1. Write a powerful objective statement that is one sentence, but not too broad.
- Good example: To obtain a position in information technology which makes use of my computer troubleshooting experience.
- Bad example: To obtain a full-time job programming job.
2. If you have skills, such as programming languages, software products, or foreign languages that you have not used on a job, be sure to include them in a section titled Skills and Foreign Languages.
3. If you do not have a lot of work experience, you can list the courses you have taken in college that are relevant to the position you are applying for.
4. If you have received any Awards, Honors, or Recognitions, be sure to include them.
5. Be sure the text on your resume is readable, i.e. 10-12 point font size and a simple font face - Times New Roman, Arial, etc.
6. There was once a time when everyone said your resume had to be scannable. While resumes are not always scanned (company's may have you fill out information on their web site if they want to store it electronically), you can still consider following scannable rules when creating your resume to the extent they do not make your resume look unattractive to the eye. Scannable rules include:
- Font size at least 10-12 point
- Simple font face, i.e. Times New Roman, Arial, etc.
- Avoid special characters such as / ... | ( )
- Avoid underlines and italics
- Avoid hollow bullets that might be misinterpreted as the letter 'o' or a zero
- Include all important keywords the employer might be looking for in the position you are applying for. Examples might include job titles held by applicants, skills, responsibilities, technical and industry acronyms, buzzwords, educational credentials, or certifications, such as the following:
- Cisco CCNP, Microsoft MSCE, BS Engineering
- Senior Programming, Systems Analysts
- Java, J2EE, C++, HTML, XHTML, CSS, AJAX, PHP, MySQL
- Customer relations, team building, presentations
- Systems administration, web development, application development
7. The rule that your resume has to be one page is not as fixed/true as it once was. If you have very little experience then it should be one page. If you have a decade or more of related experience, it will likely be more than one page. If it is more than one page, try to put a lot of the keywords that will be important for the position on the first page.
8. Have someone else look over your resume to check for spelling and grammatical errors.
9. Do not try to have one resume or cover letter you use for every position you apply for. It may take take, but you will need to customize each resume and cover letter for each position.
10. If you are looking for a job in field of Web Design or Web Development, it may be very useful for you to be able to present the prospective employer with a portfolio of some of your work, be it well-designed web pages, web programming scripts, Flash files, image/graphic/logo design work, print work, etc. You could present this employers in hard-copy, on a mini-CD, or from a web site. You can perform a Google search to view portfolios of web design professionals.
11. Quantify items if you can. For example: "Managed a department of 5 with a budget of $250,000." or "Increased sales by 35% in a 4-state territory."
12. Think about what file format you save and send your resume in MS Word 2003 .DOC is probably the best, followed by PDF. Do not use a format so new many people will not be able to open it, i.e. .DOCX. You can also snail mail a nice paper-copy to show your enthusiasm. Check to see if the employer has a preferred method of delivery and file format.
13. In addition, never pay for an interview or for your resume to be written for you.
The Co-Op Office at Henry Ford College does an outstanding job working with HFC students on creating a resume. The Co-Op can be reached at:
Career Services Office
How to Decide a Resume Length from Monster.com.
Does a resume have to be one page long? (Fortune Magazine)
A One or Two Page Resume?
Resume tips from Monster.com
Resume tips from Tulane University