When undergoing the task of professional resume writing, there are certain rules you should follow. Obviously you should avoid spelling and grammar mistakes at all costs, but that’s not all you need to do. It turns out, there are actually quite a few rules to follow when writing the perfect resume. Here’s what they are.
No First Person Pronouns
Your resume should not include words like “I” or “me” or “my”. This is a common mistake, which is completely understandable since you’re resume is in fact all about you. But even so, do your best to avoid first person pronouns at all costs. Instead of saying, “I managed all major advertising accounts within the firm,” keep it short with “Managed all major advertising accounts”.
Always Send As a PDF
When you send your resume out with your application, you should always send it as a PDF file. Don’t send it as a Word document – or God forbid a Google Docs page. When you send it as a PDF, you’ll just be sending an image of the resume rather than a document that contains all the text. This ensures that the people reading view it in exactly the same format as it is intended to be seen.
Don’t Ignore the Labeling
When you send the PDF document, you might not realize that the person opening the file can see what that file is labeled as. Perhaps you’ve saved your resume as “My KickAss Resume” and didn’t realize that this named remained as the label until after the fact. Always label your resume as something professional, like First Name Last Name Resume.pdf.
Readability is Key (and So Is Consistency)
Delivering a resume that is easy to read is essential. Readability is determined by a few things, including word choice, sentence structure, and overall flow. There are certain tools you can use to rank your resume’s readability before you send out the final draft. One of these is called Readability Score, which will actually give you a score on how readable the content is and tell you how to improve it.
One of the main causes of low readability is inconsistency in verb tense. Do your best to stay consistent throughout the page by keeping the verb tense the same. Also, stay consistent with other factors as well, like font, bolded words, and structure.
Drop Names (and Titles) Like It’s Your Job
This is your ultimate chance to brag (that’s essentially all that a resume is). If you received a promotion at your last job where you got the chance to work directly with the CEO, don’t be afraid to mention that person’s name. This will resonate well with any potential employer and also show that you’re confident.
However, keep in mind that references aren’t necessary for applying to jobs. There is only so much available on that tiny 8 ½ x 11” page, so don’t waste the space with reference. You can always include them afterwards after your resume has been looked over.
Who knew there were so many rules to writing a resume?! As long as you stick to these, your resume will be within the top contenders for any job you apply for.