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Chapter I. Selling Yourself on Paper
How to Make a Great First Impression

Your resume has to sell the reader in the top half.

  • Your "Summary of Qualifications" should be stated simply with a particular career/job in mind.
  • Your strongest skills should be listed in the beginning.
  • If education is a strong asset, list it first; otherwise wait.
  • The position titles and companies should be easy to pick out.
The resume should be written with the employer in mind.
  • Tailor your resume to the kind of job(s) you are looking for.
  • If possible, match your qualifications to those listed in the ad or job description.
Your accomplishments should stand out.
  • The employer should be able to determine your accomplishments easily when reading work history.
  • Avoid using long paragraphs.
Your resume should have eye appeal.
  • It should look clean and professional.
  • Check for errors in grammar and spelling, using your spelling and grammar checker if you have a computer.
  • Stick to one page (two at most!).
What employers look for when reading a resume.
  • Are there sufficient years or level of experience?
  • Is work experience appropriate?
  • Are there gaps in work history?
  • Is resume neat and orderly?
  • Does applicant have transferable skills?
  • How does applicant compare with others under consideration?
A Few Resume Do's and Don'ts


  • Be explicit; use action verbs.
  • Make it one page and never more than two pages.
  • Select proper format for you.
  • Use direct, simple English.
  • Do it yourself! Get input from others,
    but you know yourself best.


  • Don't list hobbies, unless related to work.
  • Don't list references.
  • Don't list salary requirements or past salaries.
  • Don't give reasons for leaving past jobs.
  • Don't list personal information such as age, sex, weight, height, marital status, or number of children.
  • Don't attach a photo.

Copyright 2008 Career Planning Associates. Distributed by Pearson.
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