You need not eliminate every instance of “a,” “an,” or “the;” occasionally, a phrase will sound better with the article left in. But do delete most articles.
Avoid jargon and acronyms that are used only in your company and are not understood outside the organization. Spell out any company-specific, industry-specific, or school-specific acronyms you think could be questionable, and explain any terms you think some readers of your resume might not understand.
College students, too, need to be aware of “inside” jargon. At Stetson University, my alma mater, for example, we have an annual charity fundraiser called “Greenfeather,” freshman-orientation leaders called “FOCUS” advisers, and a volunteer organization called “Into the Streets.” The school’s graduates routinely use those terms on their resumes without any explanation, as though everyone knows what Greenfeather, FOCUS, and Into the Streets mean. Look at your resume from an outsider’s perspective – and explain (or eliminate) any unfamiliar terms or acronyms.
Consider leaving off the line “References: Available upon request.” This statement is highly optional because it is a given that you will provide references upon request. If you couldn’t, you would have no business looking for a job. The line can serve the purpose of signaling: “This is the end of my resume,” but if you are trying to conserve space, leave it off.
See also Chapter 5, Powerful Verbs, for verbs/verb phrases to avoid, such as “involved in,” “received,” “to be, “to do,” and “to work.”
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