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MisterBlueSky85's avatar

Any good resume writing tips?

Asked by MisterBlueSky85 (892points) May 25th, 2008

I’ve read a lot of articles and checked a lot of design sites. Now I want to know what worked for YOU guys. Any specific tips you’d like to give me, or maybe articles that I should definitely read before tackling this project? Anyone here in HR? Once again, thanks in advance!

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12 Answers

marinelife's avatar

I can only comment as someone who has read a ton of resumes and done a lot of screening and hiring. The truisms that you see everywhere are true and yet I see people overlook them or fail to do them every time.

1. Keep it short. No one has time to read 6 pages! Also, if you have been in the job market a while, no one cares what you more than 15 years ago!

2. Put the important stuff up front.

3. Make sure that your cover letter and resume are error free (spelling and grammar). Have someone proof it for you.

4. Try to include accomplishments in your position rather than just listing your duties. For example, I reorganized the files saving filing and refiling time by one third. I increased the customer base by 50% during my time in Sales.

5. Avoid odd colored paper or scented paper, if you are even sending a printed resume these days.

6. If you are sending it by email as an attachment, include the resume text in the body of the email too, even if you lose formatting, because some employers won’t accept attachments.

7. When you get an interview, WRITE A THANK YOU. I can’t tell you how few people do it and how many times it makes you stand out from the crowd applying for the job.

MisterBlueSky85's avatar

Awesome! I never heard of #2 before, and it makes so much sense. Thanks a lot!

martinez00anita's avatar

I can’t really add anything… Its been said

chaddq's avatar

The only thing I’d add to @Marina’s excellent answer is to emphasize your cover letter. When I’m sitting on a search committee, it’s the cover letter that gives me the best understanding of the applicant. I look for someone who has read the job posting carefully and addresses each of the minimum/preferred qualifications. I expect the cover letter to be a well-written argument for why the applicant is qualified for the job, and I expect the resume to give proof and evidence for that argument.

gailcalled's avatar

@Marina; a perfect summation. Brava. How about clarity, originality and whatever the opposite of banality is?

@Mr.Blue. Never use awesome in a professional letter or anywhere else, for that matter.

wildflower's avatar

Marina’s answer is spot on!
I also look at CV’s and resume’s regularly and the things that matter to me:
– Be concise (max. 2 pages)
– Use own words for previous experience (don’t copy/paste from a job description)
– Work experience and Education are the most important sections and should be on the first page. Accomplishments and associations on the second.
– I love bullet points! Don’t write a flowing free text. The hiring manager will want to use it as a reference sheet when interviewing you and being easy to read/view means a lot.

shrubbery's avatar

If you can, get one of your references to write a nice letter reccomending you and highlighting your skills etc. (preferably one with a spiffy title if you’re able to- I’m pretty sure that’s what got me my job and I am forever in the debt of my school’s Director of Outdoor Education for writing an amazing letter for me)

marinelife's avatar

Shrubbery makes a good point. I was told at one job that the reference letter I sent in clinched the hire.

MisterBlueSky85's avatar

I have two reference letters coming my way, one from a senior lecturer and the other from a director of the MFA program. Good suggestion.

I wish I could show you guys my resume, but I don’t think I want all that information floating around on the interwebs. Suffice it to say, I done well. :D

Thank you!

marinelife's avatar

@MisterBlueSky85 I wish you every success with it!

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