Advanced Resume Tips
Research your market: review five to 10 job descriptions of jobs
you’d like. Identify the skills and experience employers in your
field are seeking. Notice the language they use to describe what
they want. Use this information to highlight the skills and
experiences most relevant to your target marketplace. Lead with what
your prospective employer most values.
Power it up!
A powerful resume gives a quick, vivid picture of where you want to
be going, not just where you have been. Eliminate what is not needed
to make your points. Waste no words. Creating a great resume is a
process, not a task. Expect it to take time and energy.
- Keep your resume short! One page should suffice.
- Proper spelling is paramount. A perfectly wonderful resume will
be overlooked if it has spelling errors. Keep a dictionary by your
side and have your resume read by several friends (who can spell). A
spell checker on a word processor is a good way to rough out
spelling errors but don't rely on it totally. It can't detect words
that have been used improperly (e.g., "if" in place of "in"); good
grammar is essential.
- Keep your descriptions crisp and clear. A short phrase like:
"created a database system to handle an inventory of over 2200
items" is better than long expository statements.
- Strive for balance. Visually attractive resumes command more
reading time than cluttered pages filled with big blocks of print.
White space is welcome as long as it does not consume too much of
- Be professional, packaging counts! Good quality bond paper is
essential. Colorful resumes are eye-catching but often
inappropriate, sticking to white or buff or some other neutral shade
is the best approach.
- Avoid the appearance of a photocopied resume. Having your resume
typeset by a commercial printer is the most professional option,
though more costly and difficult to make modifications. Laser or ink
jet printed resumes are appropriate. When using a word processor to
typeset and reproduce your resume, you must use a letter quality
printer (e.g., the laser printer) and not a dot matrix. With a word
processor you can experiment with different formats, you can
experiment with various type faces, you can store your resume for
future revisions. You can also tailor your resume to fit a
particular job. As a side note, avoid the temptation of using
multiple fonts in your resume -- this usually makes the resume look
cluttered and busy.
- Typeset or computer runoff -- whatever way you go, just be sure
that your resume represents you well; it is an employer's first
impression of you.