Ask Vicki: What are some do's and don'ts of resume writing?
In this answer on Quora, Monster career expert Vicki Salemi shares must haves—and must not haves!—for your resume.
Each week, Monster’s career expert Vicki Salemi—a former recruiter who utilizes 15-plus years of experience in recruiting and human resources to empower job seekers—answers user questions on Quora. We’ll be republishing the answers here. If you have a question for Vicki, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q. What are some do's and don'ts of resume writing?
A. Here are some of my top do’s and don’ts of resume writing:
1. DO be specific. Quantify things with numbers. If you manage a budget, how much is that budget? Manage a team and hold meetings? How many direct reports do you manage, how often do you hold meetings (weekly, monthly?) and more.
2. DO NOT make your resume longer than two pages.
3. DO include aspects of yourself that may be unique, like if you speak Chinese fluently or studied abroad in Manitoba. One line will suffice, but it could end up being a big conversation starter.
4. DO mention why there’s a gap in your work history, if applicable. If there’s a six year gap between jobs, I’d say, “Hmmm, that looks questionable.” But, if you add a quick note like, “Left the workforce due to tending to two ailing relatives and finished writing my novel,” then I’d say, “Ok, no problem.”
5. DO NOT write in company jargon. If your company uses acronyms, remove them. If you work on a specific computer system that’s known in the industry, refer to its formal name, not the nickname your company may use. Your resume should be really clear, as if you’re talking to someone who does not know your job, your company or your industry. Anybody who reads it should be able to understand what you do.
6. DO run a spellcheck, even if you think you don’t need to.
7. DO NOT omit any contact information. Include your name, phone number(s) and email address.
8. DO remove your snail mail address, especially if you’re looking to relocate to another state. There’s no need to include it, and you don’t want recruiters making assumptions.