- Don’t mix noun and verb phrases when describing your jobs. Preferably, use concrete action verbs consistently.
- Do avoid the verb, “Work” because it’s a weak verb. Everyone works. Be more specific. “Collaborate(d)” is often a good substitute.
- Do think in terms of accomplishments when preparing your resume. Accomplishments are so much more meaningful to prospective employers than run-of-the-mill litanies of job responsibilities.
- Don’t use expressions like “Duties included,” “Responsibilities included,” or “Responsible for.” That’s job-description language, not accomplishments-oriented resume language that sells.
- Do emphasize transferable skills, especially if you don’t have much experience or seek to change careers.
- Do quantify whenever possible. Use numbers to tell employers how many people you supervised, by what percentage you increased sales, how many products you represented, etc.
- Don’t emphasize skills and job activities you don’t want to do in the future, even if they represent great strengths for you. In fact, you may not even want to mention these activities. Why describe how great your clerical skills are if you don’t want to do clerical work in the future?
- Do remember that education also follows the principle about presenting information in the order of importance to the reader; thus the preferred order for listing your education is: Name of degree (spelled out: Bachelor of ——– ) in name of major, name of university, city/state of university, graduation year (unless you graduated more than about 15 years ago), followed by peripheral information, such as minor and GPA. If you haven’t graduated yet, list your grad year anyway. Simply by virtue of the fact that the date’s in the future, the employer will know you don’t have the degree yet.
- Don’t list high school!
- Don’t include on your resume your height, weight, age, date of birth, place of birth, marital status, sex, ethnicity/race, health, social security number (except on an international resume), reasons for leaving previous job(s), names of former supervisors, specific street addresses or phone numbers of former employers, picture of yourself, salary information, the title “Resume,” or any information that could be perceived as controversial, such as religion, church affiliations, or political affiliations.