As I was proofreading my son’s book report last night, I thought about how written communication is a window into our personality. My son had a few misspelled words and a word or two that was missing a letter altogether. It wasn’t the neatest either. He’s 13 and always does things in a hurry, just like his dad. This is evident in his book report and most areas of his life, including his messy room.
On that note, I thought about resumes and how they also provide a glimpse into who we are. I facilitate an online career development class and review resume assignments on a weekly basis. I also do some contract career coaching and resume writing on the side. Often, I also receive resumes from colleagues asking me to pass them along. It amazes me the difference from one resume to the next and not just the content. Some resumes are flashy (too much) and others need a little extra formatting to stand out.
Stellar written communication can have an impact on your career opportunities. Here are a few musts when it comes to doing just that when preparing your resume:
- Avoid misspelled words! Utilize spell check and have at least one person proofread before you send or upload your resume.
- Use the correct verb tense. Current job responsibilities should be represented in the present tense. All previous job responsibilities should be in the past tense.
- Make sure formatting is neat and allow for plenty of white space to make your resume more aesthetically pleasing.
- Only include the most relevant information. Resumes should be no more than one page if you have less than five years of experience, and they should be no more than two pages if you have more than five years of experience. There are some exceptions to this rule depending on your career field.
Check out The Point Blog for more insight into effective communication.