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Resume Do\'s And Don\'ts
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Resume Do\'s And Don\'ts


I presented this at the 7/22 meeting for Professional Connections of Northeast Indiana

I presented this at the 7/22 meeting for Professional Connections of Northeast Indiana

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  • Sales Brochure - You are the product your resume is selling. It should stress the benefits derived by others who have used your services. Keep your target market in mind when writing it. Highlight the end results of your activities: what you accomplished.Calling Card - Your resume is an overview or brief summary of what you have done and implies what you can do in the future. It should be no more than two pages and easy to read.Reminder - Your resume should represent you clearly, as it helps an interviewer remember you. Review your resume to ensure it is neat, well laid out, consistent and stresses what you have accomplished, as well as your areas of expertise.Direct Interview - The structure of your resume can help direct the interviewer’s attention to specific accomplishments and relevant expertise. It should be structured to focus on those skills and experiences which are pertinent to the open position.
  • The heading should list your names, address, and contact information. The summary statement summarizes your experience and areas of expertise, technical or professional skills. It emphasizes key information detailed in the body of your resume. Employment history should include company names, years employed and job titles.Responsibility statements summarize information from your job description.Accomplishment Statements show what you achieved in each job. You should limit these to no more than six for recent jobs; three for prior jobs.Educational background should be summarized in reverse chronological order.Other Categories may include languages, licenses, certifications, military experience, technical skills and titles of publications you have written.


  • 1. Resume Do’s and Don’ts
  • 2. Acts as a sales brochure
    Acts as a calling card
    Is a reminder
    It’s a way to direct the interview
    Why do I need a Resume?
  • 3. Heading
    Summary Statement
    Key Strengths
    Employment History
    Responsibility Statements
    Accomplishment Statements
    Professional Development & Training
    Other Categories
    Parts of a Resume
  • 4. Determine the format of your resume
    Make sure your resume is easy to read
    Use bullet points
    Use a standard font
    Neatness counts
    Proofread carefully
    Include multiple contact methods
    Home phone
    Cell phone
    Personal email address
    Resume Do’s
  • 5. Make sure your outgoing voice mail message and email address are professional
    Include your name and one contact number in upper left-corner
    Have a clear, strong objective statement/ summary
    Keep the overall length of your resume short, but don’t worry about keeping to one page
    Resume Do’s
  • 6. Discuss two or three of your most relevant strengths and illustrate them with experience/ achievement statements
    Stress your past accomplishments and the skills
    Quantify your accomplishments
    Led a team of nine sales representatives
    Negotiated lowered rates with key recruiting firms saving the company $100,000 in fees
    Emphasize transferable skills
    Resume Do’s
  • 7. Focus on information relevant to your own career goals
    Match tense
    Use good quality, neutral colored paper
    Include publications, patents, presentations, honors, relevant volunteer experiences, professional licenses and certifications
    Place education after experience if you’ve been in the workforce for more than five years
    Resume Do’s
  • 8. Mail your resume in a 9 x 12 envelope
    Limit the number of resumes
    Make sure your resume is computer-friendly
    Resume Do’s
  • 9. Don’t include personal information or references to non-work related information
    Personal Interests
    Marital Status
    Number of Children
    High School
    Don’t include a photo
    Resume Don’ts
  • 10. Don’t include references or indicate that “references are available upon request”
    Don’t provide your salary history
    Don’t provide reasons for leaving
    Don’t mention harassment issues/lawsuits
    Don’t include references to non-work related topics
    Don’t fabricate
    Don’t repeat the same action words
    Resume Don’ts
  • 11. Don’t write a book – not your autobiography
    Don’t limit your resume to one page
    Don’t mix noun and verb phrases
    Don’t rule out volunteer work
    Don’t rush through the process
    Don’t prepare your resume on your employer’s time
    Don’t use your employer’s email address or phone number as contact information
    Resume Don’ts
  • 12. Don’t use cute email addresses or voice mail
    Don’t use unconventional formats or tactics such as graphics or colored paper
    Don’t refer to yourself as a subject (“I helped prepare correspondence”) or in passive voice (“Was sent to Argentina to represent the firm…”)
    Resume Don’ts
  • 13. Write a Hard-Hitting Cover Letter
    Never send a resume to a potential employer or to a recruiter without a good cover letter. The letter underscores how your skills and accomplishments, along with your career goals, make you an outstanding candidate for that particular position. It also eliminates the need to restructure a resume to match each job opening.
    Cover Letters
  • 14. Don’t
    Just restate the accomplishments verbatim from the resume.
    Say more than you have to
    Comment on your salary requirements
    Start with a brisk statement that describes who you are and what you want.
    Use the next few sentences - or bullets -- for your "sales" pitch. Use Your Accomplishment Stories.
    Conclude with an action statement such as saying you'll call in a few days to arrange an appointment for an interview or to answer further questions about your skills.
    Cover Letter Do’s and Don’ts
  • 15. Those with very diverse experiences that don't add up to a clear-cut career path.
    College students with minimal experience and/or experience unrelated to their chosen career field.
    Career-changers who wish to enter a field very different from what all their previous experience points to.
    Those with gaps in their work history, such as homemakers who took time to raise a family and now wish to return to the workplace. For them, a chronological format can draw undue attention to those gaps, while a functional resume enables them to portray transferable skills attained through such activities as domestic management and volunteer work.
    Military transitioners entering a different field from the work they did in the military.
    Job-seekers whose predominant or most relevant experience has been unpaid, such as volunteer work or college activities (coursework, class projects, extracurricular organizations, and sports).
    Those who performed very similar activities throughout their past jobs who want to avoid repeating those activities in a chronological job listing.
    Job-seekers looking for a position for which a chronological listing would make them look "overqualified."
    Older workers seeking to de-emphasize a lengthy job history.
    Jobseekers who should consider a functional format:
  • 16. Resume Preparation Do’s and Don’ts, Katherine Hansen, Ph.D. -
    Writing Your Resume, -
    Ground Rules for an Effective Resume, TTG Consultants -
    Resume Do’s and Don’ts, Professional Resumes -
    Basic Resume Do’s and Don’ts, WetFeet -
    Lee Hecht Harrison