Career Development: ResumÉ WRITING TIPS
The following tips will make a resume easier to read and and/or scan into an employer’s database:
- Use 8 ½ x 11 plain white bond paper. Avoid erasable bond—it smudges.
- Use font size of 10 to14 points.
- Use 1-inch margins on both sides, and 1/2 to 1-inch margins on the top and bottom of the page. Use larger-than-average margins creating extra wide space. Double-space between each section of the resume. Catchy colors or odd sizes are unprofessional.
- Use full capitalization for headings.
- Use non-decorative typeface and stick to it. Avoid italics, scripts, and underlined words.
- Do not use horizontal or vertical lines, graphics, or shading.
- Do not fold or staple the resume.
- Have your copies printed on a high-quality photocopy machine, or with a letter quality printer.
- If the resume must be mailed, it should be placed in a large envelope.
- Keep your resume current.
- Resumes are not one-size fits all. Tailor your resume to the job and career level you are looking at. Be sure to include the significant keywords related to your industry for computer scanning.
- No pronouns! Your resume should not include “I” or “me”.
- Use strong action verbs (e.g., developed, evaluated, coordinated….).
- Write your resume in commonly used language. Use technical terms only if they are required to explain your work.
- In addition to having a Word document ready to go as an attachment, you should always have a text version that does not look disfigured in the body of the email or in online forms.
- Avoid elementary information like hobbies and interests, instead focus on strengths and skills.
- Eliminate most abbreviations except those that are well known.
Last Minute Reminders
- Run a spell check on the computer before anyone sees the resume.
- Have a friend (preferably a English major) review grammar.
- Have another friend proofread. The more people who see a resume, the more likely that misspelled words and awkward phrases will be seen and corrected.
- Use a format that puts your strongest, “most sellable” points first.
- Be completely honest. False statements are grounds for dismissal.
- References are not to be included in the resume. They should be printed on a separate sheet.
Next: Resumé action verbs