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How to Prepare a Better Resume

Updated on September 26, 2010

Get Your Foot in the Door

Your resume is the equivalent of getting your foot in the door. Once you have an interview you can dazzle them with your knowledge and sparkling personality.

So how do you get your foot in the door? Here are pointers on how to prepare a better resume.


Pointers for Preparing a Better Resume

Use a basic font that is easy to read. Ariel is a common choice. Verdana is another good font. Choose a professional looking template. Never include pictures or images. A well-written resume in a basic format will create a much better impression than a resume with a flashy layout. If sending your resume in a file, always format it as a PDF and name it “Your name’s resume”.

Include a brief mission statement about yourself and the type of position you seek near the top of the resume that is targeted to the particular position for which you are applying. No generic phrases should be used. This will make your resume stand out and show the prospective employer you took the time to pursue a specific opening.

Proof-read your resume and make sure there are no grammar or spelling errors. This is important for making a good first impression.

Resumes are read quickly so do not use lengthy paragraphs. Try to keep your resume to one page if possible.

Do not use a general resume every time you apply for a job. You don’t need to change your information each time but make it specific to the job you are applying for. Look at the job ad and use words in the ad in your resume and match them to your skills.

List all of your experience, even if it appears to be irrelevant. You never know what qualities an employer is looking for in his or her employees. Include unpaid internships and volunteer work.

Make sure you list all computer skills. This is especially important in today’s job world. Do not include any computer programs you have not used recently or you are not very proficient in.

Make sure the top of the resume includes your most impressive points. If you have excellent experience, then list that before your education. If you have little experience, list your education first. Include highlights of classes that taught you information relevant to the job you are seeking.

Always use the past tense when describing a job, even for your current job. Always use action verbs and power words when describing jobs.

Do not include any videos or links to places you have worked. If the employer is interested, he or she will find it on their own.

You should not include any high school activities unless they are relevant to the position you are seeking.

Include all of your contact information so it is easy for the employer to contact you. Include your email address and cell phone number. Make sure your email address is appropriate and not something like and it is one you will still use in the future.

Do not include hobbies. Most of the time hobbies are not relevant and they should not be included.

Do not use phrases such as “available for interview” or “references available upon request”. These are not necessary. If you apply for a position, you obviously want an interview and you better have references.

You are trying to sell yourself so it is very important to make it an honest assessment of yourself and your abilities. Never lie. You will get caught.

A Good Resume is Well Worth the Time

If you follow these tips, you will be well on your way to getting your foot in the door.


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    • Rose Kolowinski profile image

      Rose Kolowinski 6 years ago

      Thank you for the comments. Let me know when you finish your hub and I will include a link to it in this hub.

    • Mister Veritis profile image

      Mister Veritis 6 years ago from Alabama

      Hi Rose,

      This is a good start. I am beginning to write about getting the interview from my perspective as a very successful hiring manager in a large corporation. I will describe what my recruiters looked for as a first step. Second, I will describe what I look for. There are two different people an applicant needs to consider as they prepare their resumes.

    • Rose Kolowinski profile image

      Rose Kolowinski 7 years ago

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Traqqer.

    • Traqqer profile image

      Traqqer 7 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      While it would be nice to have one unchanging resume, I agree that you need to make it specific for each job. Good tips!

    • Rose Kolowinski profile image

      Rose Kolowinski 7 years ago

      Thank you for your kind comments, Prasetio. Thanks for stopping by!

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 7 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Another great hub from you. I learn much from you and I am glad to follow your tips. Rate up.

    • Rose Kolowinski profile image

      Rose Kolowinski 7 years ago

      Thank you De Greek! My pleasure.

    • De Greek profile image

      De Greek 7 years ago from UK

      It is a kindness you are doing, helping others like this :-)

    • Rose Kolowinski profile image

      Rose Kolowinski 7 years ago

      It is something we should all do in today's employment situation. Thanks for stopping by suziecat7.

    • suziecat7 profile image

      suziecat7 7 years ago from Asheville, NC

      I really need to revamp myresume. Thanks for all the practical suggestions.