While it is true that there is not just one "correct" way to write a resume, there are a few common mistakes that you will want to avoid to help you strengthen your marketability. The key? Make sure you are always consistent, particularly across all the four areas noted below. Not only does being inconsistent not allow you to best showcase your qualifications, it also comes across as sloppy work to employers. Many employers feel that if you are not able to focus on putting your resume together consistently, you will not be consistent in your work either.
- Writing style: This is one of the most important resume tips. Be sure that the writing style is consistent throughout your resume, from the Professional Summary/Career Goal through the Work Experience section. Are you putting the same effort and writing style into the description and details of each position you list? The answer should always be yes. Many job seekers put a great amount of focus in their current position, as this is the one they remember best and feel stands out more. However, once the employer continues reading your resume, they want to make sure that the effort and writing style remain.
- Punctuation: It really does not matter whether or not you use periods at the end of bullet points. What matters is consistency. Be sure to either put periods at the end of each bullet point or none of them. Double check these important details on your resume before you apply.
- Formatting: There are many common formatting mistakes. First is bullet point style. Always use the more professional-looking "dot" bullet point. Other styles can appear unprofessional. Be sure to use the same bullet type on each bullet point. Second, make sure that each of your previous positions is formatted in the same way. If you are putting your company name or job title in bold, for example, make sure you do that for each position. Everything needs to look the same. Same goes for your education, if you received more than one degree.
- Spelling and grammar: Finally, make sure your spelling and grammar are accurate. Spell check will not catch everything. Their, there, they're – three different words, all spelled correctly, all have different meanings. Be sure you are using the correct form. In essence, not only should you proofread your resume, but it is also a good idea to have somebody look over your resume as well. The ability to allow your resume to be distinguished from your competition will essentially allow a more positive impact. Follow these resume writing tips to start creating that marketable resume.
Learn more about how AIU's Career Coaches can assist students and alumni: Visit our Career Services section.
If you're a current AIU student or alumnus looking for more career advice, please contact the Career Services Department at 877-221-5800 Option 5 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.