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Resume Hints and Tips

If you are going to even consider applying for that job or starting that career, you are going to need a good resume- one that is rock solid and will set you apart from the multitude of other applicants that your potential employer has to weed out. Each employer will have different standards for what they are looking for in a potential employee; therefore there is no “one resume fits all” method. For example, what looks great to one employer, might not work for another employer. We can however follow some resume hints and tips that will let you put your best foot forward.

One of the common mistakes with resume writing is an overload of information. Some people think that the more information they have presented the better. This is a myth. Employers don’t have time to wade through all kinds of extra information. If they can’t skim through your resume quickly and easily find the information they are looking for, they probably won’t even bother with it. Therefore, an essential rule to remember is to try to limit your resume to one page in length. Anything longer than one page will require more work for the potential employer.

Many individuals may find it difficult to condense all of their information to one page. Information that you should include on your resume:

1) Your name and other vital information so that they know who you are and where they can reach you

2) Your objective is important since you are most likely applying to a place where there are multiple openings with different positions. You don’t want them to have to figure out what you are applying for. Remember to keep it short and simple.

3) Next up is your education. This is absolutely vital, and should show the last 5-10 years of degrees, certificates, and so on. If you have a lot of education under your belt, and you graduated from high school 15 years ago, you do not need to go back that far and show that on your resume.

4) After education, experience must be included. Quality is more important than weaker quantity. Only include relevant experience. For example, if you’re applying for a paralegal job, don’t feel the need to include that summer job 5 years ago where you cleaned out animal enclosures at the zoo. ; )

One thing to remember is that although you should try and limit your resume to one page, it should not be at the expense of making it hard to read with a tiny font. Employers should not have to squint or move closer to read a resume. As mentioned before, they need to quickly scan to find what they are looking for. So pick a nice clean simple font that is easy to read. You also might need to fax your resume, so the clearer, the better. Forget about using script fonts or anything fancy. Typefaces such as Arial, Helvetica, and Avant Garde are nice and clean, and offer a more modern look. Some good traditional fonts that can be used on your resume are Times Roman, as well as Bookman. Do NOT make these fonts too small. A font size of 12 seems to be about right for these fonts.

Spacing is important. Don't cramp your resume and jam things together. Give each section of the resume some room to breathe. Having things all cluttered together makes your resume unapproachable and awkward. Using space effectively segments the different sections of the resume, making it easier to read and find information.

Employers will most often quickly scan down the left hand side of the resume to get a quick sense of what is being offered. Make sure your headings for each area sticks out enough so that it's obvious where one area starts and the other ends. With a slightly bolder font, you can achieve this.

When you are ready to print your resume, don't get cheap and skimp out. Forget using an inkjet printer. The ink can smear, and you can tell it was done cheaply. Print it out using a laser printer, which has the best looking text, and does not smear. It is better to stay away from crazy paper colors as well. If you must use colored paper, stick with light subtle (pastel) colors with white or subtle variations of white. Having these lighter colors creates a strong contrast with the content on the page.

When you are ready to submit your resume, make sure there are no folds, smears, or marks on the page. These things will make you look sloppy.

In summary, it is best to keep things clean and simple. Do not add information that is not needed or relevant to the job. Use space and clean fonts to your advantage, making it easier for the employer to scan over your information. Always try and print your resume via a laser printer on paper that contrasts nicely with the text. Good Luck!



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