|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
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.
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
- Have a friend or two proofread your resume for you.
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.
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),
- character assigned or a function), roll (to revolve).
- Use action words (i.e., wrote reports, increased revenues,
Other Potential Mistakes
Don't forget to check:
- Dates of all prior employment.
- Your address and phone number -- are they still current and
- The number of returns separating your categories: are they
- 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
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
- 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
- Make sure your name, address, and a phone number appear on
your resume and all correspondence, preferably at the top of the
- 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
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