Tips (and Mistakes to Avoid) When Writing Your Resume

resume writing tipsStumped on how to write a resume?

Don’t worry, you’re not the only one.

Most people don’t enjoy writing, let alone the daunting task of writing a resume.

But if you have a better understanding on what to do and what to avoid, it may make the process a little less painful.

Here are some tips (and mistakes to avoid):

3 Tips for Writing a Resume:

1. Make sure it’s free of errors.

Grammar, spelling and punctuation mistakes are a big no-no. Any small mistake can be misinterpreted as a lack of care or effort towards landing a position. Your resume is a representation of you on paper so you want it to show you take pride in your work. Have at least one person proofread it. They may be able to see something you’ve overlooked.

2. Note measurable accomplishments.

Show, don’t tell. Whenever possible, include any quantifiable achievement in the form of percentages, dollars or other numeric values. It’s easy to say you’ve been the “top performer” or the “highest earner,” but having these numbers on your resume prove that.

3. Put the most important and relevant things first.

Create a skills section at the top of your resume which bullet-points the characteristics or traits you want to stand out. You never know how much time the employer has to read a resume. So if they only have time to skim it, you want them to get an immediate understanding of what you bring to the table as a candidate.

3 Common Resume Mistakes:

1. Poor formatting.

Having a professional appearance, doesn’t only apply to what you wear to your interview. It applies to how the resume looks as well. Select a simple template. Avoid one that’s too busy and distracting. Arial, Calibri and Cambria are ideal fonts to choose from, and 10-12 is a comfortable size to read. You also want to try to keep it under two pages. That should be long enough to layout all of your important employment highlights and experience.

2. Too much personal information.

Let’s not get personal in a resume. Avoid adding information about hobbies or travel experiences. Yes, we know that you have activities you enjoy outside of the workplace. But when trying to sell yourself to an employer, what you do for fun has no bearing on the skills you’ll bring to the company. (Once you land the job and build relationships, you can talk about how you spend your weekends.)

3. A one-size-fits-all resume.

Resumes are not created equal. While it is acceptable to have one standard resume, a vague or generic one might not work for all positions. It is a good idea to tailor your resume to the job and job duties of the position you are applying for. Make sure you add industry-related keywords. This will showcase how your skills tie into the role and show the employer you have what they are looking for.

More tips:

Interested in additional resume writing resources? Check out these posts!

How TERRA Can Help You

Writing a great resume is just the first step. Now it’s time to begin your job search,

If you are looking for work, consider partnering with TERRA.

We are experts in understanding what hiring companies are looking for and can set you up for success.

Getting started with us is simple. Just check out our current job openings.

We have offices in the Seattle-Puget SoundPortland-Metro, and Phoenix-Metro areas and our expert recruiters are waiting to speak with you!