Writing a good resume requires more than just a list of positions you've held, companies you've worked for or schools you've gone to. Yes, it's a necessity for hiring managers, but it's also a strategy that can work in your favor – if you know how to apply a few best practices to your own resume.
Whether you're starting from scratch or updating the outdated, here are a few do's and don'ts that will make your resume sparkle:
- Tailor your resume for each position by highlighting your qualifications and expertise that match specific job requirements.
- Accurately summarize the software and technologies that you are familiar with and how long you have used each one.
- Highlight your achievements by demonstrating the ways in which the projects you worked on affected the company's bottom line. Did they increase sales, broaden the customer base or reach target markets?
- Clearly show areas where you have been given increased responsibility for a job well done.
- Include special recognition, awards and participation in relevant professional organizations.
- Proofread for errors. You can be screened out for not being detail-oriented.
- Review your resume with your references so they are up-to-date on your current accomplishments.
- Update your resume after every position or significant freelance assignment.
- Misrepresent your education or experiences; one fabrication is often grounds for termination.
- Give reasons for termination or leaving a job.
- Include personal information such as your height, Social Security number, and personal or religious philosophies.
- List references or state: "References available on request." The interviewer will assume that you will provide these contacts when asked.
- Use exact dates. Months and years are sufficient.
- Include your phone number or email address at your current job unless your boss is aware of your intent to leave.
- List your high school education if you're a college graduate.
- Provide salary information in the resume. If the ad requests a salary range, include it in the cover letter. Otherwise, wait until the interview to discuss the issue.
Contact The Creative Group to talk to a recruiter who can give you additional recommendations on how to spruce up your resume, write a cover letter and prepare for an interview.