Hot tips on resume writing I: The basics

Colleen Clarke|

There are way too many tips on writing a resume to include in just one article, so watch for next week’s column to read Part II: Your skills and Experience.

Your General Information


      A resume is a MARKETING TOOL that presents you in the


      best possible light for the purpose of getting invited to come in for a job


      interview. The resume is written for the reader, be it an H.R. person or the


      hiring manager.

2. There are three main types of resumes, the Reverse Chronological, the Functional and the Combination which includes elements of both. Determine whether it is the Chronological or Functional format that is best for you at this stage in your career. Use chronological with recruiters for sure. Functional if you are changing careers.


3. Never include information about age, marital status, weight, height, children or health. Unless you’re applying for an acting or modeling gig, never enclose a photograph with your resume. Many other cultures do this, but it is not done in North America.

4. Use a standard-sized font, 12-point is the norm, but 10 or 11 are acceptable on one-page resumes. Times Roman or Ariel are the most popular. Don’t vary your fonts or use too much bolding. Underlining makes the page look busy. Your name should be bolded, but no more than 14-point font. Try to keep your resume to a maximum of two pages.

5. When emailing, send your cover letter in the same file as the resume as well as in the in the body of the email message. Don’t send a blank email with an attached resume and cover letter.

6. Tailor each resume to suit the skills and accomplishments highlighted for each job that you are applying to. Generic resumes DO NOT SELL.

7. Keep your resume relevant. Unrelated hobbies and pass-times and experience from more than a decade ago are not likely to be interesting to potential employers and will just take up valuable space on your resume.

8. Put your name, phone number or email address, and Page 2 at the top of page two.

9. Be sure to also put your name, address and phone number on your one page cover letter.

10. Tell recruiters that you do not want your resume sent out to hiring companies without your permission.

Colleen Clarke

Career Specialist and Corporate Trainer

Author of Networking: How to Build Relationships That Count and How To Get a Job and Keep It

Category: Resumes, Student,