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Message to Applicants > Resume Tips > Resume Tip Examples

1. Not only is your resume the first thing an employer sees from you -- it is what the employer will use to decide whether you move on to the next stage of the employment process. Make your first impression count.

2. Be concise. Limit yourself to one printed page. A two-page resume is only acceptable when you have lots of experience to emphasize -- and even then it may be too much for an employer to browse.

3. When you are finished writing your resume, give it to other people to proofread. Typos and grammatical errors are inexcusable. Mistakes in your resume will cost you the opportunity to advance in the employment process.

4. Keep your contact information current. Reprint your resume if you move or get a new phone number or e-mail address.

5. If you are interested in posting your resume online, read through some specific information about electronic resumes, as they require a different type of formatting.

Proofreading Checklist

Spelling Mistakes

To avoid spelling mistakes:

  • Don't use words with which you aren't familiar.
  • Use a dictionary as you write.
  • Perform a spell check on your finished resume.
  • Carefully read every word in your resume. If you write "from" instead of "form," your spell check will be unable to detect your mistake.
  • Have a friend or two proofread your resume for you.

Punctuation Mistakes

Things to look for:

  • Periods at the end of all full sentences.
  • Be consistent in your use of punctuation.
  • Always put periods and commas within quotation marks. (i.e., Won awards including the "John H. Malcom Memorial Service Award.")
  • Avoid using exclamation points.

Grammatical Mistakes

Grammar hang-ups to watch for:

  • Do not switch tenses within your resume. The duties you currently perform should be in present tense (i.e., write reports), but ones you may have performed at past jobs should be in past tense (i.e., wrote reports).
  • Capitalize all proper nouns.
  • When expressing numbers, write out all numbers between one and nine (i.e., one, five, seven), but use numerals for all numbers 10 and above (i.e., 10, 25, 108).
  • If you begin a sentence with a numeral, spell out that numeral (i.e., Eleven service awards won while employed.).
  • Make sure your date formats are consistent (i.e., 11/22/96 or November 22, 1996, or 11.22.96. Choose one and stick with it.).

Choose Your Words Carefully

Phrase yourself well:

  • Be on the lookout for the following easily confused words: accept (to receive), except (to exclude), all right (correct),
  • alright (this is not a word), affect (to bring about change), effect (result), personal (private), personnel (staff members), role (a
  • character assigned or a function), roll (to revolve).
  • Use action words (i.e., wrote reports, increased revenues, directed staff).

Other Potential Mistakes

Don't forget to check:

  • Dates of all prior employment.
  • Your address and phone number -- are they still current and correct?
  • The number of returns separating your categories: are they consistent?
  • Abbreviation of state names. All state abbreviations are two letters -- no periods. For example, New York is abbreviated NY, California is CA, and Florida is FL. Look up other state abbreviations.

Design Is Important

Keep the following tips in mind:

  • Don't overcrowd your resume; allow for plenty of white space.
  • Keep your resume to one page whenever possible.
  • Keep the number of fonts you use to a minimum -- two at the most.
  • Use a font that is easy to read. Times Roman works well.
  • Do not justify the lines of type on your resume. Allow the right side of the page to "rag."
  • Do not overuse capitalization, italics, underlines, or other emphasizing features.
  • Make sure your name, address, and a phone number appear on your resume and all correspondence, preferably at the top of the page.
  • Print your resume on white or cream paper using a good-quality printer. Second- and third-generation photocopies are a no-no.
  • Print on one side of the paper only.

What To Omit

Do not put any of the following on your resume:

  • Salary history.
  • Sex, age, race, marital status, or other similar personal information.

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