We don't recommend it, but if you think you must...
If you are determined to draft and polish your own resume rather than take advantage of our seasoned resume preparation experts, please keep these ten critical points in mind:
1. Portrait: Your resume is not a list of where you’ve been and what you’ve done. It’s your portrait painted in words. You must be able to cast yourself in the best light, positioned most advantageously, showing your “best” side.
2. Analytical: Allow your resume to reveal some insightful analysis: How did this career history help you grow professionally, achieve and contribute to past employers?
3. Honest: Don’t lie on your resume – about anything. Casting yourself in the best light is not lying (and it might not be easy). Be honest about your education, your work history, the size budget or staff you managed… don’t write anything you can’t defend. Ever.
4. Impact: Focus your work history on accomplishments, not tasks. Show the challenges you’ve faced – and conquered. Demonstrate the positive difference you’ve made for employers.
5. Quantify: Don’t just say you were the registrar for six years. State that you successfully registered 40,000+ individuals for 36 major events. Show your measurable impact.
6. Appropriate: Don’t waste space on a “personal” section or names of past supervisors or salary earned for past work. And don’t waste a precious line to say “References available upon request.” Of course they are! And the interviewer will request them at the right time.
7. Balanced: In lieu of “personal,” do create a section for volunteer activity or civic involvement or such important contributions in your past. Use it to demonstrate leadership, commitment, breadth of knowledge or influence. Forget hobbies and pastimes.
8. Tailored: If you use a template, alter it to fit your work history and the specific type of work you seek. Don’t feel compelled to use the categories provided in the template.
9. Formatted: Use one full page or (if you absolutely must) two full pages. Don’t use 1-1/4 pages or 1-1/2 pages. Make it all fit nicely, with a pleasing amount of white space.
10. Correct: Have two other people proofread your resume before you send it out to anyone.