Ten Keys to an Effective Resume

To help you build a more powerful resume, here are ten overall points to consider regarding your resume’s content and presentation.

1.Position title and job description

Provide your title, plus a detailed explanation of your duties and accomplishments. Since job titles are often misleading or their functions may vary from one company to another, your resume should tell the reader exactly what you’ve done and accomplished.

2.Clarity of dates and place

Document your work history and educational credentials accurately. Don’t leave the employer guessing where and when you worked or when you earned your degree.


Explain the nature, size and location of your past employers, and what their business is.

Specify some of the more technical or involved aspects of your past work or training–especially if you’ve performed tasks of any complexity or significance.


Give appropriate attention to jobs or educational credentials according to their length or their importance to the employer. For example, if you are applying for an IT position, mention the summer you spent interning at a software company and state what you learned there.


Confine your information to that which is job-related or that clearly demonstrates a pattern of success. For example, the fact that your hobby is spear fishing has nothing to do with the job you will be performing. Concentrate on subject matter that addresses the employer’s needs.


Fill up only a page or two. If you write more than two pages, it suggests that you can’t organize your thoughts or that you’re trying too hard to make a good impression. If your content is strong, you won’t need more than two pages.

8.Spelling, grammar and punctuation

Create an error-free document that speaks for an educated person. If you’re unsure about the correctness of your writing (or if English is your second language), consult a professional writer or editor.


Organize your thoughts clearly and concisely, since a fragmented or wordy resume may not even get read all the way through. Be sure to choose a conventional type style, such as Times Roman or Arial, and a neutral background or stationery. If your resume takes too much effort to read, it may end up in the trash, even if you have terrific skills.


Write several drafts of your resume, giving yourself time to review your work and proofread for errors. If you have a professional associate whose opinion you trust, ask for his or her thoughts. A simple critique can mean the difference between an interview and a rejection.

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