Writing your resume? Do’s and Don’ts

Writing your resume? Do’s and Don’ts

So the time has come to make your next career move, but before you do anything, you need to update your resume. When you send out your resume, it is often the first contact you will make with a potential employer. By following these resume do’s and don’ts you will be able to make a great first impression.

DO keep it simple.

When an employer is looking for prospective employees, they will often have to read through loads of resumes. By keeping your resume concise and easy to read an employer will easily be able to see if you fit the job criteria.

DON’T skimp on important information.

Keeping your resume to the point does not mean you should leave out any information relevant to your career history.

DO put your most recent job first.

Your most recent work experience is the most relevant work experience, so don’t put the earlier jobs before your current position.

DON’T hide any gaps in your work experience.

Maybe you took time off to travel or to work on personal projects. Rather than omitting this time spent, highlight any experience or skills you may have gained from this period.

DO show your different roles at the company.

If you have changed positions within a company, or have been promoted, make sure to show your functions and responsibilities with each post.

DON’T cram in information.

When trying to keep the length on your resume to 3 pages, it can be tempting to write long paragraphs describing your job history. Make sure to only add in information that is relevant to that job; this is usually best done in bullet points.

DO include references and testimonials.

If a previous employer has written you a referral, be sure to include this in your CV. Your potential employer will most likely want to contact any former employers to get a reference. Do not put reference details unless they are available on request.

DON’T make your resume too flashy.

Stick to one font, preferably black print and one font size. The layout should be flowing and easy to read. Unless you are applying for a creative job, your resume should be kept simple and not used as an opportunity to showcase your graphic design skills.

DO use real English.

In the age of texting and social media, it can be easy to forget that abbreviations and slang are not the norms. Don’t make your employer have to translate your resume.

DON’T forget to proofread.

Typos or grammatical errors are the easiest way to make a bad first impression. Go over your resume with spell check.

DO include your soft skills.

Soft skills are the personal traits that pertain to your work ethic and are gained through work experience. Make sure to include these, especially if they are skills that the employer is looking for.

DON’T put incorrect contact details.

Your contact details, as well as contact information for your references, should be up to date. An employer may need to contact you with a query, or even to set up an interview. If they cannot get hold of you, they will move on to the next candidate.

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