When it comes to making sure your resume is effective, there is a lot to get right, and perhaps just as much to get wrong. Here are some “dos and don’ts” when it comes to your resume.
- First thing to do for an effective resume; DO
Include a personal statement, your education, your work history, any volunteer work, and skills you possess. A resume is a tool you use to sell yourself to a company.
- Second thing to do for an effective resume; DO NOT
Lie. You might be tempted to lie about something on your resume. People might encourage you to embellish a few things to make yourself look better but ultimately, it is not worth it. Common lies include extending work dates, claiming education you do not have, and adding jobs you have never had. If you lie on your resume and are hired, you will have to keep pretending accordingly.
- Third thing to do for an effective resume; DO
Be honest. If there is a gap in your employment, a good employer would rather be told the truth than fabrication. Just because you do not meet some of the requirements for the position does not mean they will not consider you. Employers will run a background check.
- Fourth thing to do for an effective resume; DO NOT
Assume that the same resume can be used for every application. Take the time to tailor your resume to the job you are applying for. The information should remain the same but reordering sections to highlight what the employer is directly looking for will make them look at your resume twice.
As for the format of your resume, everyone has their preference but there are templates that you can use to get started. Fancy fonts and styles distract from the content. Your resume should present as much information about yourself that you can fit on 1-2 pages of text, no smaller than 11 point font. The only part of your resume that needs to be in full sentences is in the section containing your personal statement. Listing the responsibilities of previous or current jobs and skills can be done as bullet points.
An effective resume does not have to be impressive in skill or experience, it just needs to accurate and consistent with your skills to convey a professional look that expresses your abilities to perform the job you are applying for.