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The Do's and Don'ts of Resume Writing

Apr 6, 2017 8:00:00 AM
By Zach Peterson

Searching for new job opportunities? Whether you're looking for something more entry-level or have an extensive work history - There are some resume writing rules you should always adhere to. We checked in with TPD's Staffing Services Coordinator Zach Peterson for some insights on writing a standout resume.


The most common thing I’m asked when people find out I’m a recruiter is if I can look over their resume and tell them how it looks. Every resume is different, but there are some aspects you absolutely must have, some that are optional, and others that you should avoid at all costs before you hit “Apply”.

While there is no such thing as a perfect resume, here are a few tips on how to put together an effective resume that will get the attention of hiring managers:

Must haves

When it comes to writing a resume, there are a few things you absolutely need to include. These are the things you should never submit your resume without:

  • Your name
  • Contact Information - Only include your phone and e-mail address. If you have more than one of each, use the one where the hiring manager should reach you.
  • Employment History - You should spend the majority of your time here. In this section, walk your potential employer through your work history, starting from the most recent and going back as far as it is relevant. The most important things to include when describing your work history are:
    1. Dates employed at the company
    2. Company name
    3. Job title
    4. Duties and responsibilities in that role
  • Education - Make sure to note any certifications, diplomas, degrees, or educational achievements. When discussing post secondary, always mention the name of the school, program studied, and any relevant dates.

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Optional information

Certain things will help your resume stand out, but it won't be thrown out if you don't include the following things:

  • Objective/Profile Statement - The most important thing here is to make it concise and tailored to the position for which you are applying. Why do you want this position? How will it advance your career?
  • Summary of Skills - Often times companies will use search engines within their applicant tracking software to search for candidates with certain words on their resume. Use this section to input any skills that you can’t sneak in to your job duties organically, and mention any software you’ve used, languages you speak, typing speed, etc.
  • Personal Interests - Rarely will you get a job offer because you’re an avid kite boarder who loves dogs, but this give the employer a chance to know what you’re like outside of the workplace and understand if you fit their company culture.
  • Social Networks - Depending on the job, this one can also be considered a must-have. If you are applying for a position in which social media is a large component, be sure to include any accounts you have!

Things you should not do

  • Write in the third person - Your resume should not read as if your friend is telling the hiring manager about you. Instead, it should be you speaking to your potential employer.
  • Reference Names/Information - At most, you can include “references available upon request” on the last page of your resume, but never put the contact information and names of your references on your resume. If you were asked to be a reference, would you want your personal information sent out into the internet to be read by anyone?
  • Comic Sans - Or any font other than Times New Roman, Arial or Helvetica. This is a resume, not a poster to be hung in an elementary school.

Don’t get me wrong - It’s important to make your resume different. You want it to stand out from the rest of the pack while still showing the hiring manager you're who they're looking for. But if you follow these simple rules, you can make sure it's catching the eye of the people you want to work for! 

TPD is hiring for lots of great opportunities with clients around North America - You can check out our Job Board and submit your resume below:Visit TPD's Job Board

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