Resume Dos and Don’ts [Infographic]

Megan Wilson 3m 789 #resumes

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Resume Dos and Don’ts: Making Recruiters Take Notice
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When it comes to working with recruiters, first impressions are important. In fact, you have about 6 seconds to grab the attention of the person looking at your resume. has created an infographic entitled “Resume Dos and Don’ts: Making Recruiters Take Notice”, offering some tips to make your resume shine.

This infographic has some fantastic advice on how to freshen up your resume. From what to include, to what to leave off, (adios Microsoft Word templates), along with a fantastic list of eye-catching buzzwords, you’ll find some insider resume secrets sure to land your resume in front of recruiters. Take a minute to look at your resume from a recruiter’s eye, and see what you can do to re-boot, re-fresh, and re-work your resume.

Feel free to like, comment, and share this infographic from entitled “Resume Dos and Don’ts: Making Recruiters Take Notice”.

Resume Dos and Don’ts [Infographic]

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Resume Dos and Don’ts
Make Recruiters Take Notice

Think Like a Recruiter

Recruiters spend an average of 6 seconds scanning a resume before deciding if a candidate is worth calling for an interview

  • 76% of resumes are discarded for an unprofessional email address
  • 88% of resumes are discarded when they include a photo
  • 78% of resumes are misleading

One study found recruiters spend almost 80% of their resume review time on the following:

  1. Name
  2. Current title / company
  3. Previous title / company
  4. Recent position start and end dates
  5. Previous position start and end dates
  6. Education

Many resumes are scanned and then searched through Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)

This software scans resumes for optimal keywords and makes an initial accept or reject decision

Recruiters may ask these questions when reviewing your resume:

Most recent role

  • Was this person fired or laid off?
  • Has this candidate been in their role for only a few months?
  • Is the most recent role relevant to the position?

Overall experience

  • Is there a career progression?
  • Do the titles make sense?
  • Does the candidate demonstrate increasing levels of responsibility?
  • Do the responsibilities listed match the responsibilities for the new position?

Keywords search

  • Does the candidate have the experience for the role?
  • Do terms in the resume match those of the job description?

Personal web presence

  • Does this person include social media accounts?
  • Is the candidate active on those accounts?


  • Is there a gap between positions?
  • If so, why?

Overall organization

  • Is the resume littered with grammar and spelling errors?
  • Does the candidate have clear communication skills?

General logistics

  • Where is the candidate located?
  • Are special circumstances, like working from home, required?

Make Every Second Count: Resumes Do

Recruiters tend to follow a consistent visual path when reviewing resumes, so an organized layout is very important:

Put format first

  • Use a strong and clean visual layout
  • Avoid dense blocks of text
  • Use plenty of white space
  • Triple check spelling and grammar

Get organized

  • List your experience in chronological order, starting with your current job
  • List your skill sets underneath the positions you used them in

Identify your achievements

  • Save bullet points to call attention to your most noteworthy and relevant accomplishments
  • Recall relevant skills and contributions using CAR:
    • Challenge: Think of a challenge you faced or a problem you had to resolve
    • Action: List the actions you had to take
    • Results: Include the result of the actions as well as the value to your employer

Show leadership

  • List any leadership experience
  • Recruiters look for candidates who take initiative and propose new ideas

Cut down

  • Ask a friend to help you pare down excess text

Incorporate statistics

  • Add in applicable states and figures to make achievements more compelling
  • For example:
    • Acquired 30 new clients
    • Cut costs by 20 percent
    • Generated $10M in sales

Use the right words

  • A survey of more than 2,000 hiring managers and human resource professionals narrowed down the best and worst resume terms:
    • Best words to use:
      • Achieved
      • Created
      • Improved
      • Increased/Decreased
      • Managed
      • Resolved
      • Traine/Mentored
    • Worst words/phrases to use:
      • Bottom line
      • Go-getter
      • Go-to person
      • Results-driven
      • Synergy
      • Team player
      • Think outside the box
      • Thought leadership

Red Flags: Resume Don’ts

  • Use Microsoft Word’s resume templates
  • Include tables
  • List an objective
  • Include personal details
  • Use overcomplicated formatting
  • Write in the first person or change tense throughout
  • Forget to include start dates and end dates
  • Make spelling or grammatical errors
  • List an inappropriate or unprofessional email address
  • Use overly fancy formatting that gets in the way
  • Exaggerate titles and/or responsibilities
  • Exceed one or two pages

First impressions count. Increase your odds of landing the perfect job with these resume dos and don’ts.

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