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Whip Your Resume Into Shape

Whip Your Resume Into Shape

5 Mind your keywords! Both Drum and Heath underscored the importance of including terms to help get your resume picked up through online searches. “We’re seeing more and more systems ranking people’s resumes based on how many keywords are being matched. … More people are putting more words on their resumes because they understand that tracking systems are keyword-driven,” Heath said.

6. List your contact information, particularly your cell phone number and e-mail address. Heath advises against listing your current work phone number. “I don’t think a potential employer would be impressed that you’re using company resources to find a job,” she said.

7. Use consistent formatting. Use the same size and type of font throughout your resume, such as 12-point Times New Roman. Offsetting your name in a slightly larger font is acceptable. If you cut and paste from various versions of your resume, be sure to align the text and eliminate formatting glitches.

8. Remember to double check your spelling. Heath suggests printing your resume, reading it and proofreading it to catch spelling and grammatical problems. It’s fine to use an automated spell-check, she said, but be wary of such systems introducing errors.

9. Bling on resumes is bad. Steer clear of using lots of large fonts in different colors, and of underscoring and bolding text for extra emphasis. Excessive use of bells and whistles distracts the reader and makes your resume look unprofessional.

10. No headshots, please. Pictures and resumes are like oil and water. If you have the urge, don’t give in.

At the end of the day, Heath said, “People need to remember when they’re sending their resume out they’re sending a version of themselves. … Make it a statement-a strong one.”

Kristina Cowan is the senior writer for She has over 10 years of journalism experience, specializing in education and workforce issues. Email Kristina Cowan.

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