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Resume Writing Dos and Donts

Do these things

Include your full name - don't use nicknames or abbreviations

Use a telephone number that you can always answer - use a cell phone if possible or make sure there is an answering machine at the listed phone number

Use bullet points to highlight information - it is much easier for an employer to absorb relevant information while scanning your résumé

Print your résumé and cover letter on high quality paper - when printing your résumé you should use paper with at least 50% cotton content

Be concise and get to the point - say what you need to say and nothing more

Use action words and descriptive phrases - be creative when trying to get your point across using as few words as possible

Target your résumé - address your résumé to the position you are applying for to show that you are really interested in working for that company

Focus on relevant facts only - list skills, accomplishments and personality traits you know the employer is looking for

List quantitative support for statements made - back up your skills and experiences with real scenarios, facts and figures

Begin statements with action verbs - action verbs demonstrate your importance to the achievement or experience being described

Don't do these things

Have any grammatical errors - always have someone else proofread your résumé for errors and flow

Have any spelling mistakes - always spell check your résumé, your contact's name, and the company's name

Misrepresent your background or experience - employers oftentimes verify this information and can fire you if it is discovered that you were dishonest

Fill in employment gaps with unrelated information - wait to discuss this information in person to put a positive spin on it

Use lengthy paragraphs - employers notoriously skip over paragraphs in résumés

Use long sentences - just like paragraphs, the reader easily skips over long sentences

Use personal pronouns - keep your résumé impersonal for a more professional image

Forget to list basic skills - all employers want to see that you are a team player, take charge of situations and are reliable

John Williamson is a Career Development specialist and spokesperson for Vision-Resume.com

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