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Main » 2011 » May » 16 » Most Important Basic Resume Tips
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Most Important Basic Resume Tips

Important basic Resume Tips :

Always Follow These Basic Standards….

* Don’t overcrowd your resume; allow for plenty of white space.

* Keep your resume to one page whenever possible.

* Keep the number of fonts you use to a minimum — two at the most.

* Use a font that is easy to read. Times Roman works well.

* Do not justify the lines of type on your resume. Allow the right side of the page to "rag.”

* Do not overuse capitalization, italics, underlines, or other emphasizing features.

* Make sure your name, address, and a phone number appear on your resume and all correspondence, preferably at the top of the page.

* Print your resume on white or cream paper using a good-quality printer.

* Second- and third-generation photocopies must be avoided

* Print on one side of the paper only.

Avoid Mistakes :


To avoid spelling mistakes:

* Don’t use words with which you aren’t familiar.

* Use a dictionary as you write.

* Perform a spell check on your finished resume.

* Carefully read every word in your resume.

* Have a friend or two proof read your resume for you.


Things to look for :

* Periods at the end of all full sentences.

* Be consistent in your use of punctuation.

* Always put periods and commas within quotation marks.

* Avoid using exclamation points.


Grammar hang-ups to watch for:

* The duties you currently perform should be in present tense (i.e., write reports)

* Duties you may have performed at past jobs should be in past tense (i.e., wrote reports).

* Capitalize all proper nouns.

* When expressing numbers, write out all numbers between one and nine (i.e., one, five, seven), but

* use numerals for all numbers 10 and above (i.e., 10, 25, 108).

* If you begin a sentence with a numeral, spell out that numeral (e.g. Eleven service awards won while employed.).

* Make sure your date formats are consistent (i.e.11/22/01 or Nov. 22, 2001, or 11.22.01. Choose one and stick with it.).

Choose Your Words Carefully :

Phrase yourself well:

* Be on the lookout for the following easily confused words:

* accept (to receive), except (to exclude)

* all right (correct), alright (this is not a word)

* affect (to bring about change), effect (result)

* personal (private), personnel (staff members)

* role (a character assigned or a function), roll (to revolve).

* Use action words (i.e., wrote reports, increased revenues, directed staff).


In most instances it is not necessary to include names and address of references on the resume. If you include a reference, make it sure that the referenced person knows very well about you. It is also advisable to add the persons as references, whom the employer can contact easily. If possible add the phone number and e-mail ID of the reference. Never add a person as a reference, about whom you know nothing


Employers have a busy schedule, so don’t expect them to read through a long resume. Ideally, resumes should be of one page, or of two pages only if absolutely necessary, to describe relevant work experience.


Use of language is extremely important; you need to sell yourself to an employer quickly and efficiently. Address your potential employer’s needs with a clearly written, compelling resume. Avoid large paragraphs (five or six lines). If you provide small, digestible pieces of information, your resume will be read. Use action verbs. Verbs such as "developed”, "managed”, and "designed” emphasise your accomplishments. Don’t use declarative sentences like "I developed the …” or "I assisted in …”, leave out the "I”. Avoid passive constructions, such as "was responsible for managing”. Just say, "managed”: that sounds stronger and more active.


Employers need to know what you have accomplished to have an idea of what you can do for them. Don’t be vague. Telling someone that you "improved the company’s efficiency” doesn’t say much. But if you say that you "cut overhead costs by 20 per cent and saved the company Rs 20 lakh during the last fiscal year”, you are more specific.


Employers will feel more comfortable hiring you if they can verify your accomplishments. There is a difference between making the most of your experience and exaggerating or falsifying it. A falsified resume can cost you the job later.


Check your resume for correct grammar and spelling – evidence of good communication skills and attention to detail. Nothing can ruin your chances of getting a job faster than submitting a resume filled with preventable mistakes. Make your resume easy on the eye. Use normal margins (1″ on the top and bottom, 1.25″ on the sides) and don’t cram your text on the page. Allow for some space between the different sections. Avoid unusual or exotic fonts. Preferred fonts: Arial and Times Roman.

Tips on Impressive Resume Writing :

The following are some tips on writing your resume and effective interviewing that may help you in the job-seeking and placement process.

Resume Writing Tips

An effective resume provides concise, factual, and positive information about you to help employers decide whether you are the best candidate. It is your marketing tool to assist in selling your talents to a prospective employer. Since it remains after your interview is over, it reminds the employer about your background.

It should be limited to one to two pages and summarize your experience, skills, and education to highlight your qualifications for employment.

Your resume should say:

* Who you are

* What you know and have done

* What kind of work you want

* Why you should be hired

A cover letter should accompany your resume, because it serves to focus the aspects of your experience and education that are directly applicable to the job. A cover letter may demonstrate your attitude, work ethic, and written communication skills. A well-written cover letter and resume can play a major role in establishing your candidacy and increasing the likelihood you will be called for an interview.

Your work history should include the name of each employer, your job title, employment dates, and a brief description of your duties and responsibilities, as well as relevant achievements and specials skills, including military experience.

List, if appropriate to your field of work, memberships in professional organizations, knowledge of foreign languages, articles published, inventions or patents, and skills such as typing or computer software knowledge. Avoid religious or political affiliations.

In citing your educational background, don’t provide details (like a listing of major courses) unless the job requires it, your work experience is limited, or you did not graduate but want to show you have taken courses related to your occupation. If you want to emphasize your education, place it before your work history; otherwise, you should place it after your work history.

* List all conferred degrees, starting with the highest. If you have not received a degree but have attended college, you may list the total number of hours completed. Give the name and location of the college, degree(s) conferred, and major field(s) of study.

* Include job-related extracurricular activities and significant scholastic honors.

* Include any other pertinent education, such as vocational, professional, or military schools.

List professional licenses or certificates.

Do not list references on your resume. Simply include a statement, such as "References available upon request,” at the bottom of your resume. Have a separate sheet listing your references and bring this to an interview. Notify your references if it appears you are being seriously considered for a position. It is a good idea to send copies of your resume to the references you plan to use.

Carefully consider the language and format of your resume. Limit the length of your resume by using concise phrasing rather than complete sentences. You should convey a positive tone and use strong action verbs to describe job-related responsibilities and accomplishments. A few examples of action verbs are: instructed, demonstrated, performed, planned, motivated, increased, trained, solved.

* Make your resume easy to read and scan; use white space to make text stand out.

* Use serif fonts (Times New Roman or Ariel), type size 10.5 or 11.

* Avoid using "I” statements; instead begin sentences or phrases with action verbs.

* Devote more space to recent jobs than to earlier ones.

* Write out all numbers from one to nine; use numerals for 10-999,999.

* Write your name and phone number on each page (in case pages get separated).

* Do not misrepresent or exaggerate your experience.

* Do not use abbreviations or jargon, either professional or technical, unless it is relevant to the position and all readers will be sure to understand the terms.

* Do not include a snapshot.

* Be aware of information or dates that could be used to screen you out of consideration.

Neatness definitely counts, so be consistent with the layout- – pay attention to the arrangement of headings, captions, use of capitals, underscoring, and fonts. Lead your reader’s eye through points with headings, bullets, bold type, and white space. Of course, check for typographical errors and mistakes in grammar, spelling, or punctuation. Be critical – - have at least one other person proofread and review your resume.

What Makes a Curriculum Vitae Stand Out?

You’ll generate a better response with your curriculum vitae if it is well organized and is packed with relevant information to match and support your professional, academic or research objective.

As a Job Placement Specialist for the University of Washington, Bothell I worked with students submitting curriculum vitaes for graduate programs. In this capacity, I applied several unique strategies when writing each curriculum vitae. The first was to prioritize and list the most relevant academic, research, volunteer or work history experience first within the curriculum vitae. The second was to include an Objective and Summary of Qualifications section at the top of each C.V. The third was to incorporate many of the strategies and resume writing techniques you’ll learn by perusing the resume tips in this site as well as in my sister site which offers 40 Free Resume and Job Search Workshops.

These strategies proved to be extremely effective and boosted the acceptance rate of students applying for highly competitive graduate programs – many of which accepted only one to twelve students out of 300 to 600 applicants. My endeavors and success in this arena were recognized and commented on by the Director of Student Activities as a result of students reporting their acceptance into graduate programs.

Preparing effective C.V.’s presents a unique challenge due to length, which can make them boring and result in important data being buried or lost in such a long document. As a result, prioritizing your top skills and experience to be presented in the first or uppermost section of your C.V. makes sense. Then detail additional educational, employment or academic experience.

In this way you will maximize important criteria which you do not want to be overlooked by academic or hiring committees.

Who Needs A Curriculum Vitae?

A curriculum vitae is often required for those applying to graduate or professional programs, employment with international firms, or when promoting oneself within professional and academic fields.

How Does a Curriculum Vitae Differ From A Regular Resume?

A curriculum vitae is longer than the average 1-2 page resume because it provides a greater range of information which can include:

Professional, Vocational or Research Objective

Summary of Qualifications

Professional Licenses or Certifications

Education including Post Graduate, Graduate and Undergraduate Degrees and Studies

Listing of Relevant Course work to Match Career or Academic Objective

Educational or Professional Honors or Awards

Scientific or Academic Research, Laboratory Experience and Related Skills

Description of Thesis or Dissertation, Papers Written, Publications

Academic or Professional Presentations

Related Extracurricular Activities, Professional and Association Memberships

Community Involvement

Work Experience – Paid or Volunteer

Technical and Specialized Skills such as Computer Progamming or Laboratory         Instrumentation

Interests – Future Academic or Professional Goals

Travel / Exposure to Cultural Experiences

Foreign Language Skills

Additional Information that May Support Objective or Qualifications

CV Tips – some tips on how to write your Curriculum Vitae

There are literally hundreds, if not thousands of sites out there offering tips on how to write your CV or Resume – this article covers the basic CV and Resume tips you need to get started.

CV Tips – Use clear formating on your CV – there’s no point having having great content if it is horrible to look at!

CV Tips – Don’t make your CV too long – your Curriculum Vitae isn’t an essay!

CV Tips – Only certain groups of people need photos on their CV (actors, models, etc) – NOT everyone!

CV Tips – Your CV /Resume is about tomorrow, not yesterday. Concentrate on experience and achievement that equips you for an even better future and leave out stuff you have gone beyond.

CV Tips – Put yourself in the mind of the reader and ask what will make them excited. Your CV is not a list of demands for what you want so don’t focus on an objective or a naive profile; replace both with a strong but simple list of the assets (knowledge, skills, track records, achievements) that you will contribute to your NEXT employer.

CV Tips – PELLING. Check it once. Check it twice. Have others read it.

CV Tips – There is no conventional grammar in a CV -resume (it’s all bullets; phrases; headlines and captions) so turn the grammar checker OFF and don’t try to use full sentences.

CV Tips – Never use the first person, I, me, we, our – unless you are very young and want to seem cute.

CV Tips – No text boxes or tables under any circumstances; agencies may wish to manipulate and reformat your CV and that will hinder them.

CV Tips – Watch for repetitions like "responsible for” and try to make your points more than just a job spec or an embarrassing list of "action words” – being all functional and results biased is already old hat – read our advice for more sophisticated and thoughtful alternatives.

Writing your European Curriculum Vitae –

5 top CV tips

The five basic principles for a writing a good CV are:

1. Concentrate on the essentials

* A CV must be brief: in most cases one to two pages are sufficient. In any event, do not exceed three pages.

* If your work experience is limited, describe your education and training first; highlight work placements during training

* If language skills are important for the job you are applying for, fill in the Europass Language Passport available on this site and attach it to the CV.

2. Be clear and concise

* Use short sentences.

* Concentrate on the relevant aspects of your training and work experience.

* Explain any breaks in your studies or career.

3. Adapt your CV to suit the post you are applying for

* Before sending your CV to an employer, check that it corresponds to the profile required.

* Do not include work experience or training which is not relevant to the application.

* Highlight your advantages according to the specific needs of the prospective employer.

* Beware: do not artificially inflate your CV; if you do, you are likely to be found out at interview.

4. Take care over the presentation of your CV

* Set out your skills and competences clearly and logically, so that your advantages stand out.

* Pay attention to details such as spelling and punctuation.

* NB: Print your CV on white paper. Retain the suggested font and layout.

5. Check your CV once you have filled it in

* Remove any spelling mistakes, and ensure it is laid out clearly and logically.

* Have someone else re-read your CV so that you are sure the content is clear and easy                                to understand.

Top Tips

Don’t worry too much about whether to follow a functional, skills-based, or chronological format. Instead focus on finding the most effective way to showcase the assets that make you a strong candidate. Although there are no hard and fast rules associated with writing a CV, by following simple guidelines, you will give yourself the best opportunity to shine.

Put yourself in the shoes of the employer

Write down a description of the person the employer is looking for and use this as a blue-print for this particular CV. The more effectively you show a clear match between the skills required and those you possess, the more likely you are to succeed.

Be honest and factual

If you find it difficult to match your own experience with the requirements of the role, perhaps it is not the one for you. A CV not only gets you through the door but will in fact structure the interview. Providing inaccurate information will only lead to problems further down the line. In fact, according to research appearing in The Guardian (July 06), 86% of interviewers think that CVs are not completely truthful. Employers are likely to check the validity of information on your CV if you are offered the role, give yourself the edge and tell the truth.

Headline key skills and attributes

If a recruiter has to trawl through your CV to find strong evidence of where you have proven yourself against their criteria, then you are severely limiting your changes of being noticed. Ensure you draw attention to your key skills and attributes in a precise and clear format.

Describe key responsibilities and achievements

Although the job description and/or advert will highlight the technical skills required for a particular role, underlining key achievements will provide the opportunity to show how you can add value and distinguish yourself from other candidates.

Provide your most relevant information first

If the information contained within your CV clearly demonstrates your suitability for a role and enhances your chances of being short-listed, always include it near the beginning. The beginning of your CV should act as a hook for the reader and as such will impact their future perception of you. By making a strong statement at the beginning you will be more likely to get the reader to buy into what you to say.

Avoid irrelevancy

As interesting as the recent birth of your cat’s new kittens might be to you, unless it relates to the job you are applying for, leave it out.  Employers will view irrelevant detail as a waste of space and it may only serve to highlight how little appropriate experience you have to offer.

Recent and relevant training

Including recent and relevant training highlights will highlight your commitment to professional development and could make the difference between you and other candidates with a similar background.

Professional memberships and relevant qualifications

You should be very proud of your 25 metre swimming certificate, but is it relevant?! Memberships of bodies such as the CIM, the Law Society or CIPD are.

Include referees

These can be ‘available on request’, however providing the details of individuals willing to speak on your behalf sends out a great message. If you are worried about potential employers contacting referees before the appropriate time, state that you do not want them to be approached until you have given permission.

Make yourself easy to contact

Have all your contact details easily available on page one. Make sure to include your name, address, phone (with an alternative number, if available) and e-mail. If you have created a particularly good personal website, then include the website address.

Make the most of your experience and expertise

According to research published in the Guardian (July 06) only 8% of employers regard academic qualifications as indicators of an employees’ ability to do a job. There are obviously exceptions to this rule, such as roles that demand high academic ability (e.g. brain surgeon, physician). On the whole though, employers see more value in a potential employee’s achievements and attitude, and in their ability to recognise what is required to successfully get the job done than they do in academic achievements.

Keep it short

Your CV should be no more than two pages – remember quality over quantity. Don’t waste space talking about why you left prior roles, as this is sure to feature in the interview. Provide enough information to tempt recruiters but leave them wanting more.

Pay attention to the format, look and feel

Almost all roles now require a degree of computer literacy. Demonstrate that you understand the principles of presentation and ensure there are no spelling or grammar mistakes in. Use a universal font such as Arial or Times New Roman and print with black ink onto a quality white A4 paper (minimum 100gsm).

Always include a covering letter

For details on how to format a covering letter, please see "Covering Letters”.

Do’s and Don’ts

Once you have decided on the structure that’s best for you, it is important to follow these simple yet highly effective rules.


* Use keywords to show you match the particular requirements

* Keep it short and snappy

* Put your most important skills at the beginning

* Keep the format simple

* Use plain fonts: no italics, underlining or borders

* Provide your full contact details on page one

* Keep a printed copy close by in case of enquiries

* Explain gaps in your career history


* Mailshot companies – direct approaches to companies or organisations should be personalised and unique

* Waffle

* Be tempted to be dishonest

* Try to hide failures, mistakes or shortcomings; accept them, learn from them, seek to improve on them, and explain why and how you have done this

* Include current salary details

* Be arrogant – it does not sit favourably with recruiters who have seen more inflated statements than you could ever imagine

* Be tempted to use overly elaborate designs

What is a CV?

Your CV is a brief summary of your abilities, education, experience and skills. Its main task is to convince prospective employers to contact you for interview.

If your CV is well produced, and a genuine reflection of who you are and what you can do, it will give all the information employers need to decide that you are the right person for the interview.

Why is your CV so important?

*It will probably be used to form an employer’s first impression of you.

*A well-produced CV helps you get the interview for the job you want and are most suited for.

*It is a marketing tool that you are in total control of.

*It’s an opportunity to play to your strengths and pass over your weaknesses.

When should you use a CV?

*When asked to send a CV.

*If an advertisement says "apply in writing”.

*To take to careers and recruitment fairs.

*As a tool to help you to write application forms or practice job interviews.

*To contact employers you would like to work for.

*When meeting someone who might help you getting a job.

Fuse Says A CV is not an application form and should never be used instead of one.

An application form has been designed by someone else, but YOU control the design and content of your CV.

What’s the right structure?

On one level, whatever works!  But the most common tried-and-tested format is:

Personal Details (doesn’t need a heading, it’s obvious what it is!)

Name, Full Address and Phone Number, e-mail address.

Personal Profile (again, doesn’t need a heading)

This should be a brief description of you.  It should include who you are, the skills you bring and what you want (i.e. now looking for…)

Key Skills or Technical skills (use a bulleted-list if you can, it’s easier to read)

Your most relevant skill and abilities for the job you are applying for.  Include skills derived from training, such as ‘word processing’, skills derived from experience at work such as ‘office administration skills’, and skills derived from other experience, such as ‘communication skills’. Where possible don’t just list it, explain how good you are.

Employment / Work / Career History

Most recent job first – that’s the one they’re most interested in. Include your job titles, employer, the dates you worked and a short description of your role (focus on your achievements not just the tasks you did).  Don’t repeat things, don’t worry with jobs over 10 years ago.  Don’t forget any work experience or voluntary work.

Education and Training

You may not wish to list all your subjects and grades.  Think about what is positive and relevant.  Start with the most recent or relevant qualifications and training.  Don’t overload this section with swimming certificates from twenty years ago!

Personal Information

*Driving licence – cab be worth mentioning, but only if it is full and clean and relevant to the job you are applying for (e.g. a driving job!)

*Interests and Hobbies – worth mentioning if they are current, they show you have an active interest in many things, and may make a point of discussion at the interview, or if they’re relevant to the job you’re applying for

*List membership of any professional associations, any groups you’re involved in – even if it’s chairing the neighbourhood watch or a school council it all helps!

Things to remember…

oMake sure you have a professional message on your answer phone – voice mail, you never know who could call, or when

oAsk someone to proof read your CV, to check for spelling errors or content mistakes

oCheck your personal details – sound obvious but the amount of times people put the wrong phone number on their CV would amaze you

oThink about what your e-mail address says about you.  Addresses like or will not help present a professional image.  Consider obtaining a free email account from Hotmail or Yahoo and keep job application emails separate from personal email.

oIf you are sending your CV by post, use good quality plain white A4 paper, post it in an A4 envelope and don’t fold it,  by the time it gets to it’s destination it could look a mess

oBe honest – although a CV does allow you to gloss over things (such as exam results), or exaggerate a little, never lie or mislead – you’ll only get found out at interview and waste everyone’s time including your own!

So what makes a great CV?

+targeted – to the specific vacancy, role or sector you are applying for

+clear and easy to read- logically ordered, a sensible font, and not cramped

+informative but concise

+accurate – in content, spelling and grammar

+short – usually no need for more than 2 A4 pages.

+positive- shows confidence and highlights your strongest points

10 Top Tips for CV Writing :

When you are writing a CV, you are communicating with someone who you have probably never met. Its important to try and make this first impression count. Quick wins as you write your CV are easy, and its not hard to make a good CV. Follow our top CV tips to make your job hunting successful! Good luck with writing your CV.

1) Your Curriculum Vitae will not get you a job.

The best you can hope for is that the company you are applying to will look at your Curriculum Vitae and offer you an interview. When creating your Curriculum Vitae, its worth bearing in mind that the person looking at it will be considering inviting you for for an interview. Don’t give them so much information that they can easily dismiss your application. Concentrate on positive statements and your achievements, however small they may appear to you.

2) On our Curriculum Vitaes we do not have a section for hobbies & interests.

It doesn’t matter if you like hang gliding or are a committed pagan, they are unlikely to be relevant to the job. They can only serve to be taking up valuable space at best. At worst, they can serve to get your application rejected.

3) Pictures.

Unless you are applying to be a model, what you look like should not make any difference. Most Curriculum Vitaes will be printed out by the companies so they can sort through them and make notes. Have you seen your photo printed out on a mono laser printer? Everyone looks like a photofit from Crimewatch. Attaching photographs, unless specifically requested, will again hinder the companies who are sorting through the application.

4) Keep it simple.

Your Curriculum Vitae should be to the point. Don’t think of it as an exercise in your literary prowess, just concentrate on getting the spelling right! There is no ideal minimum, but if it stretches to more than 3 pages, consider reducing some of the items in length, but never miss out anything.

5) Work the system.

Many agencies use software to search through Curriculum Vitaes for key words. Our Curriculum Vitae system makes best use of this. Remember to always use keywords in your descriptions too.

Start your Curriculum Vitae now

6) Tailor your Curriculum Vitae for different jobs.

Check the job description and move the emphasis on your Curriculum Vitae to match the requirements. This doesn’t mean lie, its simply a method of getting your Curriculum Vitae to work for you. For example a driving job may ask for good knowledge of London. If you have this knowledge, make sure its in your skills list and appears in the description of each job where it was used. This will really improve your chances of getting that interview.

7) Print quality.

Paper choice is important, make sure is bright white and A4. If you can get it printed out on a laser printer, even better. Make sure it goes out clean and if at all possible, unfolded. If you do not have access to a decent printer and paper, we can do it for you. Look for the upgrade option when you login and write your CV.

8) Covering letter.

Some companies request a covering letter in you own handwriting. If your handwriting is bad, don’t get someone else to do it. Simply keep it very brief and to the point. Ensure that it looks neat & tidy and is readable. Get someone else to check it for spelling too.

9) Don’t leave gaps.

Missing years in your history will be viewed with suspicion. The recipient will have visions of years at Her Majestys pleasure at worst. At best, they will think of a string of failed jobs which you are trying to hide. Remember to always tell the truth.

10) Always keep your Curriculum Vitae up to date.

Through the course of a year at work, you will experience new things, and probably go through some training both formal and informal. Its easy to spend an hour a month keeping your Curriculum Vitae updated, rather than try to remember what training you did one day three years ago. Remember, CV writing is easier when you are adding to an existing CV rather than starting from scratch.

First employment

Your first job must be a good learning experience you can get when you leave college life after graduation and get hired and join the work force – which is the real world you should fit in. You are now a professional and your first employment would bring you much excitement working day by day five to six days a week. Since you are very excited of your first job you are very eager to learn many things, too aggressive to get the work done as professionally as possible. Here you would start examining yourself as an employee and what you can do and help to make your bosses proud of you. After all, you are paid to the job and this must be the best benefit you can get from working, aside from other bonuses and fringe benefits which maybe given to you later.

As your bosses discover your potential the excitements never stops there. You begin to attend to seminars and employee workshops to widen your horizon and become efficient and very productive. Your boss would also let you attend trainings representing the company if you posses the quality of a future section head or department head depending on your educational background, qualifications and the kind of training you have attended. If you aim for promotion you should increase your level of education by enrolling yourself in graduate studies to get advance units for master degree level. This is very important especially when you work in educational institutions. Your level of education will be the first priority for promotion, length of service and seminars and training you’ve attended.

An employee would become candidate for promotion if he reaches many years in his work assignment and when his supervisor would recommend to the promotion board. Remember, when you are promoted to a much higher position that your previous one, this would mean an increase in your salary and other benefits.

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