Every Tuesday we post resume tips on our Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn using the hashtags #ResumeTipTuesday and #TuesdayResumeTip . Below is the complete list!
- Use exact keywords from the job description in your resume. Applicant tracking systems (ATS) scan for keywords before recruiters see your application.
- Title your work experience section “Relevant Professional Experience” so you don’t feel pressured to include all work experience . This also allows you to include non-paid professional experience.
- Don’t be like this guy and include non-professional experience on your resume…
- Things to include on your resume header: name, email, phone number, and LinkedIn URL. Only include your address if the job requires residency (such as state or government jobs).
- TRY NOT TO USE ALL CAPS BECAUSE IT LOOKS LIKE YOU’RE YELLING!
- Do not use personal pronouns (I, me, we, etc.) on your resume.
- Unless you are an actor, model, or realtor, don’t include pictures on your resume.
- Don’t use any colored font, including URLs/hyperlinks. Change these back to black font instead of blue hyperlinks.
- Make sure your resume has margins. Narrow margins are good as they give you a little extra space on the page.
- Use quantitative measures and metrics whenever possible. Potential employers are interested in results!
- Do not include personal information (SSN, # of kids, marital status, etc) on your resume.
- Don’t include skills or experience that aren’t going to demonstrate transferable skills to the new environment .
- Are you applying for a Federal Job? Upload 2 resumes with your application: 1 very detailed doc for the HR folks & 1 pretty/specialized doc for the selecting officials.
- Save your resume with a professional title to your computer. “Jane Doe CV” instead of ”freaking awesome resume.”
- Do not have paragraphs of information on your resume. A recruiter will rarely read chunks of text. Use bullet points instead to make it as easy as possible for the recruiter to see how qualified you are.
- Don’t list hobbies or interests on your resume. Your resume should be strictly professional.
- Similar to our second tip: Title your work section on your resume “Relevant Professional Experience.” This gives you the flexibility to only list your relevant experience so you can keep your resume to 1 page and not overwhelm the recruiter/hiring manager.
- Resume font size minimum is 10 point, but try to stick to 11-12 point.
- Use your job description to create your experience on your resume. Don’t just list daily tasks and include items like important accomplishments, successes, and goals.
- Make sure the content on your resume is well spaced and not squished together.
- Keep it brief. Resume is French for “summary.”
- Remember to include any certifications or training that may be relevant to the position you are applying for.
- Order your work experience chronologically, with most recent/current at the top and the oldest at the bottom.
- Email is one of the primary (and preferred) methods of contact for both recruiters and applicants. Make sure your email address is listed on your resume and is professional! “YourName@” is a good place to start.
- Including an executive or professional summary (in the past this may have been called an “Objective Statement” – that’s outdated now and should only be used for entry level positions) is optional.
- If you are going to include an executive or professional summary: don’t use pronouns (“I” or “me”), tailor it to the position, include a summary of your experience, and include your greatest accomplishments.
- Don’t include your GPA on your resume unless the position you are applying to specifically requires it.
- Don’t include the statement, “References available upon request.”
- If you have acronyms on your resume, try to spell them out before using them so the recruiter does not become confused.
- Do. Not. Lie. On. Your. Resume. Not only can this lead to termination from a job you just got, but it can degrade your personal brand and lead to long-term unemployment.
- Proofread and spell check your resume! Make sure there are no typos, misspelled words (manager/manger, associate/ass., principal/principle, etc.), or grammar issues. Consider giving your resume to 2 people who know you well and ask them to point out things you didn’t catch.
- Make sure your punctuation is consistent throughout your resume. For example if you end every sentence with a period, don’t leave one sentence without one.
- Do not include salary expectations or salary history on your resume. The only exception for this might be federal resumes (federal HR departments may prefer this information is included).
- Do not use a template! Make sure your resume is formatted as little as possible so ATS can read it.
- Do not feel obligated to explain gaps in your employment on your resume.
- Do not say anything negative about previous employers on your resume.
- The ideal bullet point length is 1 line.
- Create a customized LinkedIn URL so you can include it on your resume!
- When quantifying your experience or achievements, use digits instead of spelling the number out.
- It’s okay to include relevant volunteer experience on your resume.
- Remember to check the tenses of your resume. All previous jobs should be past tense and your current job(s) should be present tense.
- Be sure to emphasize your results and achievements! These are what recruiters and hiring managers care about most!
- Ensure your formatting is consistent throughout your document. For example: keep all headings centered and then all experience/ other content aligned on the left side of the page.
- Only list valid/current certifications, licenses, memberships, etc.
- When you upload your resume to an application, stick to a Word document or PDF.
- Stay away from stylistic fonts. Times New Roman, Calibri, and Cambria fonts work best with ATS.
- Unless you’re sure a computer won’t screen your resume first, don’t use tables or graphics. ATS cannot read these!
- Try to keep your underlining to a minimum. If you underline text, ATS may mix up your letters. For example: an underlined q, p, g, or y, could all be confused for other letters like o or v, because ATS may remove the “tails” of the letters when they cross over the underline.
- Be sure to choose your words carefully and be cautious of words that can easily be misspelled like: affect (to bring about change), effect (result), personal (private), personnel (staff members), accept (to receive), and except (to exclude).
- Update your resume regularly, even if you are happy in your current position! This helps you remember your accomplishments and duties, which will be important for your future applications.
Thank you for taking the time to read these resume tips! If you’re looking for ways to improve your own resume, please review my services here and contact me here.