WHERE TO START?
TYPES OF RESUMES:
RESUME DO'S AND DON'TS
10 QUICK TIPS FOR RESUME SUCCESS
9 WORST RESUME MISTAKES
10 WAYS YOUR RESUME IRKS HIRING MANAGERS
DON'T MAKE THESE MISTAKES
WHAT'S IN A NAME
WORK EXPERIENCE, EDUCATION & SKILLS
See also: 10
Tips for Resume Success
A resume should provide potential employers with a brief description of
who you are, what you've done, and why you are the right person for the
job. Considering that employers weed through anywhere from 30 -- 300
resumes for a single job opening, simplicity is the key to assuring that
your resume will not end up in the reject pile.
Your resume: your career history, your years of education, your
commitment to your employers, your dreams, all ascribed on a sheet of
white or ecru paper titled, at the top, with your name. But to be
effective, a resume must adhere to one rule: information must be
delivered in an attractive, efficient, and easily accessible manner.
The properly prepared resume of a less-experienced candidate can
trump a poor resume from a more-experienced candidate. The difference
between a good resume and a bad one is the difference between a new job
and continued unemployment. But armed with the proper instruction on how
to negotiate the art, writing a powerful, clear resume can be as easy as
filling out a form. Here are a few simple rules about a resume's basic
Don't get creative. Really. What you want in a font is not a
decorative design choice, but a simple, easily read font that shows you
mean business. In other words, when looking for a font, think gray suit.
Courier font: If you didn't have to write your cover letter on a
1930s travel typewriter, why make it look like you did? This font looks
like the default font of a malfunctioning computer and is also notorious
as the typeface that mediocre high school students use because of its
massive, page-filling size. Do you really want such a dishonest font
representing your words?
Say no to anything that looks remotely like handwriting or hints at
it, like italicized versions of regular fonts. This is a business
document, not a thank you note to a neighbour. And these fonts are
difficult to read.
Avoid any font that looks like it would be more appropriate on a
medieval manuscript or the label of a malt-liquor bottle. No Ye Olde
Fonts. No historical-period fonts at all, for that matter. No art-deco
twenties, no early-80s computer geekdom.
Whatever you choose, remember this:
what impresses readers the most
should not be the letters on the page but the words they spell.
A stroll through most business supply stores will reveal a sea of
paper choices, from traditional plain white to hot pink and purple.
Outlandishly coloured resumes are to be used by people whose jobs demand
more dramatic visual statements: hairdressers, fashion designers and
clowns. The rest of us need to focus on the understated dignity of
whites, light grays, and ecru. Use the same paper for your cover letter.
While many employers say they do not focus their attentions on the
envelope a document is sent in, others do. To some, a resume's wrapper
can be a factor in their evaluation. Shannon Heidkamp, the recruiting
manager for a division of Allstate Insurance says, "If a resume is being
sent snail mail, the envelope should be typed." Typing the envelope is
especially important if you have messy handwriting.
Since so many business now scan resumes into computers, so they can
be better accessed for future reference, a job applicant has to consider
a few additional factors about his resume's appearance.
Scanners often have a difficult time reading underlined, italicized
and bolded text or any unusual font (which you shouldn't be using
anyway). Scanning also can create problems for those who write their
resumes on anything but plain white paper. Even gray and white-flecked
paper has been known to cause problems on picky scanners. A good way to
test your paper's scanability is to photocopy your resume printed on the
paper you plan on using. If the copy comes out blurred, dark, specked,
or anything but white, think again about sending it out to a big
company: their scanners might not be able to distinguish the information
on the page from the page itself.
While the resumes are often organized according to the industry, they
are most often pulled from within those categories by keyword searches,
which means that it's more important than ever that you use the correct
terminology in describing your knowledge and experience.
Tread with caution when approaching design, humor and style. These are
extremely subjective. Diverge from the norm only if you believe that
they will make your resume stand out in a positive way. As a rule,
photographs, cartoons, quotes, horizontal formats and columns don't go
over well. If you are unsure whether your creative outburst will help or
harm, don't do it.