Do's & Don'ts of Writing An Effective Resume

A resume is an self marketing document. It is an advertisement and you are the product. Its sole purpose is to sell ones own skills, knowledge, accomplishments, and experience to an employer. The goal of a resume is to get you to the interview.

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Image Credits: Pixabay (st)

Do's & Don'ts of Writing An Effective Resume


Do's: 

Be concise: It is a professional summary of your skills, education, and experience. A recruiter will only spend around 15 seconds scanning your resume before deciding to review further or put it aside. Be brief.

Design resume carefully: Appearance makes an immediately favorable impression. So ensure that the layout is inviting to read and looks professional.

Stay relevant: What you mention on the resume should be relevant to the job and prospective employer. In other words, an effective resume demonstrates a match between what you have to offer (= skills, knowledge and experience) and the employer's requirements.

Highlight key strengths: Use bold, italic, or underline to make your accomplishments, experience and skills stand out. But use these sparingly; only to highlight important statements or words.

Resumes with misspelled words and poor grammar reflect poorly against you. Use the spell and grammar check feature on your word processor.

Don'ts

  1. Avoid the same words or phrases on the same page. Introduce variety in vocabulary to make your resume lively. 
  2. Don't use the first person. A resume should always be written in the second person. So never use "I" or "we". 
  3. Don't write philosophical statements for career objective. Keep the career goal statement short, simple, and direct. Do not include a picture of yourself. 
  4. Don't use double-line spacing. The norm is single line space. That way the resume looks compact and neat. 
  5. Don't use multiple fonts. Use only one font - whether Arial, Helvetica, Verdana, Times New Roman, or Tahoma - through out the resume. 
  6. Don't change font size. Except for your name at the top, which can be in larger font, all text, including sub-headings, should be in one single font size. 
  7. Don't use passive verbs. In stead of saying, "Analysis and design of the structure were performed", write "Performed analysis and design of the structure". 
  8. Don't include information of your parents' names, religion, caste, family, or hobbies. 
  9. Don't write lengthy resumes. Let resume not exceed one or two pages. 
  10. Don't dump information. Use bulleted points to make your resume look neat and readable. 
  11. Don't include a declaratory statement to confirm the truthfulness of what you mentioned in the resume. CV is not an application form. 
  12. Don't cram the resume with text. Ensure that there is adequate white space on the resume by giving enough margins. It makes the resume readable. 
  13. Don't include two sets of addresses - permanent and current. Either will do. 
  14. Don't use multiple colors. Use only black for font color throughout the resume. 
  15. Don't write sentences or terms using all capitals. Use of capitals should be limited to only abbreviations. 
  16. Don't use informal style and terms. A resume is a formal document.

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