Career Development

Good vs. Bad

What makes a good resumé?

Three things distinguish good resumés from bad ones:  good resumés are easy to read, only include valuable content and are error-free.

Note what makes the information below a poor resumé. Then scroll down to see step-by-step improvements.

Step 1

Deanna's drafted resumé simply lists information she thinks should be included. It's a start but needs much more thought and reorganization.

Step 1

Step 2

After organizing her information into categories, Deanna realizes she needs to be more selective, omitting some irrelevant information and including more details of interest to an employer.

Step 2

Step 3

Deanna has edited out irrelevancies and added good detail, but those details are not going to stand out if a busy employer only gives the resumé a quick glance.

Step 3

Step 4

Adding bullets and consistent formatting to dates, job titles, etc. makes Deanna’s resumé much easier to read. Even though it is now longer, Deanna decided that a front-and-back resumé is justified to highlight her considerable experience.  She also realizes that her verb choices are rather dull and that her sentence construction still requires too much thought for a busy reader to process efficiently.

Step 4 a

Step 4 b

Step 5

Stronger verbs now increase the impact of Deanna’s resumé, and parallel construction of her sentences makes her points easy-to-read, even at a glance. Deanna realizes that she could offer a valuable preview of her most marketable skills in a skill summary at the top of her resumé.

Step 5 a

Step 5 b

Step 6

Before finalizing her resumé, Deanna proofread her work carefully and got some additional input from several friends who are familiar with resumés. She knows her most marketable skills and experiences far better than she did when she started, and she is now ready to communicate these with confidence in interviews. This resumé should give her the opportunity to do that.

Step 6 a

Step 6 b

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