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Resume Tips - Format and Style

  1. Keep Consistent Branding. Use the same name in your resume header, email address, LinkedIn profile, and signature on your cover letter. Create an email account using your business name and use that email address on all your documents. (i.e., If you use your middle initial on your resume header, use it everywhere else, too.) Keep your resume looking neat and organized.   Use the same writing style, paragraph format, bullet points, punctuation marks, indentations, and spacing throughout your resume.   
  2. Use a Header and Executive Summary. Place your name and contact info at the top of your resume. Just below that, include your job title and a concise statement about the value, skills and experience you bring to a company. Keep the specific position in mind, and alter your summary to emphasize your personal traits and experience that are asked for in the job description. The Executive Summary replaces “Objective” (see example resume link below).
  3. Listing Your Experience and Employment Dates – “Chronological” resumes are much more accepted than “Functional” resumes. Many view functional resumes with skepticism because they’re concerned you’re hiding employment issues, gaps between jobs, job hopping, etc., that can’t be sufficiently explained  If your work history is strong and solid, list previous jobs and employment dates in reverse chronological order - with the most recent job at the top of the list. If you have gaps in your employment history, or are changing careers, take more time to list your skills and experience at the top of the resume, but still list each of your jobs in chronological order.  Using the “Company Snapshot” recommendation below, add to this section any details that would help explain your movement or job changes. In either case, highlight the skills and experience that are relevant to the position you are applying for, and showcases your qualifications at first glance.
  4. Company Snapshot – Under each company named, give a brief description (one to two sentences) of the company’s function, revenue size, industry, and ownership (public or private), and any key events that occurred while you worked there.
  5. Length - It’s common for more experienced professionals to have a two, sometimes even three, page resume.  The best guideline is to use the appropriate amount of space to sufficiently show your experience. “If you’ve been in the workforce for 15-plus years, do not feel forced to trim information about your achievements to keep to an arbitrary one-page resume rule.” Make your resume long enough to tell your story, but short enough to skim in a single sitting. The key is readability and relevance to the job you’re targeting.
  6. White space draws the reader's eyes to important points and gives a clean, professional look to your resume. Don’t cramp your text. Instead, arrange it with space between paragraphs, and use top, bottom and side margins.
  7. Fonts. Use the same font for your whole resume, differentiating sections and headings with different font sizes, and using styles like small caps, bold and italics. Use common fonts like Times New Roman, Arial, Calibri and Cambria, and never use a font that looks like old fashioned type, cartoon or calligraphy.
  8. Accuracy is Key. Make sure your resume is error-free and easy to read. Spelling and grammar errors indicate lack of attention to detail and will quickly get your resume tossed in the “no” pile if you don’t get this right.
  9. Verb Tense – State details of past jobs in the past tense and current jobs in the present tense; however, accomplishments regardless of which company they fall under should always be in the past tense.
  10. Avoid the use of pronouns like “I”, “my”, “he/she”, etc. Stick to skills and accomplishments. The reader knows who the resume is talking about – it says it in big letters at the top.

Here is an example of a nicely formatted resume:

This tip sheet includes points from the article, Why This is an Excellent Resume, by Vivian Giang. To read the full article, go to http://www.businessinsider.com/why-this-is-an-excellent-resume-2013-11#ixzz30OWYJ5Ng

More resume tips: http://www.businessinsider.com/12-ways-to-make-your-resume-stand-out-2014-4#ixzz32O20s0hW


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