30+ Resume Dos and Don’ts: Everything You Need to Build a Perfect Resume

Published on: 27 November 2020 Last updated: 27 November 2020

You start writing your CV, and then, poof – your mind goes blank.

You start to wonder if there are some cool tips and tricks that you should know when writing a resume.

We have all been there.

This is why we are going to show you the best resume dos and don’ts that we found out and how to benefit from them.

Let’s get started.

Resume Content Dos and Don’ts

Resume Header Dos and Don’ts

Recruiters look at your resume header in their initial screening. Ensuring your header greets them with the most impact will be influential in getting you an interview for your dream job.

Name and Job Title

Do: Put your real name. When Recruiters search who you are, they should be able to find information about you. The name should be the same as in your publications, LinkedIn profile, etc.

Don’t: Including nicknames can only confuse the ATS system and the Hiring Manager. As we all know, there is no second first impression.

Do: Outline your field of work to match the job title for the position you’re applying for. Be creative. This could be only of help. Give insight into your career trajectory and pull with some intrigue, just like Eric did:

Enhancv 30+ Resume Dos and Don’ts: Everything You Need to Build a Perfect Resume

Don’t: Write directly your job title, it could make you less intriguing for the Recruiter. You know they can see which is your last position, when going through your resume, right?

Email

The email address you use in your resume can affect the hiring decision.  It’s essential to include an email address that leaves a positive impression or at least a neutral one.

Recruiters have some unwritten rules that they all follow but can’t explain consciously.

One of those rules is choosing the appropriate email address on your resume.

You must include an email that’s suitable for the hiring process and your industry.

Do: Use professional mail. It is best if you stick to the known email service providers such as Gmail or Yahoo. Remember – check your mail often. Somebody could invite you for an interview. You don’t want to miss it.

Do you need ideas on how to create your email? Here’s our recommended list of professional email formats to help you create a new email:

Don’t: Use eric134212@hotmail.com or IAmFree@hotmail.co. Leave it for your friends as that promotes you as an unprofessional applicant.

Springboard links

Springboard links are hyperlinks to further resources on your previous experience, work history, and personality.

Do: Include links that you believe will provide more important information about your projects and approach to work. Could be a portfolio, blog or a LinkedIn profile.

Remember to keep them updated and consistent with your resume.

Don’t: If the projects in your portfolio are old or inconsistent, better leave them out until you update them.

That concerns every external link.

Also, avoid including your private social media profiles, such as Facebook and Instagram.

You have more questions about what you should and shouldn’t do? Check out our article on how to perfect a resume header.

And make it stand out.

Resume Summary Dos and Don’ts

The purpose of the resume summary is to introduce your expertise to the Hiring Manager. Essentially, you’re showcasing to the Recruiter your professional background.

Use this opportunity to catch their attention and draw them further into your resume by helping them get a quick understanding of what you’re capable of.

Do: You could either highlight your goals and plans for the future, or your previous employment history, skills, and expertise.

If you don’t have relevant experiences, take advantage of using this section to talk about your long-term aims. What are you good at, and how are you going to benefit the company you’re applying for?

Show the value that makes you a beneficial asset for the desired company.

Here are two examples of how to make your entry-level resume summary attractive:

Enhancv 30+ Resume Dos and Don’ts: Everything You Need to Build a Perfect Resume

Enhancv 30+ Resume Dos and Don’ts: Everything You Need to Build a Perfect Resume

They both focus on work-related experiences and bring up an accomplishment. These resume summaries let the reader know what you’re looking for, and what experience you’ve had in the past.

Don’t: Making it too generic could have a bad impression on the Recruiters. If there is nothing that catches their attention immediately, how would you get hired?

The Hiring Manager wouldn’t invite someone to an interview when the candidate lacks suitable company skills.

Enhancv 30+ Resume Dos and Don’ts: Everything You Need to Build a Perfect Resume

This summary shows only what you are looking for. However, there is no information about your past achievements. And they are important.

If you need more examples of resume content dos and don’ts when it comes to summary, you can always check out our suggestions.

Resume Objective Dos and Don’ts

The aim of the resume objective is to express your professional intentions and career background in minimal detail. They need to be consistent so that they would assure the company you’ll benefit them and help reach their goals!

It’s crucial to attract the Hiring Manager immediately when they see your resume. And, this is exactly why resume objectives are so useful.

Do: Keep it short and impactful. Show your qualities and why you are a perfect fit for the company.

Don’t: Writing your resume objective wordy as an essay could turn the wrong way.

Recruiters want you to be on point and to know with ease how you could be useful for the company.

So show yourself in the best light.

Resume Work Experience Dos and Don’ts

The work experience section for your resume is a requirement for all experienced job candidates. Without one, employers will assume your application is not relevant and toss it in the bin.

There are some tips and tricks that you should know when writing this section.

Do: Write your experience in bullet points and use data and metrics. This way you can emphasize the key moments and the achievements of your career.

Use a reverse chronological resume format to show your latest accomplishments.

Here is one perfect IT Project Manager summary.

Enhancv 30+ Resume Dos and Don’ts: Everything You Need to Build a Perfect Resume

Don’t: Putting irrelevant work experience could confuse the Recruiter.

However, if you think that your old career background could be somehow helpful in the new job – add it to the CV. But be careful and explain why you think you would be the perfect fit for the position.

However, don’t mix bullet points and full-text descriptions. This could make your resume look unprofessional.

Resume Education Dos and Don’ts

Do: When listing a number of degrees, do so in reverse-chronological order and always be specific. If you’re applying to a job in marketing and have a degree in business and marketing, your degrees should be prioritized.

However, if you have a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree, write them both.

Enhancv 30+ Resume Dos and Don’ts: Everything You Need to Build a Perfect Resume

Don’t: Lie. This kind of information could be easily checked and you could be caught red-handed.

Also, if you have bad grades, better don’t write them in your resume. You have passed, that’s the important part.

Resume Skills Dos and Don’ts

Do: Write your most suitable skills for the position. Sometimes they could be buzzwords.

You have applied for a technical position? Put skills like logical thinking, teamwork, and fast-learner.

Enhancv 30+ Resume Dos and Don’ts: Everything You Need to Build a Perfect Resume

Don’t: Don’t exaggerate. Sooner or later the Recruiter would find out that you are not really as good as you wrote in those particular skills.

Resumes Hobbies & Interests Dos and Don’ts

It’s not necessary to put hobbies and interests in your resume. However, if you still don’t have much experience, you could always impart your interests to the job description.

Do: Relate the skills you need for the position to extracurricular university or college experiences. If you have just graduated, commitment to a sports team or an organizational role is a perfect way to demonstrate time management, teamwork, and interpersonal communication skills.

Don’t: Better avoid interests and hobbies that can be very controversial in your country. Also, there is no need to write things that are not connected to your way of work.

Resume Buzzwords Dos and Don’ts

Buzzwords are attractive, however, you should be careful when using them.

Do: You can use words like these, they are expressive and they are not seen in 9 of 10 resumes:

  • Accelerated
  • Achieved
  • Added
  • Awarded
  • Changed
  • Contributed
  • Decreased
  • Delivered
  • Eliminated
  • Exceeded

Don’t: There are particular words, which you should forget about. They are overused, and too banal nowadays. Avoid using:

  • Best of breed
  • Go-getter
  • Think outside of the box
  • Synergy
  • Go-to person
  • Thought leadership
  • Value-add
  • Results-driven
  • Team player
  • Bottom-line

Resume Formatting Dos and Don’ts

Resume Outline Dos and Don’ts

While it seems like a straightforward process, having resume templates to back you up makes the whole process much easier.

Do: Outline the important parts of your resume, depending on your job level.

Don’t: Making every word bolded or colorful wouldn’t be able to make the Recruiter notice what makes you perfect for the job.

Color on Resume Dos and Don’ts

Do: Pick the right color palette. You must think of color within the context of the job and the hiring company.

For example:

  • Use green for jobs in the health industry
  • Blue works well for web developers and software engineers
  • Orange is often used in sports and athletics resumes

However, these are examples that you shouldn’t take by heart. You could use different colors in different industries as long as they look good.

Let’s see one great example.

Enhancv 30+ Resume Dos and Don’ts: Everything You Need to Build a Perfect Resume

Don’t: Using too many colors could make the Recruiter’s eyes hurt. You won’t catch their attention, you will just lose them forever.

Resume Font Dos and Don’ts

Do: The font in your resume should be readable and with a font-size between 10px and 12px.

That way the Hiring Manager would look through your resume without loading himself/herself.

Don’t: Putting too many fonts could make the Recruiters’ concentration vanish. Which means you don’t get the job.

Resume Photo Dos and Don’ts

Do: If you decide to put a photo on your resume, keep in mind to be a professional-looking one. Also, there is a good saying: “Dress to impress”. You can totally benefit from it.

Just like Sam did.

Enhancv 30+ Resume Dos and Don’ts: Everything You Need to Build a Perfect Resume

Don’t: Never add selfies or pictures from concerts and restaurants, because it’s simply unprofessional.

What is more, check if in the country you are applying for or the company hasn’t forbidden pictures in the CVs.

If that is the case, better leave your resume without a photo.

Resume Length Dos and Don’ts

Do: Choose a length depending on your job experience and the number of publications and projects you want to show.

The most important thing for your resume is to answer these 4 questions:

  • Who are you?
  • What experience do you have?
  • What motivates you for this position?
  • How would you make an impact in your role?

Don’t: If you have just graduated or you have 1-2 years of experience, better keep your resume one page long. Putting too much information could only bore the Recruiter and they could miss some of your crucial skills and achievements.

Conclusion

You are ready to show your most wanted employer that you are the best company’s fit.

You know what to do, and what not to do when writing your perfect resume.

Now, go out there and make the Recruiters’ jaws drop.

***

How do you like these tips? Do you have some dos and don’ts that you think are important to include? If so, write them in the comments.

Kal Dimitrov

Kal has 10 years of experience as a marketer and lecturer in youth leader organisations, with a focus on career and job skills enhancement. He has written and edited over 100 resume creation guides for different jobs. Kal is also a co-founder of a career accelerator hub that helps students and recent graduates excel at job interviews and get the job of their dreams.

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