Your resume is one of the most important parts of any job package. Potential employers will use your resume to make a decision about your suitability as an employee. That decision will often be made quickly. That's why your resume needs to be complete, simple to read, and kept to one page.
- Be concise. One way to do this is to use sentence fragments separated by semicolons
- Be well-organized. Experts offer different suggestions about what should come first on your resume. It probably makes no difference what the order is, but have a plan. In general, your professional experience is most important. Always list the most recent experience first.
- Don't write your philosophy. For example, your job objective should be to report, or to edit, or to work for a nonprofit agency etc. Be exact. Don't write silly things about "contributing to the company's growth."
- If you are applying for your first job, it is useful to add a sheet of references. Include title, name, address, phone number and e-mail. Often an employer might want to contact a reference immediately and not have to contact you first. Later in your career, you may choose to withhold references until you are certain an employer is serious so you can avoid potentially embarrassing contacts with your current employer.
- Edit, edit, edit. Many a resume has been tossed because of fact errors or spelling and grammar mistakes.
- Describe your professional work in positive ways. Focus on your responsibilities and especially your work accomplishments. Brag about yourself.
- Use white or neutral, high-quality paper.
- People can tell a great deal from an application. Whether you come across as professional, competent, and an all-around good potential hire can be determined by that envelope of application material. Make sure the name on the outside of the envelope is correct. Employers, especially editors, have ditched applications without opening them because the applicant misspelled a name on the envelope. No newsroom or business needs that kind of laziness or sloppiness. Inside the envelope, everything must be typed. Handwritten cover letters and particularly handwritten resumes get ditched.