An Idiots Guide to Writing Resumes


Hunting for a job is tough. Having a sub-standard resume can make it even more tough. Here are some tips that we have unearthed for you to use as you attempt to wow employers with your skills, experiences, and education.

11 Tips for great resumes:

1. Spelling errors

Nothing puts a potential employer off more than a resume filled with spelling mistakes. It not only informs them that you lack the necessary literacy skills, but that you aren’t thorough enough to check your work for quality. Take care to check that you have spelled the company name, the addressee, and even your name correctly.

“Whether you are applying to a writing job, or any job for that matter, a simple error in spelling can spell doom.”   – Chris Gamble, hiring manager at Rant, Inc.

2. Too long and too detailed

Employers really do not want to pick up your resume from a stack of 1000 others and be expected to read through a thesis sized submission. Keep it simple, to the point, and highlight the key areas that are appropriate to the job you are applying for.

3. When resumes are the exact same as LinkedIn profiles

Put some effort into it. Show employers that you’ve done your research and included information that makes you the ideal candidate. If you’re applying for a sales job, then put some figures in there. A hiring manager is going to be looking immediately for key words and numbers. A broad resume is going to make you a bland candidate. So stand out!

4. Not tailoring your resume to the specific job you want

As previously mentioned, make your application specific to the job you’re applying for. Are they asking for experience in Microsoft Office in the job description? Yes? Well don’t you think it might be a good idea to include your relevancy in your resume?

“I think the worst offender is writing one’s resume without first targeting select companies or organizations that will be a mutual good fit. How else can a job seeker know who they’re writing the content for, and get inside the employers’ heads (by researching each one) so the content will resonate with them?”

– Meg Giuseppe, C-suite executive personal branding and job search strategist

5. Vague, puffed-up language

There’s no need to anoint yourself at the very top of your resume. Get down to brass tax; list your education, your experience, and other information you believe is relevant.

“It’s one thing to be confident, but I would recommend that candidates walk a fine line of objectivity and embellishment on their resume.” – Matthew Meladossi, director of talent acquisition at Coach

6. Not selling yourself

While you cannot oversell yourself, it is equally important not to undersell yourself. Although you may not be applying for a marketing job, you are expected to do some sort of self-marketing to consider what your audience (the hiring manager) is wanting to hear.

7. Bad grammar

Like spelling mistakes, poor grammar is a staple of someone without the pride to successfully double-check their application. Remember the elementary basics: Do not capitalize words unnecessarily, use punctuation correctly, and ensure your content flows seamlessly.

8. Not highlighting Successes

This is important: Do not describe your responsibilities in your resume. Instead you must list your accomplishments within that job (no matter how big or small). Employers want to see what value you are going to add to their organization. If you can show how you contributed to growth elsewhere, potential employers will be more intrigued as to what successes you’ll accomplish in a new position.

9. Poor formatting

The layout, the content, and how everything links together will show employers that you have taken the time to research them and prepare an intentional resume. If you are serious about them, they are going to be serious about you.

10. Not including an executive summary

An executive summary is the candidate’s best opportunity to quickly showcase his/her skills, accomplishments and relevance to the role. It is a brief paragraph that outlines who you are, and why you’re interested in them.

11. Not explaining what you did and when you did it

“My biggest pet peeve with resumes is when a candidate does a huge summary of experience that encompasses all of their work history. Then follows with the work history section with only company name, dates, and title. No bullet points describing what they did at that particular company. Not an effective way to showcase experience and expertise.” – Teresita Montgomery, director of recruiting at Stella Staffing

So there you have it. We’re not guaranteeing success but we can assure you that if you follow these guidelines, you are ore likely to stand out as a shiny jewel in a large stack of monotonous resumes.

To read the full article click here:

For a sample resume and more information on career services visit the KHS Blackboard page and follow the Student Success Resource tab or for assistance visit WSU Career Services


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