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Write it yourself. Look at examples of resumés, but don’t copy them. If you copy a resumé, your resumé won’t sound like you, and many employers will soon realize that you didn’t write it yourself.

Make every word count. Limit your resumé to one page—two at the most. After you have a first draft, edit it at least two more times. If a word or phrase does not support your ability to do the job, cut it out.

Employers do not read resumés. They skim over them the first time. Your resumé must capture the reader’s attention, so look at it as a flyer or advertisement for yourself. Make it look “inviting” to the reader. Remember, to get the job, your resumé has to get the employer’s attention for more than just a glance.

Make it error free. Ask someone else to look for grammar and spelling errors. Check each work again before you have it printed and sent to an employer. It is amazing how many errors get into the final version.

Make it look good. Make it look professional. Today’s word processing technology allows you to create professional resumés yourself.

Stress your accomplishments. A resumé is no place to be humble. You should tell the employer that you’re the best person for the job and why.

Be specific. Give facts and numbers. Instead of saying you are good with people, say, “Supervised and trained three people in the mail room and increased their productivity by 30 percent.”

Don’t delay. Many job seekers say they are still improving their resumés when they should be out looking for a job. A better approach is to do a simple, error-free resumé the first time. Then you can actively look for a job. You can always work on a better version at night and on weekends.

Keep it lively. Use action verbs and short meaningful phrases. Avoid negatives of any kind. Emphasize accomplishments and results.

Your language should be assertive and easy to understand. Make your resumé interesting by using action verbs such as “designed,” “implemented” and “increased,” rather than passive verbs like “was” and “did.” Use simple, common language and avoid abbreviations and slang.

accelerateddesignedinnovatedrecruited
accomplisheddevelopedinstructedregulated
achieveddevisedintegratedreorganized
administereddirectedinterpretedrepresented
advisededitedlaunchedresearched
analyzededucatedmaintainedresolved
appointedencouragedmanagedrestored
arrangedestablishedmarketedrestructured
assistedevaluatedmediatedretrieved
attainedexaminedmonitoredreviewed
balancedexecutednegotiatedrevised
budgetedexpandedoperatedscheduled
builtexpeditedorganizedshaped
calculatedextractedperformedsold
cataloguedfacilitatedpersuadedsolved
chairedformulatedplannedstreamlined
collaboratedfoundedpreparedsummarized
compiledgeneratedpresentedsupervised
composedheadedprioritizedtaught
computedhelpedprocessedtrained
conductedidentifiedproducedupgraded
constructedillustratedprogrammedutilized
consultedimplementedpromotedworked
createdimprovedproposedwrote
delegatedincreasedprovided
demonstratedinitiatedpublished

Don’t worry about punctuation in your “meaningful phrases.”

Do inventory your most important qualities, capabilities, strengths, skills, and accomplishments.

Don’t use negative words.

Do select the resumé format that best fits you.

Don’t overcrowd your resumé. Leave sufficient white space and margins.

Do stress your value, not just the tasks you performed.

Don’t be shy! This is an opportunity to market yourself.

Do eliminate unnecessary “fat” from your resumé.

Don’t lie on your resumé!

Do use action verbs.

Don’t worry about complete sentences. Use meaningful phrases.

Do print your resumé on high-quality, conservative 20-lb. paper stock.

Don’t send your resumé without a cover letter.

Do be aggressive and have fun!