10 Resume Do’s and Please Don’ts
February 6, 2020
10 Do's and Dont's when writing a resume

When looking into editing your resume, it may seem that just about everyone has different ideas and suggestions about what works and what doesn’t. With all of these varying opinions, it becomes extremely hard to navigate what the best answers may be. However, there are a handful of hard do’s and don’ts to keep in mind when revamping your resume.

Let’s start with the mistakes that will send your job or internship search straight to the gutter. The worst mistake you can possibly make is being uninformed. So, we’ll walk you through how to get your resume where it needs to be. You’re welcome.

Don’t include an objective statement

Objective statements on resumes are old school. They faded out about 10 years ago and belong in the same bin as suede tracksuits and sequined scarves. Everyone knows your objective is to get a job! If you really want to tell the hiring manager why you want the job, include it in your top-notch cover letter.

Don’t misuse key industry terminology

This is a really big deal and can cause horrendous consequences – like your resume making it through the Applicant Tracking System and then being tossed to the side (you might even become the brunt of a bad joke among the hiring managers). Make sure you understand current industry terms and use them appropriately.

Resume Writing

Don’t use fancy fonts and sizes

Unless you’re going into graphic design, it is best to keep your resume clean and professional in appearance. Try to use one consistent font for your resume, especially if you start with a wacky template (which you never should). Professionals will be able to identify inconsistencies quickly. For best results, opt for a winning sans-serif font like Calibri or Tahoma.

Don’t put a picture

Believe it or not, a major reason resumes don’t make it through the Applicant Tracking System is because the software doesn’t know how to recognize pictures, and so they are automatically disqualified from the selection process. Instead, include the URL to your LinkedIn profile with your contact information and make sure you have a killer LinkedIn profile picture.

Don’t use a resume template

Resume templates are a slippery slope. There are a few websites that truly offer good templates, but they generally cost a hefty fee. Try not to use free, colorful, or unprofessional resume templates. If you need help, we’re here for you.

Resume Writing

Now that we’ve gone over a few major don’ts, let’s review some definite do’s. It’s only fair for us to tell you what you should do, now that we probably made you change a lot based on our don’ts.

Do use bullet points

Hiring managers take 6 seconds to review your resume, so bullet points are an excellent way to streamline their search. However, we recommend never using more than two lines of text per bullet point and never having more than five bullet points per topic. This method keeps the text even and skim ready.

Do use numbers to quantify accomplishments

Digits, digits, and more digits. Using numbers is a great way to really tell your story with purpose. “Helped 12 freshman college students with career-related advice biweekly, which increased internship readiness by 34%” sounds extremely more professional than “Helped college students prepare for college biweekly, which increased internship readiness.” By quantifying your accomplishments, employers know exactly how impactful you can be.

Do use powerful action verbs

The verbs you choose are very important and will set your resume apart from everyone else’s. Action verbs that should be used include words similar to “created,” “initiated,” “constructed,” “developed” and “maintained” are great words to help convey your professional story. P.S., make sure you are always using the past tense.

Resume Writing

Do limit your resume to one page

Resumes shouldn’t be more than one page unless you have more than 15 years’ worth of post-graduate experience. College students should (and must) be able to fit everything that is relevant and important on one clearly structured page.

Do tell the truth

Telling the truth is 100% the best resume writing practice. There is no reason to exaggerate your experience and accomplishments on your resume because interviewers will be able to spot liars immediately. Be honest on your resume so you don’t waste your time or theirs!

1 Comment

  1. Manager

    Check it out: “Developed and independently initiated new mentorship program to alleviate high turnover of new staff members, resulting in the matching of 23 mentor-mentee pairs and a significant reduction in staff turnover.” Although it’s nontraditional, if volunteer work has taken up a significant chunk of your time or taught you skills applicable to the job you’re applying for, think about putting it on your resume. Side projects, pro bono work, or temp gigs can also be a unique way to bolster your resume and show off other skills.



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By Brandon Mitchell

Brandon Mitchell is the Founder and Chief Resume Writer at BrandResumes.com. Brandon enjoys helping clients from all walks of life and is a sought out career expert. Brandon has been featured in Earn Your Leisure, The Squeeze, and Blapitalist. Follow Brandon on Linkedin

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