Prescription for an effective resume

Prescription Symbol

When creating your resume, you want to make sure it looks good, is accurate and error-free, and it highlights your accomplishments using the strongest possible language.

Using the following checklist, focus your efforts on creating compelling content and an aesthetically pleasing format.

Correct any formatting issues:
* Text not lining up (set tabs and don't try to line up text with the space bar)

* Inconsistencies in font sizes, styles, dates, spacing

* Resume prints out a blank second page

* Don't overuse any one formatting element; for example, don't use too much bold

* Use a different header than "pancake" style, where your name and contact  information is on five or six lines, stacked like pancakes

* To make your resume stand out, try a different font other than Times New Roman

Bolster your content:

* Focus more on accomplishments than job duties; employers are more interested in  what you achieved, not what you did.

* Begin bullet points with action verbs

* Lead with a strong "summary of qualifications"

* Be clear and concise; provide enough information so the reader knows what you mean, but keep it short and sweet.

* Error free: grammar, spelling, punctuation, tenses

Resume "don'ts" - Get rid of:
* Objective statements
* References or "references available on request"
* The words "I" or "my"
* Personal info: age, ethnic or religious background, pictures
* Supervisors' names, street addresses of employers
* Obvious information or too much detail
* Don't use templates found in Word or on the Internet... Do use Optimal Resume.
* Avoid writing in full sentences; use phrases that begin with an action verb

For Additional Details:
Read a more detailed explanation of creating an effective resume from Career Services on the the Detailed Resume page.  

Ready to start writing your resume? Signup and login to Optimal Resume to get started.  Also available are "Resume Starters"  already formatted in Word. *Note that once you open these, you should save the one you wish to use into your own documents folder under a new name.*

Before starting, it is a good idea to look at resume samples, linked from the "Resume Starter" page to get ideas about format and content for your resume.  We also recommend that you read articles about resumes from respected sources, such as Monster and CareerBuilder.

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