Resume Do's and Don'ts

10 Tips to Make Your Resume Standout


By Andrea D. Wilson

In many industries, your resume is what gets your foot in the door. It's the document that hiring managers see before they ever lay eyes on you. With the current job market becoming increasingly competitive, your resume must be first-rate to be considered for job or career opportunities.


Below are 10 helpful tips on how to make your resume stand out from the crowd and make a great first impression.


Resume Tips


1. Be Concise

Get straight to the point and only expand on aspects related to the position and condense the content of less relevant information. A bulleted, reader-friendly style is ideal. It's also wise to limit your resume to several pages.

2. Show Results

Focus on accomplishments instead of a list of responsibilities and consistently use action verbs to describe each achievement. Words such as "Led," "Developed," and "Wrote" are much more impactful than "assisted" or "helped out with". Also, show quantifiable results such as "saved the firm $150,000", "managed a staff of 30 people", and "successfully closed 50 accounts".

3. Have a Professional Layout and Presentation

When it comes to layout and presentation, don't be overly fancy. Keep it conservative and professional. Don't use too many fonts or font sizes, or decorative fonts or bullets.

4. Don't use the word "I"

Resumes are traditionally written in the first person. The use of "I", "me", "my," "we," or "our", etc. should be avoided.

5. Include Current Contact Information

The window to fill job openings is short, so hiring managers must be able to reach you. Be sure to list the best and most current contact information.

6. Don't Overlook Non-Work Experiences

Do not include hobbies or superfluous personal information. However, you should undoubtedly include professional affiliations or organizations where you held positions or led projects that exhibit your strengths and skill sets.

7. Avoid Exaggeration

You don't want to include filler or fluff that you cannot correctly expound upon during an interview. Keep your resume points and content factual without adding extras.

8. Don't Include References

References will be requested when the hiring organization is considering you for the next phase in the hiring process. An option is to include "Reference Provided Upon Request" at the end of your resume. However, this is not mandatory as it is expected that you will provide references at the appropriate time.

9. Don't Label the Document "Resume."

The document you are presenting, and it's purpose will be evident to the reader. Adding "resume" at the top of the text is not necessary.

10. Revise Your Resume for Each Position

Always adjust your resume to suit the position you are applying for. This will typically involve changing your objective narrative and adjusting your work accomplishments as you see fit.


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