How to Write a Better Resume
A good resume alone won't get you a job. But a bad resume can prevent you from getting an interview. Since your resume is a primary tool in finding a better job, extra time spent on its preparation is a good investment.
There is room for some creativity, but not for gimmicks. What works today is a professional, business-like style and a focus on key achievements.
We believe the best way to explain the rules of resume writing is to explain what you should always do and what you should never do.
- Print your resume on standard, white, 8 1/2 x 11 paper
- Have your resume typed, with plenty of space between paragraphs, and allow for adequate margins. There's no need to have it professionally printed
- Use short paragraphs - preferably no longer than five or six lines
- Proofread your resume and cover letter to check for any errors
- Include your contributions at each one of your jobs
- Allow the most space to your most recent job
- List your activity with professional associations - but only if they're appropriate
- Keep a permanent file of your achievements, no matter how inconsequential they may appear to be. This is the basis for a good resume.
- Send a brief, customized letter with each resume
- Send your resume within a week of a position being advertised
- Re-read your resume before the interview - chances are the interviewer will have questions that relate to information you include on your resume
- Give reasons for leaving a job. In almost all cases, the reader can find negative connotations to even the best reasons. You're better off explaining in person.
- Take more than two or three lines to list hobbies, sports and social activities. If in doubt leave them out.
- State "References Available on Request." It is assumed, and clutters up the resume. Other things to leave out are your spouse's occupation and your personal philosophies.
- List references on the resume
- Use exact dates. Months and years are sufficient.
- Include the date your resume was prepared. If your search takes longer than a few months, the resume will appear outdated.
- Include your work phone number unless your immediate boss knows you are leaving
- State your personal objectives unless they relate to that particular job
- Use professional jargon
- Provide salary information on the resume. Save it for the interview. If you are asked to provide this information, do so in your cover letter.