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WELL–CRAFTED RESUMES

by Neal Joseph

As you can probably imagine, we see A LOT of resumes. What makes a good one? There are obvious things that every resume needs to include like your contact information (including your LinkedIn), an objective or summary statement, and your education, degrees, certifications, and affiliations. The heart of any resume is, of course, your work experience. List them in reverse chronological order, starting with your most recent job. Include:

  • Company name

  • Job title

  • Employment dates

  • One sentence about the size/scope of the company and what the company does (we don’t know what Acme, Inc. is or does, or how big it is)

  • Brief description of your responsibilities and accomplishments. If you significantly grew your division or the company as a whole, give us real numbers, not just percentages (was that 83% growth during your tenure going from $1,000 to $1,830, or was it from $3.7 million to $6.7 million? BIG difference!).

Text only is fine, unless you’re in MarCom or a graphic design field, but even then, less is more. Be tasteful, not showy, and remember to tailor your resume to the specific job you are applying for by emphasizing the most relevant experiences and skills (tailor, not embellish). Finally, keep it concise, well-organized, and easy to read, using bullet points and appropriate formatting (use bold, italic, and slight font size differences, not 12 different fonts). Proofread carefully to ensure there are no spelling or grammatical errors. Two pages are preferred, but if you’ve had a 30+ year career, three pages is acceptable (but no more, unless you’re doing an academic, technical, or medical CV).

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