Tips for Creating a Professional & Effective Résumé
Avoid many of the common mistakes associated with a poor résumé! The tips and suggestions below can help you craft a strong and professional résumé.
- Make it attractive to the eye.
- Keep it brief and to the point.
- Use action phrases rather than complete sentences or paragraphs.
- Stress accomplishments, responsibilities, and variety of duties performed.
- Create a consistent and orderly presentation throughout your résumé.
- Emphasize your strongest skills or most important employment or educational experience, especially those related to your career goals.
- Stress your advancements and increased responsibilities or accomplishments if you have worked for one organization for a long period of time.
- Proofread and avoid misspelling or typographical errors.
- Use abbreviations (except in the cases of Grade Point Average and Degrees. It is optional in these instances).
- List previous salaries, supervisors, employer addresses, or reasons for leaving.
- Use personal pronouns such as "I" or "my."
- Include your Social Security Number.
- Include a photograph of yourself.
- Use brightly colored paper.
- Use a résumé template, such as those available in Microsoft Word.
- List names of references unless it is specifically requested. If references are required or requested, list them on a separate page.
Further Tips & Suggestions...
- Keep your résumé brief enough to fit on one or two pages. Be sure the second page has enough information to cover at least half the page. Your name should be included on the second page in the top right corner or the center.
- Arrange your school names, job titles, and employer names in a manner that controls the reader's attention and highlights your most notable work or educational experience and skills.
- Dates should be used as a guide to the reader but are not the most important part. Employers read many resumes—be sure a fast reading highlights what you want employers to notice.
- Boldface type, italic type, underlining, and the use of headings written entirely in CAPITAL LETTERS can highlight important parts of your resume. DON'T OVERDO IT!
- Make good use of spacing. Well-organized, special arrangements can emphasize important points you wish to emphasize. It also adds to the overall impression of neatness and orderliness.
- Résumés should be laser printed on good quality bond paper in a neutral color (white, ivory or grey).