How to Revise a Resume – Including the Most Common Errors
Always edit for mechanical errors – A resume is an individual’s first communication with a potential employer and
should convey good writing skills and attention to detail. Thus, the resume
needs to be absolutely error-free. In order to spot potential errors, read
your resume out loud, have others read it, and/or take it to the Aims Writing
Center for feedback.
Choose the resume format that best sells your skills and experience – Both a functional and chronological resumes are equally valued by employers.
However, it is important to select the format that best sells your unique skills,
abilities and experiences.
Choose a functional resume if: you are a recent graduate with minimal work experience,
in the middle of changing careers OR have a variety of professional experiences that
represent a variety of industries.
Choose a chronological resume if: you have skills and professional experience that
are industry-specific AND are seeking employment within a similar field.
Keep the length to minimum – Ideally the resume should be one page. However, if you have extensive
work history and experiences that need to be detailed, your resume can and even
should be slightly longer. Either way, keep it as concise as possible. If your
resume extends beyond one page, have it also extend to at least half of the
2nd page so it looks more complete. Never create a resume that is more than
Make your accomplishments stand out – Always Bold or italicize key words, phrases, or accomplishments. Remember, you are competing against
several qualified candidates for a position and want to differentiate yourself.
Create variance within the structure – Use bullet points and indentations to add variety to the resume. Also use header
lines and other quick visuals. Using these tools will make the resume
more visually appealing. Remember, employers spend an average of 17 seconds
reviewing each resume, so make it attractive looking.
Keep the font traditional – Although it can be tempting to add creativity with fonts, stick to the basics:
Times New Roman, Garamond, or Georgia. The use of different fonts can
Focus on quality over quantity of information – The ideal description at the start of the resume should be no more than 5
lines. Choose action words-verbs-that demonstrate your ability, such as skilled at… expertise in…etc.