• Resume Best Practices

    Always remember that the purpose of a resume is to get an interview and the resume is typically the first impression you can make with a potential employer. 

    PRINCIPLE 1:  Depending on the size and organization of a company, a resume will be read by either a department manager, a human resource manager, or both. A resume is typically scanned for the highlights, so you want to get noticed quickly in written form. 

    PRINCIPLE 2:  Managers receive a minimum of 150 to 200 resumes per job posting.  Few of us like to read documents (which is what a resume is), so you want to make a quick impact by standing out against the other resumes submitted for the same position. 

    PRINCIPLE 3:  A resume is the first impression that you give.  Make it perfect and engaging.

    1. Develop a master resume for your reference.  Ignore length as it will never be sent.  It is a working document.
      • Tailor the resume as best as you can each time you submit it.
      • Including only the specific qualifications that best match the posted position. 
    2. Make the resume reader friendly and visually appealing
      • Use an easy to read font like Ariel or Calibri, nothing smaller than 10 pt. type.
      • Balance white space and text.  Avoid 1/2" margins and huge blocks of text.
    3. Time limitations and the volume of resumes received cause recipients to scan a resume.
      • Use keywords and job or industry appropriate terms.
      • No secret to keywords.  Refer to the prospective employer's job description and use those same precise words within your resume.
      • Use bullet statements to make a point.
    4. Make the resume engaging.
      • Limit the resume to 2 pages (1 if you are a student).
        • Be sure the most relevant information is in the top 1/3 to 1/2 of the 1st page.
        • Don't expect the hiring manager to sift through text in order to discover why you're a great candidate.
      • Provide a short job description and emphasize results. 
        • Limit job descriptions to 2 to 3 sentences.
        • Focus on relevant accomplishments.
        • Start each sentence with an action verb.  Use present tense for a current position, present or past tense for previous positions.
    5. Don't give anyone a reason to throw your resume out!
      • Proof and reproof a resume for typos, incorrect spelling, and poor or incorrect grammar.
      • Make sure your contact information is accurate.
      • Do not abbreviate or use acronyms.  Spell out street names, schools, and terms.
      • Be honest.  Lies and exaggerations will be flushed out during interviews and reference checks.
      • Include all employment, even if you don't list responsibilities and accomplishments.
        • Managers look for employment gaps.
        • Gaps won't prevent an interview if they can be explained.
      • Include a cover letter.
        • Managers may not read the, but failure to include one looks as though you failed to complete the task.   
        • Use the "T" cover letter format.
    6. Keep your resume current with formatting trends.
      • Include your LinkedIn URL.  Delete your street address if you need space.
      • Depending on the job location, you may want to omit your physical address and use only your electronic address.
        • If your email address is: loveskittycats@gmail.com, open a professional sounding account to be used for job applications.
      • Replace the Objective Statement with a Professional Summary.
      • Do not include:
        • References or a reference statement.
        • Pictures of yourself and personal information.
        • Your GPA after your first job
    Simple Resume Template 
    If you've never created a resume before, download this document and use it as a template.  First Resume
Last Modified on September 1, 2023