Resume Dos and Don'ts
Always Do on a Resume
- Check for spelling mistakes and typos. If you do not take the time to check out errors in your resume, it's a clear message that you are careless in your work.
- Ensure that all information and data are correct. Get the right names of people and places. Incorrect information sends a message that you don't know what you are talking about, or worse, trying to "snow" the prospective employer. Don't be too wordy, and do make it clear.
- Note special distinctions and honors. This will distinguish you from other candidates. Do not, however, make something up or exaggerate your accomplishments.
- Weed out non-essential information. Data not relevant to your forthcoming career should be dropped. No one needs to read about your days as a summer camp counselor, love of ant farms, or being a folk song writer. An exception to this rule would be a noteworthy personal accomplishment like entering and finishing a marathon. This is a demonstration of discipline and commitment.
- List your education first when you are just graduating from school. That is the most important asset that you can sell.
- Record and describe all practicum assignments. This will show your varied experiences in the field. It will help the interviewer understand your background. At the same time, you should indicate patient populations you have worked with, special tools you have used and out-of-the-ordinary meetings that you regularly attended.
- Write your accomplishment in terms of career development. If you have taken extra courses and wish to list them, make sure they are appropriate for the job you seek. An hour-long course at a convention or a local study group does not qualify for listing unless you presented the seminar itself. In that case, it is considered an accomplishment that you definitely would want to list. Attendance at a full-day or longer seminar is important to mention only if relevant to the job you are seeking.
Don't Ever on a Resume
- Don't exaggerate duties and accomplishments. The person reading your resume is experienced and will easily pick up on exaggerations.
- Don't use undefined abbreviations. You should never assume someone will understand abbreviations you have commonly used. Understand too that sometimes an administrator with a different background/education from yours will be reading your resume and may not know that ABR, BAER, BSER, ERA and AER are all the same test.
- Don't balloon-up the resume. It is the quality and not the quantity of your resume that will cause someone to call you in for an interview.
- Never offer age, marital status, religious affiliation or sexual orientation. This can set you up for discrimination.
- Make sure you don't visually clutter the resume. Difficult reading makes the reader tired.
- Don't confuse "Practicum Experience" with "Professional Experience." No one expects you to have had "Professional Experience" while in school.