To Keep Your Writing Clear, Try To Avoid Using Abbreviations.
Unless you want to list “lazy” as a skill, I recommend avoiding all types of abbreviations.
I have come across many abbreviations, such as “Etc., Asst., Assoc.” It is understandable that you want to avoid writing extremely long sentences or titles, so using abbreviations might seem like a good idea. However, this actually comes across as lazy and unprofessional. For your own personal note-taking, use abbreviations sparingly.
Don’t Use Meaningless, Cookie-Cutter Phrases on Your Resume.
There are two most popular resume lines, which I’m sure many of you have seen or used before:
“Objective” and “References Provided Upon Request” Should Be Avoided.
However, while both are appealing, they are not. It’s one thing to include something in your resume with a clear and meaningful aim, and it’s another to put it in there because everyone else is doing it.
If you’re certain that you want to include a goal, make sure it’s relevant to the position for which you’re applying. Here is an example of a good versus poor objective:
Objective: To continue to provide services in order to enhance under-served areas of New York City, particularly those who suffer from and are affected by [X, Y & X].
Objective: I am looking for an entry-level position where I can use my skills and grow within a company.
“Upon Request, References Are Provided”
While this may seem formal, it’s really no different than saying “Willing to interview upon request.” It’s simply stating the obvious. Employers are unlikely to read this line and exclaim, “References?! We’ve got a winner, folks!” In fact, regardless of the situation, reference checks will be done. A great way to proactively showcase your professional references is by including them on a separate page, instead of waiting for the interviewer to eventually ask.
Consistency Is Key.
Be consistent with your formatting choices. If you bold the names of your employers, make sure to do so for all of them. The same rule applies if you decide to italicize your position titles. If you choose to align your dates of employment 8 spaces after your employer name, then make sure all of your dates are aligned in the same manner.
Be Careful Not To Include Either Too Much or Too Little Information.
As I previously mentioned in my article “Overcoming the Battle of Interviewing,” ensure that your resume is tailored to the job you want. If you’re submitting your resume to an Informatics Specialist position, previous experience as a Sales Associate will not be very crucial. You don’t want the individual reading your resume to feel as if they’re reading chapter one of your autobiography; you want them to be able to get a clear picture of what you’ve done. However, do not forget important information either. If your volunteer or membership experience is relevant to the job for which you’re applying, make sure it’s not left out – regardless of how long you’ve been doing it. It’s important to keep your resume to 1-2 pages.
If You Choose Not To Use Complete Sentences, Omit the “Periods.”
Here is an example below:
- Every quarter, I provide the Vice President of Human Resources with an Excel Spreadsheet specifying the number of hires within each department.[period]
- Provide quarterly recruitment reports to the Vice President of Human Resources [no period]
The difference between the two lines above is notice-worthy, remember that periods are only for use at the end of complete sentences.
Pay Close Attention to the Tense of Your Sentence.
I often notice that candidates use incorrect verb tenses in their resume descriptions of prior workplaces. If you are no longer employed by the company, remember to use the past tense throughout your description.
Consider the following example: a staff member’s description of her current responsibilities and her prior responsibilities is as follows:
- Past: I was responsible for the dental office budget and approved supply requisitions.
- Current: We handle all of the finance and purchasing so that you can focus on your patients.
If you’re unsure about the correct tense to employ, avoid using present language in your descriptions. As long as you keep consistent with your resume, you may use past tense anywhere.
Always have another person check over your resume before you send it off. They might spot something small that you missed. Oftentimes, we overlook the most simple details…
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