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General Hints

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Determine Your Target

Stress your achievements that will be most important to your reader, not the ones that may be most important to you. If you have varied career fields you are pursuing in your job search, you will in all likelihood have more than one resume.

Keep It Short

One page or two at most. Your resume will be reviewed in 20 to 45 seconds. Tell your story precisely and concisely. Recent graduates should almost always keep it to one page.

Be Concise

Use a journalistic writing style utilizing short sentences and positive verbs and adjectives.


Verbs: initiated, organized, created, improved, supervised, trained, managed, directed, led, achieved, accomplished, built, researched, developed, established
Adjectives: successful, efficient, consistent, dependable, productive, resourceful, effective

Avoid Using the First Person "I"

You only have so much space and a short crisp writing style is the norm for resumes. Quantify - Substantiate what you've done or achieved using specific examples.

For example: "Increased sales volume by 15%" or "Supervised 15 campers, 8 to 12 years old."

Show Development

Indicate to the employer how you progressed in a position or within an organization. For example: "Started lawn care business. Grew from 2 employees to 13 in three years. Grossed $12,000 last year."

Don't Leave Holes

While not as important for recent graduates as it is for experienced alumni, you should attempt to account for all periods of time. If you must leave gaps in your resume be prepared to address these periods during interviews.

Never Lie

Inaccuracies in your resume can come back to haunt you. Many employers will immediately dismiss an employee for lying on their resume no matter how long ago the employee was hired. Instead of misrepresenting yourself, be selective about what you choose to include on the resume, for example. if your Cumulative GPA is 2.6 and 3.3 in your major, refer to the latter as it is more complimentary.

Omit Irrelevant Personal Information

Do not include information that has no bearing on your ability to perform a given job. In general, you are advised to leave out the following: height, sex, marital status, religion, health, birth date or age, and political affiliation. In most cases it is illegal for employers to ask you about these areas because such information can only be used to discriminate. The exceptions to this are jobs, such as acting, that may require certain characteristics to be performed effectively.

A good rule of thumb is to avoid saying anything on the resume that might jeopardize your candidacy or negatively bias a prospective employer.

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