Candidate Resources

Resume Tips and Techniques

Resume Writing Tips

What is the best format for a resume?

  • The best format is the reverse chronological format; last job first, second to las job next, educational and professional qualifications last.

What about the functional format?

  • This format makes it harder on the reader to logically follow your career. Employers want to know what your specialty is and whom you have worked for before your accomplishments are listed.

What do employers want to know about me?

  • Employers want to know three basic things about you:
    • Do we need someone with this specific area of expertise?
    • Will you be a good fit in terms of chemistry?
    • Will you be productive immediately?
  • The company wants to know these things about you before they call you for an interview:
    • What companies have you worked for?
    • How big were the companies?
    • How long did you work for each company?
    • What were your key accomplishments at the company?
    • Did you work on any prestigious or high-profile accounts or business?
    • Why did you leave?
    • What is your educational background?

What things should I include on my resume?

  • Current company’s name, location, industry, and annual dollar volume
  • Your position title and scope of your responsibilities
  • Two or three of your most noteworthy achievements or prestigious accounts worked on. If you can quantify your accomplishments, so much for the better
  • NOTE: For each job, orient the reader to the size, nature, and trend of the company you worked for and the part of it you were responsible for. Use numbers whenever possible.

How long should my resume be?

  • Keep the entire resume to two pages max- one page if you have less than 10 years of experience. Don’t overfill your resume with excessive detail. Use at least 10-point type, but preferably 12-point.

What things should I omit from my resume?

  • The following should not be included on your resume:
    • Statements about your personal life
    • Hobbies
    • Health
    • Marital status
    • Children
    • References

Any other tips?

  • Proofread carefully- misspelled words are a tip-off to sloppiness and lack of attention to detail
  • Use a well-branded headline. It will tell readers who you are professionally regarding your current career objective.
  • Emphasize achievements.
  • Highlight HR Keywords. This is a very effective strategy both for increasing the keyword density of your resume and for making your resume highly “skimmable”
  • Have clean, clear, concise writing is the hallmark of a good resume. Readers do not have the time to look through irrelevant experiences, fluff words, and filler words.
  • Avoid dense paragraphs (no longer than 3-4 lines) and allow enough white space to create and inviting document for readers to skim or read quickly.

What about a little white lie?

  • Never misrepresent anything in your background. Key points can and will be checked. Also, be prepared to explain any gaps in time during which you were not employed.

What’s the best way to attract favorable attention to my resume?

  • Make your resume factual and concrete
  • Focus on quantifiable data
  • Give dollar figures for sales, profits, and ROL.
  • Avoid superlative adjectives like major, significant, substantial, and outstanding. Instead, use a number.