::Don't over qualify yourself for a
position. Give enough information for
interest and save the "wow" factor for the
interview. Write the resume for the position
you are applying for without altering the
::Don't attach 6 letters of recommendation,
your diploma, your birth certificate, and
your CPR and fitness certifications.
Indicate your current certifications and be
prepared to give references upon request. Do
not waste space on your resume by saying
::If you're just out of school put your
educational details in before your
employment details, with the most recent
first on both of them. If you've been out of
school for more than a year, or you have
significant job credentials then list past
employment and accomplishments first.
::Another approach is to lead with your
strong suit, whether it be education,
skills, work or volunteer experience. The
idea is to showcase your strengths and hide
::Detail your duties within each position
but don't go overboard. Accomplishments are
more impressive than duties. "Cut expenses
by 25% over six months while maintaining
historic revenue levels," is more impressive
than, "Was responsible for a $500,000
budget." The latter says, "I did this," the
former says, "I did this and I can do it for
::Highlight your expertise in
programs, languages, customer service and/or
any other particular skills that will
impress the interviewer.
::Listing personal hobbies is optional, but
make sure they are sending the right
impression. In other words, you might want
to mention your stamp collection if you're
applying for a job at a delivery company,
but don't include Monday night football at
::Be careful about listing volunteer
activities. When you start listing things
that tie you to political and other
emotionally charged organizations, you might
get put in a bucket of preconceived notions.
It's not right, but everyone has biases and
it is better to avoid them if possible.
::Quantify your accomplishments, if
possible, by applying specific numbers to
your successes. For instance, if you
streamlined the flow of work for your
department, define how much time it saved
the company over a period of, say, 4 months.
Time is money.
::Most people are somewhat shy and modest
about what they have done on the job. Don't
be! Think hard about what you've done and
what you've accomplished. For instance,
instead of saying "answered phones," say
"answered multi-line phone and routed calls
for an office of 43 people." The example
here shows the prospective
volume of work you've handled and the
complexity of the equipment.
resume on good quality paper,
such as 20 pound bond white paper. Fancy
papers are nice, but it's the content of
your resume that employers care about.
::If possible, keep the
resume for a day or
two before reading it again. You may think
of something else you want to add before
submitting it to prospective
cover letter that is short, sweet
and to the point (and specifically written
for the job you're applying for). If at all
possible, do not write more than a page-long
cover letter (make sure, though, that you
include everything the employer asks for).
Try and remember that the person reading it
is probably looking at hundreds of
Address logical questions in your
letter. If you're applying for a position in
California but your
resume has a New York
address, explain why. If you don't, the
reader will probably trash the resume
(unless the company is ready and willing to
pay for a relocation package).
::If you do have to use two pages, make sure
that the second page is at least half
filled. If not, go back and re-work the
formatting to see if you can fit it on one
page. You can also review all the
information you have and make sure it is all
necessary and relevant. Remove the "fluff".
::Use no more than three different fonts.
::Always backup your resume on a floppy
(yes, a floppy), flash USB drive, or even
print it out.
::Use white space effectively. The resume
layout should be professional, crisp and
well-defined. If you have too much
information on the page, feel free to leave
out what you feel is not 100% necessary,
such as that fast food job you had in high
school, if you have other more relevant
experience to draw from.
::Do not pad your
resume. This may be
illegal in some instances, and is quite
likely to make you look like a fool.
Do not include irrelevant personal
information. If you make inappropriate
personal disclosures on your
employers may perceive you as having poor
judgment. They may also, intentionally or
unintentionally, discriminate against you.
::Although in some cultures, it's customary
to list your age, marital status, and family
status, it isn't common in the United
States. If you think age is important, you
can allude to it with the year you graduated
college or high school. Otherwise, these
dates aren't necessary. Beware that,
depending on the industry, you may face age
discrimination if you graduated many years
ago. For example, in creative industries,
having graduated more than a few years ago
may disqualify you from getting an interview
for a junior position.
::In some countries (like Germany) you have
to include a photograph with your
application. In others, like the US and
Canada, including a photo will immediately
disqualify you with many employers. This
just goes to show how important it is to
research the local culture if you apply for
a job in another country.
::Many word processors, including Microsoft
Word, have "fill-in-the-blank" style
resumes. Check for one with an appropriate
style and then follow their guiding. It can
give you help on how to start.
::Make a lot of drafts!
::Remember, the resume lands you the
interview and the interview gets you the
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