Resume Writing Guidelines
- The purpose of a resume - Entice them to bring you in for an
- YOU have the final say; YOU pick and choose what goes in
your resume - take ownership.
- Don't give the impression you have told them everything,
- Your goal is to stand out as the best candidate - be
confident, use meaningful words that will leave a positive
- Each work should speak confidence and set you above other
candidates - chose action verbs carefully and try not to be
- Don't give recruiters an easy reason to discard your resume
- zero tolerance of errors. Use multiple editors and do NOT rely
on computer spell or grammar check. Public Administration minus
the l is still a word, but not the word you were likely meaning
- Tailor your resume for each job - order the bullet points,
use their buzz words, appeal to their posting.
- There is not one right format - Choose a format that represents
- Caution: Don't create a cookie cutter resume - alter
templates if you must use them.
- Format should be easy for the recruiter to quickly scan -
20-60 seconds is all you might get.
- One page only--recruiters will likely not take time to look
at a second page. Do what you can to acknowledge the time
restraints for the recruiter.
- Approximately 70% text 30% white space - make it visually
- 10 or 12 pt for easy readability - do what you can to make
life pleasant for the recruiter.
- We read from top to bottom and left to right--make sure
every word entices them to look further.
- You should order your most impressive credentials from top
to bottom. As a new college graduate your degree may very well
be your best credential, so Education should be the top
- Your name should be largest for ease of reference.
- Your address doesn't sell you so it can be smaller than 10
pts - but make sure it is current and that your email address is
professional. Be sure to check your email or voicemail often
during the job search.
- Consider saving your resume as a PDF file - prevent it from
looking typewritten when it comes across the wire. The website
www.gohtm.com will convert your document for free.
- Content - Be consistent
- Generally begin with college experiences, leaving off high
school--there are exceptions.
- Objective statements aren't used much any more--if you
choose to use an objective statement make sure it is focused on
what you can do for the employer, not what they can do for you.
- Summaries or profiles are the trend to replace objective
statements.briefly make three or four supportable claims that
meet the employer's specific needs as listed on their posting or
per your research.
- Subtitles should easily identify and categorize information
contained within your resume--they are an organization tool so
make them work for you.
- Use bold, underlining, italics, and all CAPS to accentuate
important items - however, be careful not to misuse or overuse
them lest nothing stands out.
- Be consistent--if your title is most impressive and is
therefore bolded on one job, you should follow the same
formatting for the rest of the jobs even if the titles for those
aren't as grand. Make your resume easy to reference.
- Use complete thoughts but not complete sentences. Resumes do
not use typical sentence punctuation.
- Substantiate your claims with results, outcomes, numbers,
and facts - i.e. "Taught class of 26 including 5 learning
disabled children" as compared to "Can handle large and
- When referring to religious experiences use employment
terminology not church jargon - volunteer representative
teaching over 50 individuals and supervising 10 other
- Focus on transferable skills - waiting 6 tables at a time
may not matter for a teaching position, but accuracy under
pressure and/or promoting and providing a cheerful environment
under challenging circumstances does.
- Revising - A key to great resumes
- You know yourself as do your personal friends and
family--the recruiter will be a stranger so a stranger's review
of your resume every time you revise it can provide valuable
insights on their first impressions. Be sure to ask for an
honest evaluation every time you revise.
- Use sample resumes (web, Career Placement & Library,
friends, family) to help spark ideas of word choice,
transferable skills, skill sets, challenges converted into
- Keep Records - Everything you accomplish is important
- Keep a resume journal/log/list/ which contains ALL your
experience. Then draw pertinent information from it for each new
job application. (Don't fall into the trap of believing you will
remember or you don't have enough to write down.)
Marketing Resume Guidelines -
Resume Design Guidelines