How to Prepare a Basic Résumé

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How to Prepare a Basic Résumé. There are as many kinds of résumés as there are jobs. Use a style that matches your personality and career objectives.

Choose one or two fonts at most, and avoid underlined, boldfaced and italic text. Many companies use automated recruiting systems that have difficulty with special formatting.

Opt for the active voice rather than the passive voice (say 'met the goal' rather than 'the goal was met').

Provide contact information such as your home address, phone number and e-mail address at the top of your résumé.

Include an objectives statement, in which you use clear, simple language to indicate what kind of job you're looking for. This should appear below your contact information.

List your most recent and relevant experience first. Include time frames, company names and job titles, followed by major responsibilities.

In a second section, outline your education, awards, accomplishments and anything else you wish prospective employers to know about you.

Hire a proofreader or have someone you trust proofread your résumé. Mistakes in spelling, grammar or syntax can land it in the circular file.

Limit your résumé to one page unless it is scientific or highly technical. Less is definitely more when it comes to résumés.

Write a cover letter to submit with your résumé (see 'How to Write an Effective Cover Letter').


Refrain from using "I" in your résumé. Leave out personal information, particularly as it relates to your age, race, religious background and sexual orientation. Avoid obscure fonts, clip art and other unnecessary visuals. Choose résumé paper with a little personality. If you are interested in a high-technology field, send your résumé via e-mail. Print your résumé on a high-quality laser printer or new ink jet printer for crisp letters. Avoid using dot matrix and old ink-jet printers that can smear and blur.

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