40 Resume Tips for Jobseekers

If you’re looking for a job then your resume needs to be perfect. Here are 40 tips that you can run through to make sure that your resume is as good as it possibly can be:

  1. Proofread, proofread, proofread.
  2. Add white space.
  3. Use bulleted lists.
  4. Select a normal font in a normal size, no exceptions.
  5. Never write in ALL CAPS on a resume.
  6. Don’t use contractions in your resume. Do Not.
  7. Improve your topic heads. “Overseas experience” or “legal experience” is more appealing than just “experience”, for example.
  8. Reword your resume to use action verbs instead of passive verbs.
  9. Write the resume in the third person, not the first person.
  10. Include your professional acronyms after your name only if they apply to the job you’re aiming to get.
  11. Include specific accomplishments that you would like to be asked about in an interview.
  12. Include keywords. This is necessary for a 21st century resume.
  13. Take out any repetition anywhere in the resume.
  14. Take out anything not relevant to the position (such as classes that are not relevant to the job).
  15. Take out anything an employer doesn’t need to know (like your date of birth).
  16. Get rid of your objective unless it’s specifically pertinent to the position you’re applying for.
  17. Play around with different templates to find the one that works best.
  18. Keep your resume 1-2 pages in length.
  19. Include your contact information on both pages of a 2-page resume.
  20. Do not include a photo on your resume.
  21. Delete your GPA information unless it’s especially high.
  22. Use a resume template system rather than a Word Processor template (like a Microsoft Word resume template).
  23. Use resume hosting to put your resume online.
  24. Make a video resume to go with your regular resume.
  25. MIT suggests: “Make it future or present oriented, suggesting that ‘I am this kind of person, with these abilities, as my past record demonstrates’.” AttorneyResume provides another related tip: “Give outdated experience a feeling of real time by using past progressive tenses such as “I was managing” to draw readers away from the past tense of the experience in your cover letter.”
  26. Use simple, declarative sentences. Skip flowery language.
  27. List dates as years only; skip the month and day.
  28. Include the URLs for any relevant websites that you want a potential employer to visit, like your blog.
  29. Include your email address, mailing address, and 1-2 phone numbers. No more, no less.
  30. Make sure the email address on your resume is professional. [email protected] is not going to encourage someone to hire you. Likewise with social sites and websites.
  31. Do not include salary information unless the employer requests it.
  32. Volunteer in a field relevant to your industry. Add that experience to your resume. (See some other resume boosters here.)
  33. Include references where appropriate. Do not bother saying “references available upon request” as this should be obvious.
  34. Do not list any criminal history. Hopefully you don’t have one anyone but if you do it’s something you need to reveal on applications and when asked in interviews, not on your resume.
  35. Print your resume on a laser printer. The quality is better and will scan well.
  36. Print your resume on high quality resume paper rather than thin typewriter paper. The appropriate paper color for resumes is white or off white.
  37. When mailing in a resume, use a large envelope so that you do not need to fold the resume.
  38. Handle your resume with clean hands to avoid smudges, which look highly unprofessional.
  39. Be honest.
  40. Update your resume regularly.

Do you have any additional resume tips that didn’t make the list? Be sure to share them in the comments below to help out your fellow job seekers!

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