Resume Writing Tips and Guidelines
A resume is a professional summary of your experiences and qualifications for the position you are seeking. It informs an employer of your accomplishments, educational and personal background, work experience, and interests. It also serves as your opportunity to sell YOU!
A good resume should detail the following to an employer:
Download a sample resume template
- Who you are
- What you know
- What you have done
Top 10 Do’s When Preparing Your Resume
- Limit yourself to one page. As a rule, two page resume are acceptable ONLY when you have more than ten years of experience.
- Be accurate and truthful.
- Use bulleted statements where possible. This makes it easier to scan your resume.
- Begin sentences with action verbs instead of "I."
- Customize your resume to focus on your skills and qualifications related to the position. You can do this by scanning the job ad for keywords and phrases.
- Describe significant contributions at your current and previous positions and, if possible, how they impacted the bottom line. Another tip, quantify your experiences. For example, “Directed the activities of 12 Associate Appraisers and seven Appraiser Trainees."
- Proofread carefully. Don’t depend on the computer to fix all of your errors. It’s also helpful to read your resume aloud or ask a friend to proof it.
- Prioritize the content by listing the most important data in the upper sections. If you have relevant work experience, list this above your education, etc.
- Be sure to mention software and product applications with which you have experience.
- List any professional certifications or designations you have achieved or are working towards such as MAI, SRA etc., and any involvement with professional, trade, and civic associations.
Top 10 Don’ts When Preparing Your Resume
- Lie about your work experience or education. Period.
- Provide exact dates. Instead list months and years, which are sufficient.
- Detail every aspect of your career. If your resume exceeds one page you’ve probably listed too much information. Remember, your resume is a summary of your work experiences.
- Disclose reasons for being terminated or leaving a job (this will be discussed in the interview).
- Include high school education if you're a college graduate.
- Supply personal information like height, weight, health conditions or individual beliefs.
- List references or state "References available upon request." Hiring managers assume you will provide these when asked.
- Disclose salary information. If an ad requests a salary range, include it in your cover letter.
- Use professional jargon unless you’re sure the resume will be read by someone who will understand.
- Use lofty, redundant language, puns or wordplays (i.e. “repeat again” or “in light of the fact that”).
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