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Resume Basics & Examples

A good resume cannot get you a job; but a bad resume can prevent you from getting the interview-and without the interview there's no chance of getting the job.

The new rules for better resumes start with the fact that there are fewer rules. There's an opportunity for some creativity, but not for gimmicks. What works today is conservative style and a focus on a key achievements-especially those that are of particular interest to the reader.

A Few Do's:

  • Always print your resume on standard letter size, white or ivory paper.
  • Always have the resume typed and allow for adequate margins.
  • Always use conventional English.
  • Always make sure the resume and the cover letter are error-free.
  • Proofread and have others proofread, too.
  • Always rewrite a resume for a specific company. It's extra work, but may pay off.
  • Always include your significant contributions at each one of your jobs.
  • Always list your activity with professional and civic associations-but only if they're appropriate.
  • Always give each of your references a copy of your resume.
  • Always re-read your resume before interview-chances are the interviewer did too.

A Few Do Nots:

  • Never give reasons for termination or leaving a job on the resume. In almost all cases, the reader can find negative connotations to even the best reason. You're far better off explaining it in person.
  • Never take more than two lines to list hobbies, sports and social activities. When in doubt, "leave them out."
  • Never state "References Available On Request." It's assumed, and clutters up the resume. Other things to leave out include your social security number, your spouse's occupation, and your personal philosophies.
  • Never use exact dates. Months and years are sufficient.
  • Never include your company phone number unless your immediate boss is aware of your departure.
  • Never include your height, weight or remarks about your physical appearance or health.
  • Never use professional jargon unless you're sure the resume will be read by someone who understands the buzz-words.
  • Never provide salary information on the resume. Save it for the interview.
  • Never lie.