There’s a lot that goes into job searching and anyone in the workforce can say the same. Your resume needs to be in tip-top shape, as well as your cover letter. You need to have a good approach during the interview process and be able to negotiate terms for yourself as well. 

The hardest and most important part of the process is writing a resume because everything rides on the fact that you need to inspire confidence in the hiring managers so that you can reach the other steps. Writing a resume can be a stressful process, but there is an art to it. If you follow the do’s and don’ts we have outlined, you will achieve the perfect resume. If you’re looking for a completely free resume builder, click the link to find Resume Giant’s tool. 

Here’s a list of the do’s:

Keep It Short

Your resume should be about quality, not quantity. You should keep the length short, this is one of the most common mistakes people make. Resumes should be 1-2 pages at most. It should give an idea of your qualifications and experience while keeping it concise. Your cover letter and interview will already give more details about you. Most hiring managers only skim through resumes, so it is important to keep it short as it can lose their attention if it’s too long. 

You should include your contact information, professional experience, education and certifications, skills and accomplishments and references if they were requested on the job listing. 

You can also try out different orders to what you list on your resume to see which one looks best. You should make sure the most relevant information is up top and the rest following it. You can also always leave out information that isn’t relevant to the current job listing to make room for the relevant experiences to shine through. 

Adjust to Job Listing

Most companies use application tracking systems which filter out resumes that don’t include the relevant keywords included in the job listing. For this reason, it is vital to highlight job experiences that are relevant to the job listing. It also helps to include keywords that were used in the job listing as well to ensure your resume gets to the hiring manager’s desk. 

Format Properly

Formatting is what makes the information you include in your resume really pop. Since hiring managers mainly just skim resumes, it’s important to create a visual hierarchy of the text in your resume. This also says a lot to a hiring manager about your attention to detail and technical skills. 

Be wary of fonts and colours that make your text hard to read and make sure your page margins are 1” on all sides. It also helps to columnize your resume to give it a more visual feel and make the information easy to spot. You can also utilize the use of heading and font sizes to highlight job titles.

Now, here is a list of the don’ts:

Label Resume

There is no need to label your resume as most hiring managers should be able to do that from the information in your resume. 

Date the Resume

Some people automatically date their resumes, but there is no need for that. Employers don’t need to know when it was created. It is not relevant to the hiring process. 

Don’t Include Photographs

In some countries, it is acceptable to use photographs in your resume and they might even request it. This is not the case in the US as we have Equal Employment Opportunity legislation. The use of photographs might not help this as it can be grounds for hiring employees for discriminatory reasons. To be safe, don’t include a photograph unless it is requested, or is the norm in your country. Also, this might not apply to jobs such as acting or modelling. 

Don’t Lie 

When it comes to your resume, honesty is the best option. Lying on a resume might get you a job interview but can backfire during your employment at the company. This can also lead to the employer firing you for misrepresenting yourself on your resume.

Don’t List High School

It is only necessary to list your higher education on your resume. If your highest level of education is high school, that is the only situation in which you should include your high school degree within your resume. 

Don’t Include Unrelated Skills

Adding unrelated skills can be a red flag to recruiters as it doesn’t give you a better chance to get called for an interview. You should make sure your skills are relevant to the job that you are applying for. Avoid using words such as “team player” as it doesn’t give any necessary information and is overused. 

Don’t Give Reasons for Leaving Jobs

While this is information that the hiring manager might ask about during the interview, it is unprofessional to include it. Your resume should only highlight an overview of your work experience. It is completely unnecessary to add a paragraph about why you left a previous job. 

Don’t Mention References

Some people include terms such as “references available upon request” on their resumes. This is unnecessary as most employers operate under the assumption that you are able to provide references if they ask for them. However, be attentive while reading the job listing as some companies request references with your resume.