Résumé Tips

Download the résumé sample

Format and Style

  • You want to use font type that will be available on any computer and easy on the résumé  screener’s eyes. Arial and Times New Roman with an 11 or 12 point font are good choices.
  • Select one font type and stick with it. Keep the appearance clean, simple, and easy to read; too many borderlines and underlines create a cluttered look. Having ample white space makes important content stand out.
  • For your headings, use ALL CAPS AND BOLD, upper and lower case, italics, or some other unique format, and be consistent throughout the résumé.
  • Use reverse chronological order when listing employers, education, etc.
  • Do not include a photo of yourself. Don’t use odd-sized paper, fancy or colored paper stock, or colored font. Professional résumé quality paper is preferable.


Content

  • Include a summary or overview paragraph, not an objective. The summary should include your profession, areas of expertise, unique strengths, and a statement that describes breadth of experience (examples: experience across a number of industries, success as both an independent contributor and a team leader, a succession of increasingly demanding roles within one company).
  • Keep your résumé to one or two pages. If you have more than one page, be sure your name, phone number and ‘page 2’ appear at the top of the second page.
  • Don’t try to include everything you did in a given job. Focus instead on the activities and skills that relate to what you want to do next. An appealing résumé reads more like a sales brochure (explaining the benefit that you can provide for the employer) than a historical document or job description. Remember, the less you say, the more likely your key points will “pop” off the page.
  • Full sentences aren’t used in résumés, so there’s no need to use “I”, “me”, or “my.”
  • Make your résumé accomplishment-oriented. When describing your work experience, describe the specific results and benefits of your work activities. A good test is to ask ‘so what?’ after each bullet point. Example: “Collected data and generated reports.” So what?  How was the data used?  How did the reports help the organization/company/effort?
  • Use a direct, active writing style. Begin each work history bullet point with an action word if possible. Do not use acronyms or abbreviations.
  • Do not include personal information – age, marital status, hobbies, etc. Volunteer or community activities may give a glimpse of your interests or faith preference, but that’s acceptable.
  • If you’re concerned about age discrimination, it’s OK to omit dates from your education and to limit your work experience to 10 – 15 years.
  • Proof read, proof read, proof read!  Nothing is more damaging to a job seeker than a résumé with “typos” and misspellings.