En Route: A Career Blog

Resume Best Practices

AUTHOR: Darlene Zambruski
CATEGORY: , ,
POSTED: June 2, 2009 at 8:12 am

 

Resume Best Practices & Standards

1. Resume Design: Selecting the right design template to showcase your accomplishments based on your industry is important. If you’re in a conservative industry (banking, accounting), your template should reflect that and not lean heavily on designer fonts or frivolous designs.

2. Page Length: Recruiters and Hiring Managers prefer resumes to be two pages or less. However, the rule of thumb is: a modern resume is as long – or as short – as it needs to be, provided only relevant information for the new job search is included. Nothing extraneous.

3. Qualification (Opening) Summary versus Objective Statement: Recruiters and Hiring Managers prefer a qualifications summary over an objective statement every time. They want to see what candidates can bring to their organization in terms of performance rather than the candidate stating a position they want.

4. Quantify Accomplishments: A resume must have quantified accomplishments not a reiteration of a job description. Example: Increased productivity 58% within three months of hire by retraining staff on latest accounting software. Providing percentages, dollar figures, and timeframes strengthens achievements.

5. Strong Data Prioritization & Organization: The resume needs to be organized in standard sections. Within each section, the data is presented in reverse-chronological order (the last job or school listed first). The information is prioritized based on value to the Recruiter and Hiring Manager. Information pertinent to the targeted position should be showcased first. For example, if Education is the most important qualification; it’s presented before Work History, rather than last on the document.

6. Non-relevant & Repetitive Data: An effective resume focuses on enhancing your candidacy and avoids repetition and inclusion of non-relevant information. For example, hobbies & interests should only be included if relevant to the job. Personal information (birth dates, marital status etc.) is included in some oversea resumes.

7. Language: Use of business language is critical to the professionalism of a resume. Resumes should avoid the use of personal pronouns (“I’ “my” “we”) and slang at all times.

Darlene Z.

Darlene Zambruski is a resume writing expert and CPRW (Certified Professional Resume Writer) with more than 13 years of industry experience. She has authored 10,000+ resumes in every industry and at every career level.

» Read Full Bio

Sign Up for the En Route Newsletter

Career articles, resume advice, and interview tips delivered every month!

Propel Your Career

Get to the next level faster with professional Resume Writing or Editing products.

My writer took the time to give me practical tips on resumes and what prospective employers look for. She explained her suggestions and allowed me to give feedback as well. Her approach to resume writing is fantastic.

— Anna G.
Information Technology
» See All Testimonials

We're Busy Little Bees

354
Resumes Written This Month
100,000
Resumes Written Since 1998