Here are some dos and don’ts resume tips that can help you avoid common mistakes while building a stronger, more refined resume (and cover letter).
12 resume do’s tips
1. Make sure your resume is easy to read. Remember, it’s a summary, not an autobiography.
2. Keep the overall length of your resume short.
3. Stress your past accomplishments and the skills you used to get the desired results.
4. Focus on information that’s relevant to your own career goals.
5. Place your strongest material in the two-inch visual space that begins about 2 5/8 inches from the top of your resume.
6. Give the most weight to your most recent (past ten to fifteen years) professional position.
7. Quantify your impact on the organizations you have worked for.
8. Pay as much attention to your resume’s design as you do to its content.
9. Place your education after your experience if you’ve been in the workforce for more than five years.
10. Use a two-page resume if appropriate.
11. Stick to a basic, clear format that helps the reader glean information quickly and with minimal effort.
12. Use the active voice with verbs that indicate you’re in charge: “Represented firm at international symposium.”
10 Resume don’ts tips
1. Get caught in the passive voice trap, writing as if things happened to you. “was sent to argentina to represent the firm…”
2. Refer to yourself as a subject (first or third person) in your resume: “i helped prepare correspondence,” or, “applicant wrote outreach letters to prospective clients.”
3. Include email addresses or websites that have the potential to reveal controversial or inappropriate personal information.
4. Include personal information such as social security number, age, race, or marital status on your resume.
5. Use your current work email or phone number as contact information.
6. Use vague qualitative terms such as “large” or “many,” which leave the reader with questions about specifics.
7. Waste resume space with frivolous information, such as “voted mostly likely to succeed in high school.”
8. Try to differentiate yourself with an unconventional format or tactics such as graphics and colored paper, unless you are applying for jobs in arts-related fields.
9. Include reasons for leaving your jobs, salary information, or references on your resume.
10. Try to portray yourself as a jack-of-all-trades in the hope that something will strike the reader’s fancy.