Do’s and Don’ts of Resumes

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Your resume is the key when you apply for a job. If it doesn’t stand out from the rest of the candidates, your chance of getting invited for an interview is very low. This week, I am going to discuss with you what you should list and what you should not list in your resume so that you can grab attention and invited for the interview.

You should definitely put your educational experience, work experience, and your special skills in your resume. For example, if you have special computer skills, such as programming in Java or using Photoshop, you should list those under your computer skills section. You can also list many other things in your resume. For example, if you completed a certificate program, won an award or if you are part of a swimming team and won a swim race, you should also list those achievements in your resume.

In my experiences, I found that the most important part of a resume is your work experience. The second most important part is educational experience, but if you don’t have much work experience, don’t worry. You can list your educational experience first and then list your internships or your projects as your work experience.

I recommend that everyone put a summary section at the beginning of your resume and put key words in that section, because when HR people are looking for specific skills, they usually use key words. For example, if they are looking for someone specialized in data analysis, they use “data analysis” as a key word and type it into their candidate database or LinkedIn or wherever they are pulling resumes from. If they are looking for someone who knows about Internet marketing, they may use Google AdWords or Google Analytics as their key words. They use specific key words to pull up resumes as a faster way to identify the potential candidates for their open positions. I certainly recommend putting a summary section in your resume and list as many key words as you can in that section to have more visibility.

You can also put your hobbies and interests at the end of your resume if you have enough space. This shows potential employers that you’re not only working but you’re interested in other things as well. For example, if you are in a tennis club or you are good at painting or you are a good photographer, you can list those kinds of hobbies and interests in your resume.

Now, you know what you should list in your resume. Let’s talk about what you should not list. You should never list personal information such as your age, political views, salary information, and reason for termination from previous jobs in your resume. I know in some other countries it is common to list age and gender in your resume, but not in the United States.

Some people never use action verbs in their resumes, so that’s another big mistake. You should always use action verbs such as analyzed, built, developed, processed, prepared, etc. You can find a list of the most powerful action verbs by typing “most powerful resume action verbs” into any Internet search engine.

Another common mistake is that some people go on too long or go too short on a subject. You should always find the right balance in listing your information. Finally, punctuation and grammar mistakes are the most common resume mistakes made, and you can avoid these errors by simply doing a spell-check in Word.