Getting past the early stages of resume review is important. What your resume looks like and how it is organized are some of the things that are used to weed out resumes during the early stages of review.  If you make it to the next step, the recruiters and potential employers are now taking a closer look at your resume. Now, they will look at its level of professionalism.

There are some key things that keep a reader’s interest and can help them see what you can bring to the company.  This includes what is on the resume and what is not on the resume.  It also includes how the resume sounds or comes across to the reader.

Here are six areas to think about when creating a professional resume:

  1.    Tone
  2.    Action verbs
  3.    Spelling and grammar
  4.    Consistency
  5.    Accuracy and honesty
  6.    What not to put on a resume


Remember, the purpose of your resume is to sell yourself as someone who should be brought in for a job interview. The tone of your resume can help you with this.  The tone is how your resume sounds or comes across to the reader.  You want to come across as a strong candidate for the position.

The words and phrases you use can make your resume sound strong. Employers want to see words and phrases on your resume that clearly show your skills, experience and accomplishments. Employers do not like to see information that is vague or unclear. They want to see phrases that tell them exactly what you did to bring value to your previous employer.  For example, using the words “I did” instead of “I am” or “I consider myself to be” will make a resume stronger.

making a plan

Action verbs

You don’t have a lot of space or time to help employers see that you are worth considering for a position.  Because of this, you will want to make sure every word or phrase on your resume counts. The best way to do this is to use action verbs in your resume.  A verb is an action or  something that a person does.  Action verbs describe situations, actions and results in concrete terms.  Here are some examples of action verbs that employers like to see:

  •         Improved
  •         Designed
  •         Managed
  •         Trained
  •         Created
  •         Achieved

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Spelling and Grammar  

Correct spelling of every word in your resume is important. A resume that has misspelled words is a resume that will be set aside or thrown out by reviewers before they even look at anything else. Recruiters and employers feel that your resume should be important enough for you to take the time and effort to review it.  This includes making sure everything is spelled correctly and is grammatically correct. Reviewers feel strongly enough about this that they generally will not even look at a resume if they see misspelled words or grammatical errors.



Consistency in your resume is also important.  This means that if you do something in one place on your resume, do it the same throughout the rest of your resume.  For example, if you use a colon after a job title, use a colon after every job title you list. Or if you make the company name bold, do that for every company you list. Be consistent with the following items on your resume:

  • Capitalization: If you capitalize your job titles, be sure to capitalize all of them. If the first word of a bulleted phrase is capitalized, do this for every bullet point in your resume.
  • Punctuation:  If you put a colon after a job title, put a colon after every job title.
  • Headings:  Make sure the headings on your resume are consistent.  Are they bold? Are they indented?  Whatever format you choose for your headings, be sure all of them are the same.
  • Fonts:  Use the same font type throughout your resume.  You can vary the font size a little, but don’t go overboard.  For example, you may want your name, or maybe the headings, to be a little larger font than the rest of your resume.
  • Tense usage:  You should be consistent with when you use past and present tense in your resume.  Past tense refers to actions that already happened, so use this for responsibilities you had in a past job.  Present tense refers to current actions, so use these for responsibilities you have in a current job.

Accuracy and honesty

Be sure that you are truthful and accurate with everything that you put on your resume. You want your information to be accurate when the employer checks references and verifies your employment.  You don’t want to have information on your resume that doesn’t match what an employer will find during a reference check. This will end your chances of getting the job right there!

To be sure you are accurate, don’t guess at your job titles or dates. And don’t exaggerate or make your accomplishments sound better than they are. Be accurate and honest when creating your resume. You don’t want to get caught with incorrect or inaccurate information when you get in an interview.

What not to put on a resume

It’s as important to know what NOT to include on your resume as it is to know what TO include.  There are a number of things that do not need to be included on your resume. This includes things like your age, gender, religious and political views.

We hope you took some tips away from this post regarding professionalism in your resume. If you would like to learn more about teaching workplace readiness, click the free trial link below.