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How to Write a Winning Resume...the Basics


What are the most important things to consider when writing a resume?  You must first of all consider your audience.  Who will be reading your resume and what will they be looking for?  I recommend that you customize your resume for every job.  Make sure the language in your resume matches that in the job description.  You want to make it easy for the reader to see immediately that you are a match.  You don’t want them to have to work hard to get it.  Here are some additional tips:

  • The objective of a resume is to obtain an interview. Therefore, a winning resume is one which gets you the interview.
  • Form is equally as important as substance. Use a readable font style and size and one-inch margins top/bottom, left/right.
  • 1-2 pages, no more. One-page resumes are primarily for candidates who are relatively new to the job market. Do not try to cram a lot of experience onto one page.
  • Hook the reader with the first 25-30% of your resume.
  • Always begin statements with first person singular action verbs. Do not use “responsible for.”
  • Always portray your professional background positively and maintain honesty and accuracy.
  • Include pertinent volunteer and internship experience but distinguish it from professional (paid) work.
  • Put name and current contact info on both pages, do not use the contact information of your current employer, use a professional sounding email address, for example: firstname_lastname@yahoo.com, and make sure that the phone number you give will always be answered professionally.
  • BE PICKY PICKY PICKY!! Make it perfect – no typos, no grammatical errors, no misspellings. Ask a friend to proofread it. You only have one chance to make a first impression.
  • Target the recipient of your resume by doing company research and identifying individual decision makers.


Mauri Schwartz is President / CEO of Career Insiders

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