Rules To Resume Writing

Very often, job recruiters will see your resume before they see you. As a result, you want to make sure your resume is as polished and put together as you are! Here are some tips on what to do and what to avoid as you write your resume:

WHAT TO DO:

  • Use the job description when editing your resume: This is very, very, very important. Before recruiters review your resume, it goes through a filtering system that looks for keywords. A lot of those keywords are in the job description. Use the verbs and word choices in the job description to increase your chance of beating the filtering system! Once you beat the filtering system, your application will get reviewed by an actual person who decides if you will move on to the next phase of the job process (usually the interviewing phase).
  • Mention any big projects or leadership roles you’ve had in a specific job: Even if you worked on the project for a short period of time, you still did it and you gained some type of skill(s) from it, right? Mention the project you took on and the leadership skills you’ve gained in a bullet point!
  • Have AT LEAST 2-3 bullet points (or 3-4 lines if doing a paragraph style resume) for each experience: This is a rule that I strictly follow and tell my clients to follow as well because it helps strengthen your resume! This rule forces you to be as detailed as possible and think about what you’ve gained from each experience that is worth showcasing. If you cannot think of at least 2 bullet points, then it might not be a good idea to use that job in your resume.

WHAT NOT TO DO:

  • Do NOT use the same action verbs more than once: This makes your resume sound repetitive. A simple Google search of a list of active verbs will improve your word choice.  
  • Do NOT use different fonts throughout your resume: Consistency is key! Having different fonts throughout your resume might send recruiters the message that you’re unorganized or rushed writing your resume for the position. So before sending that resume off, just highlight the entire resume and select one font for everything. Also, avoid fancy fonts, like script and the Lobster (that’s a real font). Stick with a professional font like Times New Roman or Arial.
  • Do NOT use a template you found online: Templates are limiting and prevent you from explaining in detail what you have done and the skills you have gained. Some templates even include extra sections that are not necessary or out-dated, like an Objective section. My advice is to create your resume from scratch. If you find a template that you like, I’d suggest copying the style, but not actually using the template.
  • Do NOT use the wrong tense: If you are currently working in a position, use the present tense (EXAMPLE: Collaborate with top-tier professionals). If you no longer work in a position, use the past tense (EXAMPLE: Collaborated with top-tier professionals).

I hope these tips help as you tackle writing your own resume!

Need additional help writing your resume? At The Career Advising Hub, we can help you. Check out our services at careeradvisinghub.org