Top 5 Resume Writing Dos and Don’ts
The most important step in applying for a position is ensuring your resume is competitive. Many people who may be qualified for a position are passed simply because of their resume. Before you submit it to a prospective employer, use our guide to determine if your resume meets best practices.
What You Should Do in a Resume
1) Detail Your Experience
The most important part of your resume is the experience you’ll be utilizing to excel at your new position. Make sure that all relevant experience is clearly detailed with your title, responsibilities, and dates of employment. Don’t keep your experience solely to your career, however. Studies show that seeing volunteer experience on your resume leaves 64% of recruiters and hiring managers with a positive opinion.
2) Give Your LinkedIn URL
While a LinkedIn profile is simply a glorified resume, including your LinkedIn URL can have a big impact on your consideration for a position. Your LinkedIn profile may include personal recommendations from coworkers that don’t belong on your resume, a professional photo, and more room to display your personality and previous work experience.
3) Make it Stylish
Don’t get out of hand here, but switching up the font, utilizing light coloring, and developing a creative format can give your resume a second look. Avoid large fonts, comic sans, and garish coloring, or else you won’t be taken seriously.
4) Display Your Contact Information Clearly
Don’t make hiring managers or recruiters have to look for your information. Your contact details should be displayed clearly at the top of your resume.
5) Offer References
At the end of your resume, be sure to state that you have recommendations available upon request to confirm your previous experiences. Ideally, you’ll want to have 3-4 verifiable recommenders ready to speak with any hiring manager who contacts you.
What You Shouldn’t Do in a Resume
1) Go Over One Page
Unless you have more than ten years of experience in your current industry, all of your information should be contained to a single page. Take this quote from a Forbes article by Michael Wright, a hiring manager for Apple: “In all my years of looking through resumes, I’ve never once looked at the second page.” Cut any excess information and any experience that isn’t directly related to the job for which you’re applying. Managers know you have additional experience, and you will have time to bring this information up in your interview.
2) Make Grammatical Errors
Grammatical mistakes are unprofessional, and make you appear lazy. After all, if you’re not going to reread your resume to ensure there are no errors, how hard are you going to work in your new position? 83% of recruiters and hiring managers say they have turned down a potential candidate because of a typo or grammatical error.
3) Reduce the Margins
Reducing the margins in order to add more information to your resume not only crowds the text, making it more difficult to read, but also immediately gets your resume passed into the recycling bin. 88% of recruiters and hiring managers claim they pass on any resume that has reduced margins.
4) List Every Position
The fast food restaurant you worked at in high school isn’t relevant to your new business job—unless you were a manager. While some older jobs might have a bit of relevancy to your new position, most won’t. Don’t list every place you’ve worked unless it’s essential to displaying your experience. As we said previously, keep it to one page. It’s up to you to decide what’s relevant or not, so exercise your best judgment.
Lying on your resume is the fastest way to get a great job and immediately lose it. Lying is never worth it, as thousands of people who’ve made this mistake in the past can attest. Whether you’re lying about your previous salary, your previous experience, or your education, the risk is much too high. Lying on your resume is a fireable offense, no matter how seemingly insignificant, and no matter how long it takes for the truth to come out.
Before you prepare your resume, you need to know where you’re sending it. Take a look at our Careers Page to learn what industries your experience allows you to pursue.