As we get older, the idea of building a good resume should get easier, right? Unfortunately, it’s quite the opposite. Every year we are bombarded with new guidelines on what the perfect resume should look like. If you ask 20 people to critique your resume, you will most likely get different feedback from every person. Let’s clear the confusion and talk about the basic do’s and don’ts of resume writing.
Starting your resume writing, you should always remember that everyone has a different professional background. Tailor your resume to your most recent and relevant work experiences. Think of your resume as your first impression. You want to highlight why your professional background makes you the perfect candidate. Try to keep it short and sweet but to the point. Create strong, action-oriented sentences that highlight your work.
Formatting your resume correctly may sound easy, especially if you use an online template. However, even the most advanced templates can overcomplicate things that may make your resume look cluttered. One of the most common mistakes is listing their past employment in chronological order. Keep in mind that most employers take note of your most recent employment to gauge what types of tasks you’re familiar with and/or are the freshest in your head. When listing your jobs, tie your old professional responsibilities into the job description you’re applying for.
As previously mentioned, keeping your resume direct and informative is critical. However, that doesn’t mean generalizing the number of times you performed an action or took part in an event. For example, if you were applying to a publication and worked as a part-time writer for an organization, deter from stating you “wrote some articles.” What that means to you may mean something entirely different to someone else. When applicable, include numbers and percentages in your resume. To employers, numbers solidify your accomplishments. It’s one thing to say you did various tasks, but having the numbers to back up your statements is another.
Do Be Honest
Another huge tip for resume writing is being honest. It’s one thing to emphasize your old professional responsibilities, but it’s another thing to flat-out lie to make yourself look better. Most of us have been told to hype ourselves up during job interviews but keep it realistic. Don’t paint yourself out to be someone you’re not because it’ll eventually catch up to you. It’s better to be honest and stress your ability to learn and grow as a professional than lie and not know how to do the job you were hired for.
Don’t Make It Lengthy
We’ve discussed the dos of resume writing; now, let’s talk about the don’ts. One of the most common mistakes is creating a resume that is more than one page. Let’s be honest, employers have several candidates to go over and aren’t going to spend a lot of time reviewing various pages of a resume. Having a resume that’s only a page allows your potential employer to have the time to find work experience and skills that match what they’re looking for. There are some circumstances where having a two-page- resume is ideal. However, for most entry-level jobs, don’t overcomplicate it, stick to one page.
Don’t Have Grammatical Errors
Having a basic understanding of the proper way to write will be beneficial in any job. You don’t have to be a grammarian or spelling fanatic to create a great resume. If you are applying for a professional job, you must portray yourself as a professional. It’s that simple. Be mindful of when to use past and present tense. If referring to an old job, you want to use past tense and vice versa. An adequate understanding of spelling and grammar can help you in the long run.
Don’t Forget Contact Information
Finally when looking at the do’s and don’ts of resume writing, don’t overlook the basics. Oftentimes people hyper-fixate on the small details and overlook the most important ones. Every time you apply for a job, make sure to update your contact information. This may sound like common sense, but you’d be surprised to learn how many people forget this. Make sure you allow your employer multiple ways to contact you after the interview, whether through email or phone. Always make sure this information can be easily found and read. If you have a website that encompasses your work, feel free to add that under your contact information.
Summing up the do’s and don’ts of resume writing, don’t overcomplicate your resume. Getting professional feedback on your resume and even asking potential employers for input once the interview is over can be beneficial. The most important thing to remember is that your resume should speak for itself. Make it set you apart from the rest of the crowd and allow it to highlight your professional experience. You’re on the right track as long as you keep the basic dos and don’ts of resume writing in mind. Contact A Plus Staffing for more information on making your resume stand out.