How to write a good resume

Crafting an effective resume is essential for capturing a recruiter’s attention and securing opportunities in today’s competitive job market. Follow these do’s and don’ts to optimize your resume and increase your chances of success.

Resume Writing Do’s:

  1. Keep it Clear and Concise:
  • Employers spend around 30 seconds scanning a resume, so make it easy for them to see your qualifications quickly.
  1. Proofread Thoroughly:
  • Eliminate spelling and grammar errors, as even a simple mistake can create a negative impression. Have someone else review your resume as well.
  1. Limit to Two Pages:
  • Prioritize recent experiences and keep the resume focused by excluding or minimizing roles from over 15 years ago.
  1. Tailor to the Position:
  • Align your resume with the job by emphasizing relevant work experiences and achievements. Review the job description for guidance.
  1. Highlight Achievements:
  • Showcase examples of your skills and accomplishments in the “Work Experience” section to demonstrate your value as an employee.
  1. Be Honest:
  • Avoid exaggeration and be truthful about your skills and accomplishments. Authenticity builds trust with employers.
  1. Quantify Achievements:
  • Use specific numbers to illustrate your impact, such as the number of people supervised or the percentage of sales increase.
  1. Use Simple Language and Action Verbs:
  • Employ clear, persuasive language with action verbs like managed, led, developed, and accomplished.
  1. Include Relevant Unpaid Work:
  • Incorporate volunteer experiences that highlight your skills, placing them under “Work Experience” or “Volunteer Work.”
  1. Double-Check Contact Information:
  • Ensure accurate contact details are prominently placed at the top of the first page for easy employer access.

Resume Writing Don’ts:

  1. Avoid Inappropriate Email Addresses:
  • Choose a professional, easy-to-read email address based on your name, excluding nicknames or special characters.
  1. Omit Unnecessary Personal Information:
  • Steer clear of personal details like age, weight, or social insurance numbers. Focus on qualifications relevant to the job.
  1. Skip the Photo:
  • In Canada, omitting a photo keeps the focus on your skills and experience rather than your appearance.
  1. Limit Bullet Points:
  • Maintain readability by restricting each section to 5-7 concise bullet points, aiding employers in quickly grasping your potential.

Avoid Personal Pronouns:

  • Write in the third person, crafting your resume as if it’s authored by someone else to maintain a professional tone.
  1. Highlight Achievements, Not Just Duties:
  • Instead of listing job responsibilities, emphasize your achievements and provide specific examples.
  1. Avoid General Statements:
  • Personalize your experience by steering clear of vague statements that lack specific contributions to your previous roles.
  1. Don’t Provide Reasons for Leaving Jobs:
  • Keep your resume positive by excluding reasons for leaving previous positions, focusing solely on your skills and accomplishments.
  1. Hold Off on References:
  • Save references for when they are specifically requested, keeping them on a separate sheet.
  1. Skip Hobbies and Interests:
    • While generally discouraged, include hobbies only if they directly relate to the position, showcasing why you’re an ideal fit for the job.

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