When preparing your electronic resume, use these formatting rules:
- Type all your information starting on the left-hand side of the page. Don't center or justify any text. These formatting commands don't transmit well electronically.
3. Spelling, Grammar and Syntax
Typographical errors signal job-search death, which may be why Mr. Runyan's did so poorly. It contained three typographical and two syntax errors, as well as unpolished wording.
He didn't recognize that resumes serve as your introduction to employers, and indicate the quality and caliber of work you'll produce. An imperfect document isn't acceptable.
Write your document in the active first-person tense, never the third person, and choose language that's appropriate to the type of position you're seeking. If you're a mid-level manager, don't use "Ph.D." language. If you're in line for CEO, COO or other top operating slots, use words appropriate to that level.
Proofread your resume not just once or twice, but repeatedly for typographical and wording errors. Then ask three to five others to review it, paying attention to your terminology and tone.
Resumes aren't job descriptions. Still, you may have seen some that included such descriptions as, "This position was responsible for purchasing, logistics, materials management and distribution." Were you impressed with those?
Mr. Runyan made this mistake. For instance, under "Experience," he included descriptions of positions without mentioning the size of his past employers or his achievements. It could have been anyone's resume. He also cited every job he'd held, going back to 1972.
Listing all your past employment isn't necessary or helpful. And, if you list responsibilities, include their scope and your contributions.
"Generalizations aren't impressive," says Shanna Kemp, owner of Kemp Career Services in Carrolltown, Texas. "A resume must include specifics -- numbers, percentages, details -- that communicate how well you performed in the workplace."
To highlight your strengths, develop strong, results-driven position summaries. For instance, a logistics manager might write: