mission” pages for language you can mirror in your resume. This is especially important because screening resumes is increasingly becoming an automated process, and poor word choice means your resume may never reach a real person’s hands.

  1. Be specific and show results.The fact that you were a manager means very little if it did nothing to propel the company forward. What’s really attention-grabbing–andimportant to hiring managers–is measurable results directly related to your efforts.

If you increased sales by 10 percent or created a new process that cut a project’s time in half, definitely replace dry or obvious job descriptions with those facts. And remember, numbers have much more impact than text. Your resume is the first impression you make on a hiring manager, so don’t wait for an interview that may or may not happen to showcase your achievements.

  1. Change the order.Traditionally, a resume features the applicant’s name and address, followed by an opening headline or title, a summary of qualifications, job experience, and education or training finishing it off. However, following this format may not make the important information stand out.

If your work history is limited but you received extensive training in a specialized field, list your educational accomplishments before delving into past employment. If you possess a rare skill, list your abilities before the rest of the information. Also include only the work history that is relevant to the position you’re currently applying for: Two years as an accountant? Great. Those three months you spent making ends meet at the burger joint? Not so much.

  1. Keep It clean, neat, and error-free.It should go without saying, but triple-check your resume for errors before sending it out into the world. Preferably, have a second set of eyes look it over. I’ve personally received a number of professional resumes that looked as though they were created by fifth graders–which is a pretty alarming–but finding even one error means I stop reading and move on to the next applicant.

Most employers will react the same way to misspellings, poor grammar, and formatting mistakes. Again, your resume is your first impression; do you want it to say you don’t care enough about the job to proofread it?

And the fancy stuff (colored paper, unusual fonts, or images) is not appropriate for a resume, period. It doesn’t look like you put more effort into your resume, it looks like you’re compensating for its lack of substance.

Job-hunting can be frustrating and disheartening. When the competition is as fierce as it is these days, you need to do everything you can to get a potential employer to notice you–don’t allow a poorly optimized resume to prevent you from getting your foot in the door.

Casey Bond is editor-in-chief of, which provides readers informative personal finance and investing content, as well as the best interest rates on financial services nationwide.


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
  2. Just for the love of humanity have a shred of common sense.


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