- Don't overcrowd your resume; allow for plenty of white space.
- Keep your resume to one page whenever possible.
- Keep the number of fonts you use to a minimum -- two at the most.
- Use a font that is easy to read. Times Roman works well.
- Do not justify the lines of type on your resume. Allow the right side of the page to "rag."
- Do not overuse capitalization, italics, underlines, or other emphasizing features.
- Make sure your name, address, and a phone number appear on your resume and all correspondence, preferably at the top of the page.
- Print your resume on white or cream paper using a good-quality printer.
- Second- and third-generation photocopies must be avoided
- Print on one side of the paper only.
- To avoid spelling mistakes:
- Don't use words with which you aren't familiar.
- Use a dictionary as you write.
- Perform a spell check on your finished resume.
- Carefully read every word in your resume.
- Have a friend or two proof read your resume for you.
- Things to look for:
- Periods at the end of all full sentences.
- Be consistent in your use of punctuation.
- Always put periods and commas within quotation marks.
- Avoid using exclamation points.
- Grammar hang-ups to watch for:
- The duties you currently perform should be in present tense (i.e., write reports)
- Duties you may have performed at past jobs should be in past tense (i.e., wrote reports).
- Capitalize all proper nouns.
- When expressing numbers, write out all numbers between one and nine (i.e., one, five, seven), but use numerals for all numbers 10 and above (i.e., 10, 25, 108).
- If you begin a sentence with a numeral, spell out that numeral (e.g. Eleven service awards won while employed.).
- Make sure your date formats are consistent (i.e.11/22/01 or Nov. 22, 2001, or 11.22.01. Choose one and stick with it.).
Choose Your Words Carefully
- Phrase yourself well:
- Be on the lookout for the following easily confused words:
- accept (to receive), except (to exclude)
- all right (correct), alright (this is not a word)
- affect (to bring about change), effect (result)
- personal (private), personnel (staff members)
- role (a character assigned or a function), roll (to revolve).
- Use action words (i.e., wrote reports, increased revenues, directed staff).
- In most instances it is not necessary to include names and address of references on the resume. If you include a reference, make it sure that the referenced person knows very well about you. It is also advisable to add the persons as references, whom the employer can contact easily. If possible add the phone number and e-mail ID of the reference. Never add a person as a reference, about whom you know nothing.
Stick To The Point
- Employers have a busy schedule, so don't expect them to read through a long resume. Ideally, resumes should be of one page, or of two pages only if absolutely necessary, to describe relevant work experience.
- Use of language is extremely important; you need to sell yourself to an employer quickly and efficiently. Address your potential employer's needs with a clearly written, compelling resume. Avoid large paragraphs (five or six lines). If you provide small, digestible pieces of information, your resume will be read. Use action verbs. Verbs such as "developed", "managed", and "designed" emphasise your accomplishments. Don't use declarative sentences like "I developed the ..." or "I assisted in ...", leave out the "I". Avoid passive constructions, such as "was responsible for managing". Just say, "managed": that sounds stronger and more active.
Make The Most of Your Experience
- Employers need to know what you have accomplished to have an idea of what you can do for them. Don't be vague. Telling someone that you "improved the company's efficiency" doesn't say much. But if you say that you "cut overhead costs by 20 per cent and saved the company Rs 20 lakh during the last fiscal year", you are more specific.
Double-Check For Mistakes
- Check your resume for correct grammar and spelling - evidence of good communication skills and attention to detail. Nothing can ruin your chances of getting a job faster than submitting a resume filled with preventable mistakes. Make your resume easy on the eye. Use normal margins (1" on the top and bottom, 1.25" on the sides) and don't cram your text on the page. Allow for some space between the different sections. Avoid unusual or exotic fonts. Preferred fonts: Arial and Times Roman.