Submitted on Mon, 2014-03-31
By Pamela Houck

Up to 80% of all resumes received by hiring managers are discarded!

tips for writing an excellent resume

Let’s review the basic elements of resume content and style, as well as the do's and don’ts of resume preparation.

Tips on Content and Style

Clarity and brevity is a must! Hiring managers are inundated with mounds of resumes every day - at best, you’ll have about 30 seconds to convey your message.

  • Your resume is designed to peak their interest, and while ten pages certainly might get you noticed, it lacks clarity and appeal; only focus on relevant capabilities that highlight your most valued assets.
  • Create the “Wow” factor with information that demonstrates your skills and abilities, and show why they can’t afford to be without you.
  • Prove that you are worth interviewing; emphasize experiences that would be of key importance to the potential hiring manager.
  • When writing about your career experiences, clearly highlight activities that show case your talents.
    • What have you done that shows ownership to your project?
    • Have you had any leadership experience?
    • Are you a team player?
  • Prove that you possess the required talents needed by highlighting specific examples of projects that showcase your accomplishments.
  • Avoid information that does not relate to your career goals. No matter how fascinating your experiences might be, you waste valuable space if they don’t show-off your credentials.
  • The interview will give you sufficient time to tell the hiring manager about your “value add” experiences and talents that make you a “well-rounded” professional.  
  • Your resume is designed to be a marketing tool, but be prepared to answer all questions about your past experiences. The interview can be a great place to turn a seemingly negative experience into a positive.

Resume Writing Do’s & Don’ts


  • Be concise. Use powerful action verbs to maximize the impact of your words.
  • Write about experiences demonstrating skills and abilities relevant to the project.
  • Use concrete examples to show you have the skills the employer needs.
  • Be neat. Stick with an accepted resume format and use white space effectively.
  • Be honest. Don’t stretch the truth.
  • Be complete. Don’t leave time gaps.
  • Check spelling. Proofread carefully.


  • Use more than two to three pages for your resume.
  • Overburden your resume with too much detail or irrelevant anecdotes.
  • Draw your own conclusions about past experiences; stick with the facts.
  • Sound like a braggart or appear arrogant. Be straightforward and factual.
  • Include negative information.
  • Rely on your computer to catch errors.
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