22 Do’s and Don’ts of Drafting a Professional Resume

Do’s and Don’ts

All of you must have struggled with resume creation at some point of time. If you haven’t, then this seemingly daunting task is probably waiting for you just around the corner. Without an effective resume, it would be very difficult to get through to the interview rounds unless you have the skill as well as determination of global leaders like Bill Gates and the Late Steve Jobs. Make sure that you have a professionally formatted and carefully drafted resume to stand out from the crowd.

Before going into the details of professional resume etiquettes, let’s take a look at some intriguing facts about recruitment.

  • The average recruiter just about 6 seconds to scan the resume before deciding the fate of the candidate.
  • Recruiters spend 80% of the total time given for reviewing a resume to check the following details.

-Current Company / Designation
-Previous Designation / Company
-Recent Position start and end dates
-Previous Position start and end dates

  • 88% of resumes are discarded instantly if they include a photograph
  • 76% of resumes get rejected due to an unprofessional email address
  • 78% of all resumes are misleading with fictitious or overly exaggerated facts represented by the candidate.

You need not be scared by these facts. This is a just a glimpse of the actual recruitment scenario that is witnessed globally. Remember, when you send in your application, you are not the only one applying for the job. There are hundreds of applicants who are trying their best to secure the position. How do you stand out from the crowd? Recruitment involves two major phases, the sorting of suitable candidates, and the personal interview. Applications are sorted on the basis of the applicants’ resumes, so make sure that you prepare it with utmost care.

Resume Do’sDo

Make sure you keep the following things in mind while preparing your resume.

1. Highlight your most relevant experiences and present specific achievements instead of mentioning the general roles and responsibilities given to you.

2. Add keywords for optimizing the content for applicant tracking systems. You may find suitable keywords by reviewing the job description provided by the recruiter and by analysing the key skills that are demanding in the applicable industry.

3. Mention realistic and quantifiable data to support your achievements. Numbers go a long way in creating a strong impression on the recruiters.

4. You should pen down any soft skill that you may have. Back it up with realistic and quantifiable data to prove your claims.

5. Recruiters always prefer achievers over others. If you have achievements, present them on the resume. For those who have a lot of achievements, make sure that you present only the most important and significant achievements.

6. Come up with your own custom resume design to ensure that your capabilities are presented exactly how you would want them to be. After all, the resume is your marketing pitch to the recruiters. I am sure you would want to make a long lasting impression in the first attempt.

7. Consider using a summary statement. These lines need to give a broad outline of everything that has been presented in the resume. This would be one of the first few things that a recruiter will notice, so make sure that it is absolutely stunning.

8. Use proper English and keep it simple. With less than 6 seconds to make an impression, you would not want the recruiters to spend a good portion of this time trying to decipher your overly flamboyant use of the English language.

9. Include your contact information and make sure it is clearly visible. Don’t make it difficult for the recruiters to contact you, or else you could lose a good opportunity.

10. Use the right font and stick to a well-spaced out format. There is no need to fit in every possible detail that you remember. A good resume should not exceed 2 pages in length.

11. Add references and recommendations. This will give you some leverage and give adequate weightage to your resume.

Resume DON’Ts


Resume DONTs

1. Don’t lie! That’s the fundamental rule of resume writing. If you think you can deceive recruiters by presenting exaggerated or fake information, then you are wrong. There is no problem in having less skill or experience. Should the recruiters find the lies, your career would be at a serious risk.

2. Don’t freak out under pressure! There is no need to freak out if you have no experience or have gaps in your resume. In such cases, you can focus on your skills rather than relying on relevant work experience to get a job.

3. Don’t use jargons and cliché statements. This is an absolute put-off for recruiters and will result in your resume finding its way to the rejected list in the blink of an eye. The same is applicable for stereotypical formats. Stop following age old formats that are boring, out of trend and downright ineffective.

4. Never use negative phrases to state the facts. For example, instead of “fixed team issues”, it would be better to mention, “Created effective strategies / solutions for team coordination”.

5. While the design and presentation of the resume is important, don’t spend a lot of time on this particular aspect. You need to give sufficient time for preparing the data that would be presented in it.
6.Avoid using more than 2 font types. Too many fonts in a single document increase the reading difficulty.

7. Don’t use a lot of text effects (such as bold, italics, all caps, etc.) to highlight specific texts or data. Instead of highlighting the sections, you will end up creating a lot of distractions.

8. Never send the resume as a word document. This is not professional at all and shows lack of concern on your part. PDF formats are generally preferred by recruiters and it makes the document scan-friendly for automated application reviewing systems.

9. Don’t forget to check the document for spelling and grammatical errors. The worst mistake that you could do is to send in a resume that is full of errors, especially grammatical errors. It makes a bad impression.

10. Don’t use more than 2 lines for every bullet statement. You should also try to stick to less than 4-5 bullet points per section. Anything more than this will only seem to be distracting.

11.  Never use just one version of your resume for all job applications. The beauty of a resume is that it can be optimized for every job application to ensure that relevant skills, expertise and achievements are highlighted to suit the respective job profile.

Get Professional Assistance


professional resume writer

Still not able to figure out a way to prepare an impressive resume by yourself? You probably need help from the experts. Get your resume prepared by a professional resume writer to save time and effort. Plus, you will get a resume that has been optimized to make you stand out from the competition. Trust me, it is worth giving a try.

Resume and Cover Letter Tips

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