How to Write a Proper Resume

How to Write a Proper Resume

I’m asked this question all the time because I’ve edited so many resumes in my time. I wrote a quick list of do’s and don’ts to the art of resume writing, so you can stand out and hopefully get the job you’re applying for.

Rule 1: Keep it concise and short! Nobody is going to read your life story. You have to grab the person reading your resume’s attention almost immediately and some long story is not going to achieve that. (However. You do not want time gaps. Use white space as skills filler).

Rule 2: Only write about pertinent experiences relevant to your current skill sets or the job your applying for skill qualifications. Highlight your specifications. It’s ok to cite awards, or brief situational aspects that make you a good candidate for the position; but don’t talk about rock climbing if the job isn’t about rock climbing…

Rule 3: I can’t stress this rule enough. Do not write down any illegal or negative behavior, flaws or personal problems on a resume. It may sound like a no brainer, but I’ve seen resumes where people have actually put down their past legal problems and negative activity. That resume is almost always going in the trash. Remember. You’re trying to get the job. I know you’re trying to be fourth right, but do not disclose any information on a resume that places you in an unflattering light.

Rule 4: This is not your social media page. Do not use photos, pics or any type of art, emojis or anything like that. This is a resume for a job. You must keep things professional unless previously stated otherwise from the employer, i.e. entertainment industry or related field. Even if the employer says it’s ok, I still would avoid turning my resume into my social media page.

Rule 5: You are selling yourself, so make sure your resume looks neat and professional. Do not write your resume, (they should never be handwritten). Type your resume using normal sized font. Avoid using too much bolding. I’ve seen resumes where things were bolded that didn’t need to be. I understand that you’re trying to make your skills, abilities, acheivements standout, but don’t over do it. Also, keep the resume as unwrinkled as possible. I’ve seen resumes with food stains plus crumbled up. Why?

Rule 6: In rule 3 I said don’t place yourself in an unflattering light by disclosing negative information.  It’s also not a good idea to exaggerate your resume. Employers are hip to that game and they understand that the candidate is trying to put his/her best foot forward, but if you lie about a skill set and you get into the interview process and the interviewer asks you about it; you’re going to look pretty foolish when you can’t explain the basic theory of quantum physics, yet you said you were a scientist. Avoid that action.

Rule 7: When submitting your resume online, be sure that the job duties include the key words that fit the job descriptions. Here’s why?… A HRIS, which is also known as a human resource information system or human resource management system (HRMS), is the tool that most companies use to streamline the hiring process. (You’ll have to look up HRMS. I’m not going to do all the work for you)…This means that the software uses keywords to test against the submitted resume. It is very important to use the keywords from the job description, or your resume will go completely overlooked by the company. This is a common, (an mostly an unknown), mistake candidates make when submitting online and the reason they never get a call back.

Rule 8: In this age of the computer, there is no reason your resume should not be spelled correctly. I get resumes with grammatical or syntax errors more than I should and it’s only because the person hasn’t taken the time to simply go over their resume, checking for typos, misspellings etc…I’ll be honest with you. If you didn’t catch it, the person going over your resume probably won’t either. They’re looking at tons of resumes a day and basically are looking for key things that stand out. Make sure it’s a not mistake that stands out. See. I bet you didn’t catch that did you? I meant, “not a mistake”

Rule 9: This next one might be a no brainer, but I’m only telling you what I’ve seen. Avoid any kind of religious, racial or slang phrases on a resume. Your resume is not a place for politics, race, street lingo or religous talk. Stay away from it. While I’m on the topic, avoid bragging and appearing rude as well, or you will never get a call back.

Rule 10: This is my final rule or tip. The most common mistake I’ve seen on resumes…No name, date or address. I’ve seen them without return email addresses or contact numbers. Don’t forget rule 8. Follow these 10 simple guidelines and although I can’t guarantee you a job; I can guarantee you that your resume will stand out and may increase your chances of getting a call for a job interview, then, who knows?

Good luck.