Resume Dos & Don’ts

A quality resume makes the difference between getting a call back for an interview and receiving the dreaded “we’ve filled the position” email. Employers get hundreds of resumes ranging in quality from professionally typed to hand-written in crayon. Follow these dos & don’ts to make sure your submission stays in the keep pile.

1. Cater to the Employer

While it can be tempting to write one resume and send it word-for-word to multiple companies, you’ll get much better results by individualizing each submission to the employer. This doesn’t mean you have to write a brand new resume each time. Simply look at the job posting and alter some of the keywords or skills in your resume to more closely match those listed in the job posting.

2. Be Specific

Remove generalizations in your resume and provide concrete examples. You should also use numbers whenever possible. For example, instead of saying that you increased sales, state by how much and how in one sentence or less.

3. Use Action Verbs and Proofread

The way you present your information is just as important as the quality of content. Along with double-checking spelling and grammar, opt for starting sentences with action verbs. You should also replace weak, over-used verbs like “worked” with words like “performed” or “collaborated”.

5. Identify Your Strengths

Your resume often determines whether or not you’ll get an interview for an open position. Since most employers receive stacks of resumes for each opening, it’s important to not only identify your strengths, but to do so in such a way that the employer grasps them within 30 seconds of looking at your resume.

7. Be Truthful

One of the most important dos and don’ts in resume writing is to never lie. The information provided is likely to be verified through your references or past employers. Even if you’re lucky enough to not have the information checked, if at some point later in your career with the company your lies are found out, you could lose your job as well as the ability to use the company as a future reference.

While you’ve probably never turned in a resume penned in crayon, following the tips for resume dos and don’ts above can help take your writing skills from good to great. For further help, consider trying out LiveCareer’s Resume Builder to help create the professional edge you need to succeed.

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