Dos and Donts

YOUR resume is unique to you. It relates your professional history in an enticing way that employers must find irresistible. You have to make your qualifications sound so awesome that the employer will not WANT to call anyone else. You will be a perfect match for the employer and the vacant position. To understand what makes a resume accomplish this feat, you have to look at what is allowed and what is not in today’s competitive marketplace. Read the list of Do’s and Don’ts below and ensure your marketing materials are top notch. 

The Do List​
  • Focus on the employer’s needs, not on your own. You have to clearly address your accomplishments and skills in a way that an employer will want to find out more about you.
  • Keep your resume as short and sweet as possible. Remember that an employer is only likely to scan it for a few short seconds. It has to pack a punch right away. Use Action Keywords to bring your resume to life.
  • Proofread what you have typed. Proofread it again. Have your best friend look it over, then have your parents take a look at it. The more people who proofread it, the more likely you are to ensure it’s free of typos and grammar errors.


You can’t proofread too much! 

Use quantifiable accomplishments wherever possible. What did you do to help make money for the organization? Were you responsible for saving the organization money?

Quantifiable results can be expressed as:








Use good quality paper. Keep the color neutral, such as white or ivory. Linen paper, paper with watermarks and those with heavier weight (at least 24lb or higher) are great choices.

The Don't List​
  • Lie.

    Just tell the truth. By all means, present your achievements in the best possible light, but be careful about stretching the truth. If you don’t tell the truth, it will likely come back to haunt you. You may not be able to perform the functions of the job very well and get yourself fired. The truth may come out at some point and according to company regulations, you guessed it, you get yourself fired. It’s not worth it.

  • Be repetitious.
    If you performed a specific task at more than one job, list it in one place only. The employer only needs to know that you are capable of handling something, not that you have done it more than once. Find something else that the employer can benefit from knowing about you and include that instead.
  • Rule out volunteer work.
    Consider non-paid positions where you made a contribution. You probably learned a lot from volunteering at a local charity or from the office you held in the district PTA. Those are valuable insights into your character and the employer will be glad to read about them in your resume.
  • Create your own resume format 
    The formats that are in use exist for a reason…they work. If you are considering starting your own resume trend, let’s just pause a moment and reflect on why that is such a bad idea. Ok, the moment is over. Use the prescribed formats and save yourself some time and hassle.
  • Rush through this whole process.
    You will have a much more effective resume if you take the time to do it right. How does that phrase go? If you don’t have the time to do something right, you probably don’t have the time to do it over. You can do this! You know you better than anyone else – and that’s all you need to get this task completed!