Crash Course in Resume Writing "Rules"

Common resume elements and how to present them correctly

By Natalie Winzer, iHire, LLC
           
Crash Course inn Resume Writing

The first "rule" to keep in mind when writing your resume is that your document must be written entirely in first person (you're talking about yourself after all) with the pronouns removed. If you're not sure if what you've written is in proper resume speak, test it by adding the "I" in front of the phrase:

Trains staff of 20 and administers budget of $20K.

Test: I trains staff of 20 and administers budget of $20K. INCORRECT

Correct: I train staff of 20 and administer budget of $20K.

Use the guide below once you've mastered this general rule to make sure you present your information correctly. Most of these errors won't be found by a computerized spell-check, so it's crucial that you carefully review your resume to ensure your document is free of errors.

 

Facts & Figures

Incorrect

Correct

Saved over $200K in production costs.

Saved more than $200K in production costs. OR Saved $200K+ in production costs.

Elevated profits by $4–$5M and reduced errors by 2–3%.

Elevated profits by $4M–$5M and reduced errors by 2%–3%.

 

Do I use the K, M, and B symbols or write out thousand, million, and billion? Do I have to use "by" before the number?

Technically, any of these options are correct - however, make sure you are CONSISTENT. Pick one strategy and use it throughout your document. Don't go back and forth.

 

Degrees

Incorrect

Correct

Master’s of Nursing

Master of Science in Nursing, Master’s degree

Bachelors of Business Administration

Bachelor of Business Administration

Associate’s Degree

Associate’s degree

Bachelors’ of Arts

Bachelor of Arts

 

When in doubt, verify the title of your degree with your college/university.

 

Hyphens

Incorrect

Correct

Highly-knowledgeable professional

Highly knowledgeable professional

High quality services

High-quality services

Poorly-performing territory

Poorly performing territory

Completed on-schedule

Completed on schedule OR

on-schedule completion

 

Basic rule of thumb: if the modifier ends in -ly, do not use a hyphen.

 

Dashes vs. Hyphens

SYMBOL

USE

Hyphen -

Combines two words: multimillion-dollar

En Dash –

Replaces the word “to”: $35K–$50K, 2007–2009

Em Dash —

Works similar to parenthesis, however can be more dynamic: Recruited nearly 90 new hires—a department record—by conducting onsite job fairs.

 

Years of Experience

Incorrect

Correct

15 years experience

15 years’ experience

15 years’ of experience

15 years of experience

 

Remember, years' = years of, just as don't = do not.

           

Sign In or Register to access all articles and insider tips for help in your job search.

Search for Commercial Art Jobs

Sign In or Register
to access all articles and insider tips for help in your job search.