Quick Tips for Resume Writing


WHO GETS THE JOB is not always the one who can do the job best BUT who knows best how to get the job! Hence, each detail of this process should have your meticulous attention since people are often screened OUT on the basis of a poor letter and/or resume.

PEOPLE DON'T READ RESUMES, THEY SKIM THEM. So think of your resume more as a piece of advertising than a comprehensive data sheet. Use margins and good spacing, which make it easily skimmed.

USE ACTION VERBS. Don't use the verb "to be." Instead of "I did... I was... I am..." use verbs like "initiated, created, developed, supervised, managed, instructed, counseled, negotiated, maintained...etc."

EMPHASIZE SKILLS, especially those which transfer from one situation to another. The fact that you coordinated a student organization leads one to suspect that you could coordinate other things as well.

DON'T USE NEGATIVE WORDS. Don't apologize for lack of experience or weaknesses. This is not the place to hang out your dirty laundry. Be positive, capitalize on strengths, and leave out tone negative or neutral words.

RESUMES SHOULD BE ONE OR TWO PAGES. Anything longer is an autobiography, not a resume. Don't overwhelm employers with information. If your resume is two pages long, be sure to write "Resume of (your name), Page 2" somewhere on the top of the second page. Using that type of heading eliminates the need to staple your resume.

EXPOUND ON YOUR RELEVANT EXPERIENCES, condense jobs or experiences that are not directly related. This means that you slant your resume to the type of job you are seeking. Hence, you will need more than one resume if you're applying for different types of jobs. For example: If you are applying for a Child Care Counselor job, devote more space to your experience as a camp counselor. But if you're applying for a position as a Manager Trainee, condense that and emphasize your organizational and supervisory abilities.

EXPECT A PHONE CALL if they are interested. Most employers call to set up an interview. Seldom will they write. Hence, make sure they have your phone number or a number where a message can be left. Telephone answering machines are useful tools when conducting a job search, because they allow you the freedom to leave your home without fear of missing an important call. Remember that the outgoing message must sound professional; some employers may be turned off by silliness.


Rule #1:   NEVER use a resume template

Rule # 2:  Resumes should be printed on quality bond resume paper (white, ivory, or light gray) and sent in a matching envelope.

Rule #3:   Resumes for recent college graduates should be 1-2 pages long.

Rule #4:  Be certain that the second page of your resume reads “Name, page 2”.

Rule #5:  Never staple a resume or cover letter. 

Rule #6:   Use only 1 font style throughout resume and cover letter. (Vary size; use CAPS, bold, underling and italic to guide the reader’s eye to pertinent information)

View our resume critiquing checklist! Do you have everything that should be on your resume??

Download the complete resume writing guide!