Resume Basics

1. Sections of a Resume (In Order): Name & Contact Info on top p1; Objective Statement – optional; Education; Areas of Expertise; Professional Experience; Certificates/Licenses; Patent Disclosures (if applicable); Personal Interests – optional.

2. Page Length: 2-4 pages maximum. And consider keeping it to a single page if less than 3 years’ experience. For more experienced professionals with 15+ yrs experience, anything over 4 pages is just overkill and should be shortened for ease of reading.

3. Education: Acceptable on P1 or Last Page, but if on P1 make sure it doesn’t push down your most recent work history too far down or off P1. First Job should no further down than middle of P1.

4. Contact Information: Clearly Stated Contact Information on the top of P1 is critical. Name (first/last); phone number; email address; residence; (LinkedIn profile optional)

5. Bullets vs. Paragraph Style: Bullets are better than Paragraph Style for job-specific details, as they separate details better and are easier to read.

6. Meaty Details: Use language with specific details rather than speaking in generalities. Job Details and Accomplishments should include work you personally did, and not just as part of a “team effort.” Major Accomplishments should be mentioned directly, as well as any specific products you were been involved with from A-Z (concept to product launch) and it’s good to mention specific product names as well to help identify them to the reader. Number of bullets for each position should be no more than 3-10 bullets.

7. White-Space: Use no less than “Narrow” margins, however 1-inch margins all the way around are preferred. It’s important to have good white-space in the margins for note-taking from the reader’s point of view. Oversized Margins (>1 inch can be OK if using Resume Sections on the left side with a pushed-out indent, but large margins can be a waste of space on a resume, and un-necessarily extend the page-length of the resume.

8. Font & Font Size: Simple fonts are the easiest to read (Calibri, Arial, etc.) and no smaller than 11 or 12 point. Overly small fonts can be hard to read for more mature readers.

9. Proofread: Spelling must be correct throughout. Top Tip is to roof-read multiple times, and come back to the document later for final proof-reading before sending it out. It’s easy to make mistakes that the eye doesn’t catch when editing.

10. Date Ranges: Date Ranges should be specific and not just by year to year. For example: 2015-2019 could be a full 5 years, or just over 3 years depending on start and end-dates. Therefore, it’s better to include the MONTH and YEAR (ie. Jun 2015 – Aug 2019).

11. Fancy/Unique Formatting: Standard formatting is best, and avoid the temptation to use extra-creative resume formatting templates, graphs, or other images in your resume. Although they may provide extra visuals, it may create more of a distraction from your direct messaging.

12. Consistency: Be sure to keep formatting the same from job to job including job title fonts & which items may be in bold. It’s also important to keep the “Tense” of verbs consistent (ie. Improved process which saved the company $; and decreased scrap rate by %.)