Be consistent in formatting.
For example, if bullets start with a verb in the same tense (created, implemented, tracked, etc.) make sure they all do. If bullets are in sentences with a period at the end, all bullets should be sentences with a period at the end. Contrarily, they could all be sentence fragments with no punctuation. But be consistent. All headings should be the same font, same size, same color, boldness, or italics, or lack thereof.
Use no more than 2 different fonts, and keep them professional.
Clarity and ease of reading trumps fancy fonts with too many variations. A couple of fonts and a couple of sizes (10-12) should do the job for both clarity and elegance. Be cautious in adding more. Arial and Times New Roman are solid choices, but you can vary to Helvetica and Verdana.
Put relevant information.
For a professional resume, they don’t care that you worked at a burger joint. Unless you are applying for a management position at a burger joint. Put relevant information for the position you are applying to. If you are applying to different jobs, change your resume to reflect the experience(s) most relevant to the position. But keep a private list of all your work experiences so you can mix and match as necessary.
Let a book or Web site help.
Lacking in creativity? There are books and Web sites with sample resumes and templates. You can use them for inspiration for formatting. Put your information in their format to help you along.
Remove any objective statement.
While an objective statement appears often in advice, they are no longer fashionable in the resume world. You will immediately look out of date to a recruiter. However, have an objective clearly in your own head to keep your focus.
Note accomplishments with responsibilities.
You will want to note your previous responsibilities, but to emphasize your accomplishments. Numbers help, so put them in. Keep track of accomplishments, and put them in your constantly-revised resume. It will keep you ready when you look for a job.
Do not lie.
The interview will show it if you lie. Or you’ll end up losing the job. Be honest and find a job that matches what you can do. Or work to obtain the skills and apply later.
Read the job description repeatedly.
Be clear on what they want and consider how you can answer their need. Come ready with a resume and argument proving you meet those needs.
Order material in reverse chronological order.
They want to see your recent, relevant experience before the older information.
Beware of controversial interests.
While putting interests that show organization or responsibility can be a good thing, displaying your religion or your politics can alienate a recruiter. Consider leaving those out.
Name all attached files for their convenience, not yours.
If you attach a file for the application, give your files names that help the receiver. Don’t name it Resume.pdf, but instead name it James Romos Resume.pdf. Also, save the document as a pdf, which is a better file format to maintain the formatting you’ve worked so hard on.
Honor all deadlines for the application and interview process.
Going through the process is part of the job and the culture. If you can’t do it, you might not be a good fit. Otherwise, provide all documentation by the deadlines provided.
References available upon request.
Do not put that on your resume. Like the objective statement, it is old fashioned and unnecessary.
A few quick reviews do not make a resume. Read it, re-read it, study it, and follow these tips. Remove any typos, misspellings, and grammatical errors. Yes, you will be dismissed with a laugh if a recruiter sees those kinds of errors on your resume. It matters. Have and friend proofread it, maybe two friends. Then…
Get professional help.
After doing all of the above, bring your resumes (and job descriptions if you can) to a professional at the Career Center. They can help with resume review, jobs, internships, and the Clothing Closet if you don’t appropriate clothing for an interview.