We interviewed recruiters on what the most crucial dos and don’ts are when it comes to crafting a resume and on the most common mistakes they see. Take note of these quick tips. These are the five things you can do to improve your resume right now.
1. DO limit it two pages max.
Shoot to get everything onto a single page. If you honestly think there’s enough worth mentioning (and you’ve tightened the type and spacing within reason) to spill over on a second page, okay — but only if you’re a senior-level type.
2. DON’T add filler.
In the vast majority of cases, all anybody really needs to learn from your resume is what your last three jobs were, education history (if you were in school during recent history or it’s impressive), the technical skills you possess, and maybe a line for references. Again, how impressive these are can determine whether or not it’s worth including. Almost anything that happened more than ten years ago can probably be scrapped.
3. DO choose a sensible font.
Even if you’re a designer, save the tricks for your portfolio work. Choose a font that reads clearly and is in line with the typographical hierarchy you’ve set for your resume.
4. DO format consistently.
Wonky formatting can make people absolutely bonkers. If you’re switching techniques mid-document like alternating em-dashes with bullet points, it’s a pretty safe bet that you’re provoking someone’s pet peeve. You don’t want to give the wrong impression before you even meet.
5. DON’T make any typos.
Typos can be forgiven in some contexts (most of which involve a phone) but on a resume, it is utterly forbidden. No wiggle room here so read your resume forwards and backwards, out loud, and one more time than you think is necessary.
Now, we understand that every rule has its exceptions but these five tips are quick and basic things you should be doing first.
Marjorie is a former Creative Circle candidate based in Portland who recently accepted a full-time offer for her dream job. She is a writer/editor and stylist/producer with an emphasis in the design world. If you are interested in working with someone like Marjorie, please contact your nearest Creative Circle office.