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Basic Resume Do's and Don'ts

Your resume details your professional background in regards to employment and education as well as awards and anything else that is relevant. Let us look at some basis do's and don’ts for resume writing.

Resume Do's

  • Do make sure that your resume is as simple to read as possible. Avoid being too wordy or using flowery prose. Use basic, concise sentences and get to the point as quickly as possible.
  • Using a bulleted style for your resume helps to make it very simple for the employer to read.
  • Do keep the length of your resume in mind as shorter is preferable to longer. Try to keep your resume to one to two pages, and only three if absolutely necessary.
  • Do emphasize the skills you have that are relevant to the job you are applying for as well as your past accomplishments. In this case create statements that will make the employer sit up and take notice.
  • Do consider a style of resume that is not run of the mill and over used. There is nothing wrong with using Microsoft Word resume wizards and templates but many people do use these. Show the employer something new by showing ingenuity and originality.
  • Always lists your jobs in a reverse chronological fashion
  • Do realize that grammar, punctuation, spelling and neatness matter. Pay attention to the structure of the resume and proofread it after you have finished typing it. Then proofread it again and it is also an excellent idea to have a family member or friend proofread it for you as well. Sometimes a fresh pair of eyes can pick out something you will not. Always print your resume on paper that is good quality.

Resume Don'ts

  • Do not use cheap paper to print out your resume and do not use colored paper, patterned paper or unusual sized paper. Always err on the side of conservatism and use 8-1/2 x 11 inch paper and go with standard white or beige.
  • Do not include references on a resume but instead make note at the end of the resume that references are available upon request. References only become necessary if an employer is seriously contemplating hiring a candidate.
  • Never lie on your resume as lying may help you in the short term but in the long run it will be your downfall. Keep in mind that the truth will come out eventually so don't risk it.
  • Do not include on a resume the salary you have made at previous jobs and the reasons you left previous jobs. Never mentions any workers compensation claims you have had, lawsuits you were involved in or sexual harassment problems you have experienced. As well remember to keep your resume business like and professional by not getting too personal. Do not give your marital status or mention the sex and age of your children and avoid talk of your hobbies, personal interests, sports or musical instruments you play, etc.
  • Do not use personal pronouns such as I or me in a resume and be mindful of combining verb and noun phrases. It is always best to consistently make use of strong action verbs that are concrete.
  • Do not use the word "work" in your resume and if you must use it, then use it only once and then substitute other words for it such as collaborate or collaborated.

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