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Resumé Writing Tips

  • Don't use an employment objective unless you edit it to match each position for which you apply. If your employment objective is incongruent with the job description of the position to which you are applying, most employers will assume that you are not familiar with the position and/or will not be interested in the job once you hear more about it. Therefore, they will not contact you for an interview. Generally, it is best to omit employment objectives from your resume.
  • Be sure that your resume is error-free (in spelling, grammar, sentence structure, subject-verb agreement, etc.) Many employers will immediately reject a candidate if there are errors of this type on a resume.
  • Your resume should be neat in appearance and in an easy-to-read format. Avoid using fancy fonts and unusual layouts.
  • Keep your resume to one page. Even people with 20+ years of career experience are advised to keep their resumes to only two pages. Your resume should offer facts about only your most important and relevant jobs, skills and accomplishments. You can provide details in your cover letter or during an interview.
  • All information on your resume should be factual and verifiable. Present your information in a favorable light, but don't exaggerate (or fabricate).
  • Explain time/job gaps by adding a "reason for leaving" explanation (one sentence) where gaps appear on your resume.
  • List the dates (month/year) that you worked with each employer. Be sure to identify job title changes and promotions that occurred during your career with each company.
  • Highlight your accomplishments and skills, not just your activities or job duties.
  • Use descriptive verbs when explaining prior job duties. This is the best way to ensure that you are conveying information clearly. If you are successful in doing this, the employer should be able to mentally picture you performing the task. Also, don't overwhelm with detail. Be brief and write plainly.
  • Remember your audience: Assume that the employer knows nothing about your background (which is usually always the case). Be sure to provide enough information so that they can see what you've accomplished, but leave enough unsaid so that they will want to contact you to learn more.

Keep in mind that most employers make the decision whether to reject or contact a candidate after reviewing his/her resume for less than one minute. First impressions are everything!

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