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Resume Do’s and Don’ts

Before sending your next resume:

1. Appearances Count

Do spend a little extra money on quality resume weight paper.

Check, and recheck for typographical or grammatical errors and coffee stains.

Use the spell check feature BUT do not blindly trust it (it will overlook “scenic” vs. “science”)

Ask 2 friends to review the resume to find mistakes you may have missed.

2. Size & Length Matter

Try to keep it to one page, especially if you have limited or no industry experience.

Ensure that the font size is easy on the eyes, 12 pt is recommended

If your career warrants a two-page resume, go ahead and create a document that reflects the full range of your experience and accomplishments. Don’t reduce the type size to such a degree that your resume becomes difficult to read.

3. Truth or Consequences

Be accurate and true. You will be held accountable and asked to expound.

Don’t falsify dates or titles on your resume to hide unemployment periods, or that you changed jobs frequently, or that you held low-level positions.

Prospective employers will conduct employment history and reference checks. Misrepresentation tarnishes reputations. With word traveling in industry this is an unforgiving consequence.

4. State Your Case Clearly

Skill-oriented or functional format can be used if you have no prior experience that allows you to present your relevant experience and skills up front.

5. Put Your Best Foot Forward

Don’t simply copy the job description from your company’s HR manual.

To compete, you will need to present specific skills, accomplishments and achievements: percentages increased, accounts expanded, awards won, certifications, training completed, etc.

6. No Excuses

Don’t include the reasons you are no longer working at each job listed on your resume. The phrases “Company sold,” “Boss was an idiot” and “Left to make more money” have no place on your resume.

7. What Have You Done Lately?

Don’t list every single job you’ve ever held. Personnel managers are most interested in your experience from the last 20 years, so focus on your most recent and most relevant career experience.

Ideally list all positions that were at least 2-3+ months’ long

8. Target Your Audience

Don’t send out your resume to every ad in the Sunday newspaper or posting that you come across. If you are not even remotely qualified for a position, don’t apply. Read the ads and determine if you have the right credentials.

9. No Extra Papers, Please

When you send out your resume, don’t include copies of transcripts, letters of recommendation or awards, unless you are specifically asked to do so.

If you are called in for an interview, you may bring these extra materials along in your briefcase for show-and-tell.

10. Don’t Get Personal, Do maintain Professionalism

Personal information does not belong on a resume in the United States. Don’t include information on your marital status, age, race or family, or a photograph.

Provided courtesy of LabSupport, LLC. and Phil Cook, Author.