Ten Resume Quick Tips

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Your resume has about 30 seconds to make a good first impression. Keep it to one page, and make this the best single page of writing you’ve ever written. To help you in this tremendous task, here are ten resume quick tips:

  1. Proofread, and proofread again. Don’t rely on spellcheck to catch every mistake! Spellcheck can’t tell if you meant to write “oversee” or “oversea”.
  2. Read backwards. When you have read and re-read the same document, you can become too familiar with the text, and it becomes easy to miss mistakes. The second or third time you proofread, read your resume backwards, sentence by sentence. Reading backwards forces you to read with “new eyes”, and you’ll notice things about the document you may have missed before.
  3. Get a friend to proofread it again. They will notice any mistakes you missed, and they may remember things about your work history or skills that you forgot to mention.
  4. Be consistent. Decide if you’re going to spell out “Indiana” or abbreviate, and do the same thing every time. When you write a bulleted list, use either complete sentences with periods at the end, or incomplete sentences with no periods at the end, but not both.
  5. Never use “I, me, mine” on your resume. Instead, use “implied first person”. Instead of “I created cheeseburgers so good that they won awards” use “Created award-winning cheeseburgers”. This gets your accomplishments across without sounding self-involved or arrogant.
  6. Don’t just name your file “Resume”. Make sure your resume stands out! Put your first and last name in the resume file name, like “JohnSmithResume.pdf” or “JaneSmithGraphicDesigner.doc”.
  7. When it comes time to email your resume to a prospective employer, use a professional-sounding email address. No one will hire CallOfDutyGamerz@hotmail.com or KittensAndUnicorns@yahoo.com . If you need to create a new email address for your resume, make sure to check it later to see if you got the job!
  8. The best time to email a resume is late on Friday night. That way, when the employer gets back to work on Monday morning, your email will be at the top of their inbox.
  9. Personalize your resume for each application. If you’re responding to an ad, make sure to use the same keywords the ad uses, like the required skills and experience, software mentioned, and so on. If you are just sending your resume directly to a business, go to their website and look at their “About Us” page for ideas of keywords to use in your resume.
  10. To save time with personalizing your resume, it may be helpful to keep separate copies of your resume for each career track you are interested in. For example, you might have a separate resume for nursing, education, nonprofits, etc.