As an executive search and recruiting firm, we see a lot of resumes come across our desks. Some are great and some are even amazing. However, more often than not, a good portion are less than stellar. A resume is your chance to get your foot in the door at your dream company. Here are some resume do’s and don’ts.

  • Highlight relevant experience – Your resume should be fluid. Each time you apply for a different job, you should highlight your experience that lines up with that position. Create a master resume and build off of that one each time you apply for a different position.
  • Don’t use the exact wording from the job description – Highlight the skills that are in the job description and showcase your experience, but word-for-word is a no-no.
  • Do include soft skills – Quantifiable accomplishments are great to include in your resume. “Built a sales book of $1.2 million in a 5-year period.” “Increase LinkedIn followers by 20% with implementation of new social media strategy.”
  • Don’t include random hobbies – HR isn’t that interested in how you spend your weekend binge watching Game of Thrones or shooting hoops with your buddies.
  • Do include volunteer work if it took up a significant amount of time – If you spend multiple hours a month volunteering at the local soup kitchen or you are the PR chair for the Chamber of Commerce and your career is in PR, put those volunteer roles on your resume.
  • Don’t use an objective statement – An objective statement is only valuable if you are making a career change. You don’t need it if you’ve been in sales and you’re applying for a sales position.
  • Do include your contact info – You may have emailed your resume to a hiring manager, but that may not be the person contacting you for the interview. Include your contact information on your resume (email, phone, LinkedIn profile).
  • Don’t forget to spell check – Spelling and grammar errors can easily move your resume to the bottom of the pile.
  • Do start with a template – there are hundreds of resume templates out there and even included with  Microsoft Word. A template will help eliminate design work and give you a professional looking resume without having to pay for one.

You have to invest time in crafting a resume that sells you. You can’t get an interview if the hiring manager can’t see past the jumble of words on your resume.