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The Resume: General Tips

general tips :: the cover letter :: general layout :: action verbs :: candidate characteristics :: e-resume


Resume and Cover Letter Tips:
An excellent resume and cover letter are essential tools for creating a professional first impression with hiring managers. They often determine whether or not you'll be invited to interview for the job.

Whether you're sending your resume electronically or by regular mail, customizing it for each prospective employer, proofreading carefully and keeping it updated are good investments in landing the job you want.

(Need an assist or a second opinion see our Get Connected page)


Writing Style Do's:
Remember that the purpose of the cover letter and resume is to get you to the next step – the interview. In your letter, express your interest and explain clearly why your skills and experience are a good fit for the position.

Since many companies screen resumes by computer, use the key words found in the job description or classified ad if they are an accurate reflection of your background.

Keep sentences and paragraphs short.

Take advantage of your computer's spell check function, then proofread carefully. Ask others to proofread for you as well.


Writing Style Don'ts:
Don't use "I", the first person pronoun, in any part of the resume. It's (the “I”) understood.

Avoid lofty language and long sentences.

Keep professional jargon and abbreviations to a minimum. Do remember to include keywords that speed-reading Hiring Managers and resume scanning software will be looking for in the resume.

Don't include an objective on your resume unless it is written specifically for the job opening.


Resume Format Do's:

Use a professional, easy to read typeface, white or ivory bond paper, and black ink.

Email attachments in standard Word or PDF formats are usually acceptable.

If e-mail or web based cut and paste functions are used, stick to a simple font like Courier and send in text or ASCII format. Placing carriage returns at the ends of lines can help control sentence flow in the pasted document. (See the eResume web page for more detail)

Prepare a reverse chronological resume if possible. In this format, you begin with your most recent job followed by additional work experience in reverse chronological order, then your education. That being said, Hiring Managers often like the resume to open with an Objective (if used), Experience / Education (a short section of eye-catching power stuff; minor items are place toward the end of the resume in the Other Experience / Education section), Experience, Other Experience / Education.

Use bulleted statements, not paragraphs, to describe your job duties. Bullet points (wisely used) make it easier for the hiring manager to scan your resume.

Devote extra space to describing positions or duties that are most relevant to the job opening.


Resume Format Don'ts:
Don't use colored paper. It photocopies and scans poorly.

 

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"Whether you're sending your resume electronically or by regular mail, customizing it for each prospective employer, proofreading carefully and keeping it updated are good investments in landing the job you want."