10 Resume Dos and Don’ts to Land a New Job

If you want to get a call from a recruiter, there are many mistakes to avoid when writing a resume. Here are five resume tips to keep in mind for your next job search.

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  • Resume example using Angora template with blue heading.
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Combination Healthcare Medical Resume Example
Resume example using Providence template with blue heading

Resume Do’s and Don’ts

Resume writing is often difficult for every job seeker. Here are resume do’s and resume don’ts that you should practice when writing your next resume.


Start with the Right Structure

Organizing your resume sections correctly is a major factor in whether or not a recruiter even gives your application a chance. Most professional resumes will split all their relevant information into these sections:

  • Header with all your contact information, including your full name, address, phone number, email address, and LinkedIn profile link (if available) at the top of your resume
  • Resume summary statement or resume objective that briefly touches on any transferable skills and relevant experience, or your career goals
  • Skills section with a good mix of hard and soft skills
  • Work experience section in reverse-chronological order, with major responsibilities and achievements highlighted for each job
  • Education section, including certifications or notable academic accolades

By dividing your resume into these easily digestible sections, hiring managers can get a better sense of what related work experience you have and how you can apply those skills to the current job opening.

Five Resume Do’s

Here are five pointers you should keep in mind when writing your resume:
Use resume examples
When it comes to writing a resume, you will want to use some resume examples for the specific job you’re applying for to help you get started. Using resume templates can also give you an idea of the best format to use as well as what sort of information is best to include.
Pull keywords from the job description
If you are unsure which skills or work experiences to put on your resume, study the job description for specific keywords (e.g., required skills and qualifications). Addressing these keywords in your own resume can help push your resume through an applicant tracking system (ATS), which is designed to scan applications and resumes for keywords taken from the job description.
The more of these keywords you use throughout your resume, the better your chances are of your application being seen by a hiring manager.
Use objective statements
Action words and action verbs can be a great way to enhance your resume and work experience. Statements such as “Coordinated event planning and scheduling for over 300 events” will look far more impressive than “Effectively planned various company events.” Ensure each bullet point you list under each job you’ve had is important and describes your daily duties within that position.
Connect previous positions to the job description
Connecting your previous work experience to what the job posting requires can be a great way to display a clear career path you have set for yourself. It can also demonstrate that you are qualified for the job listing at hand.
Create a one-page resume
It is best to keep your resume to only one page at the most. Concise resumes are easier for recruiters to scan. The better you can condense and optimize your work history, the better your resume will be. The exceptions are resumes for jobs that require extensive experience – in this case; it’s all right to expand your resume to two pages.

Five Resume Don’ts

Here are some common errors you should avoid when writing your resume:
Adding too many personal details
You want your resume to be a personal reflection of who you are as an employee. It should not delve too far into personal details. No hiring manager will care about your marital status, what clubs you attended in high school, or other irrelevant details. Don’t forget that the resume is a professional document.
Instead of writing generic or unimportant information, include a brief resume summary that tells the recruiter all about your most relevant skills and work experience. This can tell the recruiter all about who you are as an employee at a glance.
Using cliches
It can be tempting to use cliches to save time on resume writing. However, recruiters have likely read through dozens of applications before yours. Being specific about your skills will be far more useful in the long run than relying on tired, old phrases such as “best in class” or “team player.”
Embellishing your work experiences
You never want to fib about your experiences in your resume. Even if you think it will initially impress a hiring manager enough to call you for that job interview, your inexperience will become apparent during the interview, if not soon after you are hired.
Adding your GPA when applying for a senior position
If you have little to no work experience and you have graduated recently with a 3.5 GPA or higher, then it’s fine to add your GPA to the education section of your resume. A high GPA can show off a dedicated work ethic.
However, if you are applying for a senior position within a company, then it’s best to leave it out. Recruiters will be far more interested in your more recent work experience and leadership skills rather than old academic achievements.
Forgetting to proofread
You don’t want to work hard on a resume only to have it rejected because of a simple typo. Always proofread your resume for spelling and grammatical errors before you send it off.

FAQs: Resume Do’s and Don’ts

Q: What cliche words should I avoid on a resume?

Common buzzwords and phrases to avoid include:

  • Team player
  • Hard worker
  • Motivated
  • Synergy
  • References available upon request
  • Utilized
  • Any passive verbs or language

Q: What are some common resume mistakes?

Outside of the resume don’ts listed above, here are the most common resume mistakes candidates make:

  • Listing a non-professional email address
  • Using a generic template for every job application
  • Focusing on or emphasizing general work duties rather than specific achievements
  • Making your resume too long

Q: Where can I find free resume templates?

Instead of building a resume from scratch, use a resume builder. These tools have tons of resume templates, examples, and other tips that you can use to write a stellar resume in minutes.


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