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Resume Writing Tips

Should my resume exceed one page?

It's not recommended that your resume exceed one page, but if it does, it should be trimmed down to include only the most relevant points you want to make.   Also, decreasing your margins will give you more space on the first page so that you don't run over to a second or third page.   Some other suggestions:   don't list all of your interests, hobbies, etc. if it doesn't apply to the position you're interested in; make sure you haven't been redundant in listing your responsibilities.

What email addresses are acceptable to list on my resume?

We all have personal email addresses, and some of them are a bit racier than others.   Email accounts can be setup for free with Yahoo, Hotmail, and others.   Get an account name that is a combination of your first and last name for utmost professionalism.   It says something about your professionalism when a client receives your resume from an account like hotstuff@xyz.com.

What format should I use on my resume?

Your resume format should be written in easy to read font - Times New Roman is most commonly used.   The characters should be set at 11 or 12 point.   Your resume should be in chronological order with the most recent employment history listed on top.   It should include the name of the organization, your title, dates of employment, and a list of responsibilities.   Never print your resume on colored paper or use colored font as it only makes it more difficult to read and may not present as well.

Should I list my responsibilities in bulleted or paragraph format?

This is a tricky one.   The answer is, it really depends.   If you can spare the room, listing by bullet points is the best option because it is the easiest to read.   Remember that employers are generally looking at dozens sometimes hundreds of resumes each day and they really need to be able to understand your background in a matter of minutes.   You should make an effort to always draw parallels between your experience and the requirements of the position you're applying to.

How can I be sure that my resume will attract the employer?

Be sure to use key words that employers may be searching for specifically such as product names. Most employers are likely to enter your resume in their database and pull it up again during a search as more positions become available.   Also use descriptive and POWER words throughout your resume so that it comes across as strong and professional.  

Examples of power words:

Accelerate

Accomplish

Achieve

Acquire

Administer

Advise

Analyze

Appraise

Arrange

Assist

Audit

Augment

Author

Budget

Build

Calculate

Catalogue

Coach

Compare

Compile

Complete

Compose

Conceive

Conceptualize

Conduct

Consolidate

Construct

Consult

Control

Convert

Convince

Coordinate

Correspond

Counsel

Create

Cultivate

Delegate

Deliver

Determine

Develop

Devise

Dispatch

Distribute

Document

Designate

Design

Diagnose

Direct

Demonstrate

Empower

Engineer

Elicit

Establish

Estimate

Enhance

Examine

Exceed

Evaluate

Expand

Explain

Execute

Gather

Generate

Formulate

Head

Hire

Guide

Implement

Improve

Identify

Influence

Initiate

Increase

Inspect

Install

Innovate

Instruct

Interpret

Institute

Maintain

Manage

Lead

Mediate

Modify

Manufacture

Motivate

Negotiate

Monitor

Operate

Order

Obtain

Overhaul

Patent

Organize

Persuade

Perform

Plan

Prepare

Present

Preside

Process

Produce

Proficient

Program

Promote

Propose

Provide

Purchase

Quantify

Qualify

Recognize

Recommend

Reconcile

Refer

Regulate

Reorganize

Repair

Replace

Report

Represent

Rescue

Research

Restore

Review

Revise

Schedule

Screen

Select

Serve

Simplify

Solve

Steer

Streamline

Study

Suggest

Supervise

Supply

Systemize

Teach

Test

Trace

Track

Train

Transcribe

Translate

Update

Utilize

When writing your resume, remember the Top 10 qualities that employers seek are:

Communication skills (verbal and written)
Honesty/integrity
Teamwork skills (works well with others)
Interpersonal skills (relates well to others)
Motivation/initiative
Strong work ethic
Analytical skills
Flexibility/adaptability
Computer skills
Organizational skills

Is it enough if I use the Auto Spell Check on my resume?

No.   You should always proofread your resume since Spell Check will not catch errors on all capped words and words that are misused.   For example, Spell Check does not know if you've misused the words "they're", "their", or "there".

Should I use past or present tense throughout my resume?

It's recommended that you used present tense for a current position and past tense for all previous positions.

Should I write an objective on my resume?

Absolutely.   This will let the employer know that you know what you want and are goal oriented.   Be specific and tailor your objective to the job you're applying to.

Should I include a cover letter with my resume?

Yes.   A cover letter can't hurt - even though not everybody reads it.   However, for those employers who do read a cover letter, it could make the difference between getting them to call your or not.   A cover letter should always indicate which position you're applying to, a brief summary of your background, and most importantly, why you're a good fit for the position.

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