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General Resume Tips


Create a Career Outline

Think of your resume as the story of your career. As such, it needs to be organized to best highlight your strengths. If you were to be asked, "what have you accomplished?", where would you start?
  • If you are fresh out of school, use your education as your strong point. GPA, accolades, club participation, etc. will be your focus.
  • If you have 20 years of solid experience, start defining your accomplishments during each job role.
  • If you have five years of experience, you will divide your strengths between education/certification and experience.

Introduce Yourself

Always start with your name and contact information. From there, decide if you need an introduction or objective statement. This is a personal decision and should be worded carefully if used. If you use this section, do not get too personal and do not use "I" or the ever-popular "Seeking to . . .". Be simple and straightforward: "Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) with seven years of IT Consulting experience. Skilled at assessing project needs, training end users, and installing, managing, and configuring systems."

Beef Up Your Vocabulary

Throughout your resume use power words like maximize, dedicated, recognized, proficient, adept, capitalized, accomplished, motivated, decisive, strategic, etc. Show me more power words . . .

Use Numbers

Make sure to include numbers in the descriptions of your experience. Employers are notorious for wanting quantifiable achievements such as "Decreased costs by 20%" or "Exceeded expectations by completing 4 months prior to deadline and lowering project budget by 10%". Show me more phrases . . .

Use the Internet

Sites like Monster.com have some great free resources devoted to helping you create a great resume. Resume Example

Do Not . . .

  • Do not use "I" or "My". Do not say, "references provided upon request". This is assumed and does not need to be stated.
  • Do not list any skills that you are not proficient with. You may include a section titled "Exposure To" and list items that you have touched but not mastered.
  • Do not let a single typo or misspelling get by you. Have someone else proof your resume before sending it out.
  • Do not, without excellent reasons, include a section on hobbies. This information is not pertinent to your qualifications.
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