Friday, December 16, 2011

Resume Editing Tips

There comes a point in the life of every job seeker when they need to re-write their resume.  Maybe you aren't getting sufficient responses to your job applications or maybe you just feel like it's time to change things up.  Whatever the reason, you should make sure you follow proper resume editing guidelines before you get started.

Spelling and grammar are two of the most important things to check over when re-doing your resume, but you should also pay attention to stylistic issues.  What kind of font are you using?  It should be something readable and eye-catching.  That's why sticking with your word processor's default font (usually Times New Roman) is not the best of ideas.  There's only so many times a hiring manager can see that style before the words start to blur together.  Try using a font like Arial, which is easy to read and comes out cleanly in a fax or photocopy.  Feel free to be even more creative, but avoid crazy fonts.  Apologies to fans of Comic Sans.

You should next look at the layout of your resume content.  How are you listing your job descriptions?  You should make sure they are listed with the job title first.  For example:

Director of Marketing: Generic Marketing Organization, Inc, April 2007-Present

Some variation of that style is likely to get you the most success.  Remember, it's most important that recruiters know what kind of work you did before everything else.  When writing the descriptions of each job, you should use active verbs to describe your accomplishments.  So instead of saying "Responsible for developing marketing strategies" you should say "Developed marketing strategies."  Using an active verb format makes gives the reader a stronger sense of what you achieved.

Here are some final tips:
  • If you don't have a lot of nonprofit work experience, lead with your education.
  • List your contact information in large, bold font at the top of your resume.  Don't assume the employer will get your information from your cover letter.
  • List all your skills that apply to nonprofit work.


  1. Where on the resume should that skills list go?

  2. It depends, but I've always found either at the top or bottom.

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