Resumes are just one step in the hiring process and the one where we have the most control. Because of that, we agonize over it and generally over-complicate it. Here are some ways to succeed in writing your resume — and ways to“suck eggs.”
1. The Truth about Visuals
- The way to succeed: Submit an easy-to-read, focused resume.
- The way to “suck eggs”: Using multiple fonts, graphics, etc. will make a resume too hard to read.
2. Attention to Detail
- The way to succeed: Submit a carefully proof-read resume.
- The way to “suck eggs”: Spelling errors, typos, etc. don’t get you a second chance.
3. Separating Fact from Fiction
- The way to succeed: Always submit a truthful, accurate resume.
- The way to “suck eggs”: Fictitious information such as wrong dates and missing employers will just cause trouble later on.
4. Nail Down the Objective
- The way to succeed: Spend the extra time to write a tailored, well-defined objective.
- The way to “suck eggs”: If it’s too general, it won’t provide any information for the reader — and will look like you blasted it out.
5. Brevity Helps
- The way to succeed: Submit a concise, two-page resume.
- The way to “suck eggs”: Make it quickly scannable; pages of useless information do not help the reader.
6. Active Verbs Rule
- The way to succeed: Craft well-written and meaningful work descriptions; don’t just copy and paste.
- The way to “suck eggs”: Highlight what you DID (i.e., use verbs) as opposed using just the “descriptions” (nouns and adjectives) for each position you have held.
7. Personalize (within Reason)
- The way to succeed: Provide only relevant personal information.
- The way to “suck eggs”: Including past relevant interests is a no-no, and so is listing more than one or two current relevant interests.
8. Get Thee to a Grammarian
- The way to succeed: Submit a pronoun- and adjective-free resume.
- The way to “suck eggs”: Not banishing “I,” “my,” “our” or adjectives like “creative,” “accomplished,” “team-player,” will diminish your resume’s impact.
9. Revisit Contact Info
- The way to succeed: Always review your contact information and provide only a professional email address.
- The way to “suck eggs”: Iamanidiot.com is not a good address — even if it’s current.
10. Cutting Corners?
- The way to succeed: Always submit a complete resume – that means all dates, jobs, etc.
- The way to “suck eggs”: Missing data makes resume readers feel you are hiding something. You don’t have to describe every job, but you need to provide dates and a brief summary of early years/education.
These 10 tips should help you succeed at resume writing. The alternative is not good!