Spell check does not catch everything. Ranked and tanked are not misspelled, but couldn’t be more dissimilar. Try reading backwards to catch easily overlooked errors.
Homonyms are words that share the same spelling or pronunciation, but have different meanings. Switching accept with except or complement with compliment could be disastrous, so pay attention to them.
Focusing on the words is good, but do not neglect the punctuation. Pay attention to capitalized words, missing or extra commas, periods used incorrectly and so on. Be consistent.
Remove personal pronouns (“I” or “me”). You are not telling a story; your resume is.
Use an easy to read font and size. Arial and Times in an 11 or 12 are safe choices.
Do not overcrowd your resume with text. White space between the words, lines and paragraphs can improve the appearance and legibility of your resume.
No employer will have the time (or patience) to read long paragraphs of text. Make sure, therefore, to use bullet points and short sentences where applicable. Remember most readers are simply scanning your resume, so make it easy for them to find the information they are looking for.
Use descriptive titles to give the employer a good idea about your past work experience. For example, a better title for an Accountant is Manager of A/R and A/P. Of course, it goes without saying to be honest about your role.
If you have worked a long time for the same company (over 10 years) it could be a good idea to list all the different positions and roles that you had during this time separately. This can show a hiring manager that you are capable of increasing responsibilities.
Numbers are your friends. Don’t merely mention that you increased the annual revenues of your division, say that you increased them by $100,000 or by 78%.
Remember that you are trying to sell yourself. You can use resume content, design, delivery method and so on to market your skills and create an advantage over the other candidates. No graphics though.
Most will say that a resume should be no more than 2 pages. Just keep in mind that, provided all the necessary information is there, the shorter your resume, the better. Strength is more important than length..
Do not forget the cover page! It is a perfect opportunity to stand out from the lazy, sell yourself, and infuse your skill and personality into the application process. Always take the extra few minutes to tailor it to why you want that specific job at that specific company and why your skills would benefit the overall organization if hired.
It may save time to submit one resume to every job opening, but it will also decrease your chances of an interview. Take the time to customize your resume for each employer.
Instead of a simple list of positions held and a boring list of job responsibilities, showcase your performance with tangible accomplishments. You will greatly improve your chances if you are able to illustrate how your experience will benefit a specific company.
Make sure to incorporate relevant key words. Most companies are using digital databases or parsing/filters to search for candidates. Check the job description and related job ads for an indication on what the employer might be looking for.
Make sure to understand the market of the company and address potential challenges or difficulties that they might have. Use that information to illustrate on your resume how you and your skills would help to solve those problems.
The image you will create with your resume must match the salary and responsibility level that you are aiming for.
Make sure you supply professional and current contact information. You can’t get invited to an interview if you don’t list the best number to reach you. And think about the image you are projecting with your email address. For example: firstname.lastname@example.org may not make the best first impression.
Unless you are applying for a modeling job, you should avoid attaching your picture to your resume.
Do not include your age on your resume. (Unless specifically requested.)
Keep your resume work history current and relevant to the position. Mentioning that you used to bag groceries when you were 16 is probably not going to help you land that executive position. In fact, it is usually not necessary to go back more than 10-15 years.
Again, align your information to the position. If you never had any real working experience, include pertinent summer jobs or volunteer work.
Education should focus on the most recent and completed level. For example, if you have a college degree, it is not necessary to list your high school diploma. Save that space for more important information.
Irrelevant information such as hobbies, political affiliation, religion and sexual preference will not help you. In fact it might even hurt your chances of landing an interview. Just skip it.
Use a good printer and appropriate paper. Your resume is the first impression that you make on a prospective employer. That impression should not be scented, dirty, crinkled, or smudged and so on.
Don’t overestimate the person reading your resume. Big mistake to assume that he/she has your level of technical expertise. Leave out jargon or slang and spell out acronyms.
If you are having a hard time creating your resume, or if you are not receiving a response whatsoever from companies, you could consider hiring a professional resume writing service. This investment will be worth the money.