50+ Resume Dos and Don’ts You Need to Know

Resume Help

The greatest resume errors and dos and don’ts are going to be revealed to you, but first:

An elite corporation is hiring. They have ergonomic seats, an espresso maker, a matching 401(k), and work that you like.

Your ideal position has been located.

Why then, instead of piqueing their attention, are you enraging the recruiting manager?

What, oh what? You didn’t want to irritate and frustrate them, I know that.

And you did. Yet what did you do incorrectly?

You see, creating a résumé is more complicated than you may imagine.

There is much more to think about than just describing your educational and professional background and proofreading for errors.

But do not fret. Please keep reading.

There are guidelines to follow while creating a resume and errors to avoid. Both undesirable and desirable choices exist.

There are resume dos and don’ts, and we’ll work our way through them all together until we figure it out.

This resume tutorial will demonstrate:

  • Examples of resume dos and don’ts to avoid in order to produce one that stands out from 9 out of 10 others.
  • What to include on your CV to get more interviews.
  • Examples of resume writing mistakes and resume writing advice.

1- Starting Your Resume the Right Way

There are two ways: the appropriate manner and the inappropriate one.

Which team do you support?

To begin your resume correctly, abide by these crucial dos and don’ts.

Don’t – Quantity.Stop sending your resume to every company within a 50-mile radius in bulk emails. That is poor resume etiquette, and you will only face widespread rejection.

Do – Quality.Create a résumé that is specific to the job description by writing it as though there are no other positions available. Eliminate the firm name, note pertinent resume keywords, and so on.

Don’t – just begin writing. That won’t help you make a strong resume.

Do – Use a resume outline to decide what parts to include and where they should go.

Don’t – While the combination format would have been better, you picked the reverse-chronological format.

Do – Ensure that the format you choose for your resume matches your experience, education, and talents.

Don’t – extend it excessively. And if you have limited job experience, make that a one-page resume; if you have a lot, make it a two-page resume. One of the most frequent resume blunders is the third page.

Do – Make it shorter and more concentrated. “A clean, concise résumé indicates an ability to collect, prioritize, and present the most critical facts about you,” said Laszlo Bock, former SVP of People Operations at Google. Learn what should not be on a resume if you need more room.

Don’t – Make it difficult to read your resume by choosing bizarre typefaces and nauseating colors. Avoid using too many cursive fonts or being overly inventive.

Do – Make it simple to read your CV. Use high contrast colors, readable, correctly sized, and styled fonts, a readable margin on all four sides, and clearly defined subtitles. Pick the most effective resume layout you can.

Don’t – cram every component of the resume into an unintelligible alphabet soup. This kind of chaos is absolutely not what you want to see on a CV.

Do – Use straightforward subheadings to make it easy for the hiring manager to scan to the portion or sections that catch their attention. To make it easy to distinguish from your 10–12 pt content, make these subsection headings around 14–16 font size.

Don’t – Look at the job description in question quickly; don’t even give it a single reading.

Do – The job description should be read once, then again. Make sure you’ve thought about every resume keyword there is, as well as the ideal prospect the recruiter is looking for.

2- The Heading Statement

Since it’s at the top of the page, the heading statement—your resume aim or summary—is probably going to get the most attention.

According to our HR statistics research, recruiters first scan resumes for only 7 seconds on average. As a result, it is crucial to get the summary or goal properly.

To develop a successful heading statement for your resume, abide by our list of dos and don’ts.

Don’t – start with a broad overview, but avoid one that sounds like a ridiculous pipe dream. Most definitely a resume no-no!

Do – Create a profile that highlights your unique qualifications for the position and helps you stand out from the competition. Keep in mind that this is your elevator pitch, so speak as such.

Don’t – make use of first-person pronouns (e.g., “I,” “my”). This appears as unprofessional and unengaging.

Do – Power verbs and action words like “Spearheaded” or “Analyzed” should be used at the beginning of each bullet point.

Don’t -abuse the heading statement by using a resume summary when a resume goal should have been used, or the opposite.

Do -If you’re unsure, study up on the distinctions between them. Look at the following articles: Use These Examples of Resume Objectives on Your Resume (Tips) and Learn How To Write A Resume Summary: 21 Best Illustrations You’ll See

Don’t – on resumes, utilize passive voice. I was in charge of the menswear section, which seems evasive and vague.

Do – When creating your CV, employ active voice. It is succinct and direct:

managed the menswear division.

Don’t -extend it excessively. Make sure to keep your resume aim and summary to no more than four sentences.

Do -Make your resume goal or summary a few phrases that make up one brief paragraph.

Don’t -Make a list of everything you want to achieve from being recruited, such as, “Looking forward to growing my career and acquiring relevant experience.”

Do -Make the employer the focus of the CV. Tell them in specifics how employing you will help the business and how much they won’t regret it.

3- Experience

The majority of the time, this makes up the body of your resume and takes up more than half of its overall space.

You should take the proper steps. Here are some useful tips for drafting a resume’s experience section that can help you obtain your next job.

Don’t – the disappointment of not getting the “correct” experience. Keep in mind that everyone had no experience at some time in their life. On the plus side, you won’t be restricted in how many occupations you may mention on your CV!

Do – get knowledge. That’s correct, if you’re concerned that you lack experience—or at the very least, experience appropriate for this field—get some! Try some Upwork freelancing jobs, give back to your community by volunteering, or enroll in an internship to develop your talents.

Don’t – Include each and every job you’ve ever had. Avoid include experience on your CV that is no longer relevant or current.

Do – choose the finest, most relevant few. Choose the previous roles that will improve your CV and assist you get an interview.

Don’t – Another of the most typical resume blunders is to just state your tasks. The employer is aware of the duties you have had in the past, but they are unaware of how successfully you handled those duties.

Do – On your résumé, highlight measurable accomplishments like “improved productivity by 32%” or “reduced corporate waste by $13,000 in 2017.”

Don’t – utilize cunning ruses to discuss knowledge that ought to have been kept private.

In the past, Mr. Bock—the person we previously mentioned—used to turn down candidates with excellent technical knowledge whose resumes included things like, “Consulted to a Major Software Company in Redmond, Washington.” He understood from the language that they had signed confidentiality agreements but were still attempting to “name-drop” (Microsoft, in this case).

Do – Simply skip it. You know that name-dropping is prohibited going forward if you signed a confidentiality agreement. If you do this, why would the new employer trust you to work for them? The new employer wants a recruit they can rely on.

Don’t – Use worn-out action verbs like managed or led to list your professional experience.

Do – Implement and use the ideal buzzwords to accurately depict your professional work experience.

Don’t -The incorrect approach to report advancements and numerous roles held inside the same organization.

Do – recognize whether it makes sense to separate each job into its own entry or to group your titles into one listing.

Don’t – On your resume, use the incorrect verb tenses or go back and forth between tenses.

Do – Use the past tense if it was a former employment that you no longer hold. Use the present tense when stating a current position. However, make sure they remain the same throughout each listing.

Don’t- utilize too domain-specific language, platitudes, or meaningless buzzwords. According to a Princeton research, you’re compensating excessively.

Do – Use buzzwords when they appear in the job description as resume keywords or when they are widely utilized by most individuals in the business.

Don’t – employ the following four titles: CEO, Owner, Founder, and Entrepreneur. They raise red flags by asking, “Would she fit well here when she’s been the boss before,” as LinkedIn says.

Do- Unless absolutely necessary, such as for a parallel posture, stay away from them.

4- Education

You flaunt it because you have it, right? However, it’s not quite that simple, to be sure. The importance of the education section is often greater than most job applicants realize.

Here are some resume education section dos and don’ts to help you ace the big test.

Don’t – list a GPA that is inadequate. This will hinder rather than improve your prospects.

Do- If you think your GPA is too low, don’t include it. Only include it if the employer asks for it.

Don’t; if you specify two things in your schooling area, simply enter one GPA.

Do; instead, enter either both GPAs or none at all.

Don’t – Never undervalue the value of an education section, especially one that is strategically positioned.

Do – Make sure your education part is either directly before or right after your job experience section on your resume.

Don’t – If you have a college degree, mention your high school. Not a major resume error, but nonetheless a mistake.

Do – If high school was the last educational level you finished, mention it.

Don’t – Lie about your education. A diploma that is one credit short is not a diploma. Don’t round up your GPA either. 

Do – Give a detailed description of your educational background. It is best to completely exclude anything from your resume if you are sincerely ashamed of what you learned in the past.

5- Skills

It seems simple enough when you describe your talents. However, the fact that so many individuals erroneously believe this says otherwise.

Here are several skills section writing dos and don’ts to bear in mind, ranging from minor resume errors in stating your talents to major ones that might cost you the interview.

Don’t-enumerate every single skill you possess. Restaurants aren’t interested in your nunchuck prowess, and a flight attendant CV isn’t required to include your proficiency with Adobe Photoshop CC.

Do-peruse the job description. Look for the abilities the hiring manager is seeking.

Don’t-enumerate knowledge that comes naturally. Everyone boasts of their unmatched mastery of the Microsoft Office Suite, but 1) are you really knowledgeable about each Office program? Secondly, is it even pertinent?

Do-bring in your less evident talents. A good general rule of thumb is to list a talent if you would be proud to mention it to the hiring manager.

Don’t– boastful. Do not refer to oneself as the “best of” something or as “special.” Like many other individuals, recruiters dislike boasters.

Do- Let your credentials and experience do the talking.

Don’t-Word for word in your CV, use the keywords from the job description. This is too specifically customized to the job description and will give the impression that you lack the talents you describe.

Do- Use your own language except in the most important places to seem like you truly read the job advertising and gave it some thought.

Don’t-Adding outdated talents will make you seem outdated.

Do-  include modern abilities; the only exception should be if the job posting clearly calls for understanding of antiquated technologies.

6- Extra Sections

The portions of your resume that were mentioned above were all significant and, in many cases, required. There are a ton more that we didn’t cover, mostly because it’s up to you to determine whether or not they apply to your case.

For the other sections on your resume, here are some dos and don’ts.

Don’t- Do not list any relevant certificates!

Do – Include a section on certifications if you have any that might assist you obtain the job, such as a chef resume’s food safety certification.


Don’t- include a reference section.

Do – The hiring manager is aware that “references are accessible upon request,” so keep that precious space on your CV for something more significant.

Don’t- Do not include a “Hobbies & Interests” section on your resume. However, don’t add absolutely unrelated pastimes and interests.

DO – If you are aware that the hiring manager enjoys the same sports as you do, for instance, consider if include a section on your interests or hobbies might improve your resume and help you get an interview.

Don’t- – fail to remember that your volunteer experience might be a valuable source of job experience.

Do- If you have one, include a section on your volunteer activity, but keep it distinct from your professional history. Create a section on your resume called “Volunteer Experience” as an additional section.

Don’t – exclude any other crucial components from your resume.

Do – If you think they are pertinent and you think they will help you win the job interview, add more sections to your resume.

7- Your Personal Details: Contact Info & Social Media

Your social media is as necessary to you as water, and your contact information is ingrained in your mind.

Your personal detail area is often plagued by issues either in spite of or as a result of this.

People often skip this section of resumes, which leads to numerous preventable errors.

Let’s look at some difficulties that are evident and others that are less obvious.

  • Contact Info Dos & Don’ts on Resumes

Don’t – utilize the email address you used in middle school, such [email protected]. Additionally, avoid using an outdated provider like…[email protected].
Do – Use a simple, name-only email address from a reputable, up-to-date email service, such [email protected].

Don’t – miss the distinction between your home address and postal address.

 Do -If you include a postal address at all, be careful to include it to ensure that you get any further contact. If your home address is the same as your postal address or, very rarely, if the recruiter is seeking for a local applicant, provide it in your application.

Don’t – Add your home phone number or a backup mobile phone number to reduce the likelihood that you will miss the call.

Do – Use your mobile phone instead, which will be with you all day.

Don’t- leave the previous voicemail message stating,

“Hello, I’m sorry I can’t answer the phone right now; I’m either drunk and out of it or having coitus. Please provide your name and phone number.

Do – Make changes to your voicemail for professionalism. Do you want to have the best résumé possible just to mess it up by forgetting to sanitize your recording?

Don’t For positions in the majority of English-speaking nations, attach a picture of yourself.

Do- If you are an actress, professional model, or seeking a comparable employment where your looks should be taken into consideration throughout the recruiting process, submit a profile picture.

Don’t -Give them extraneous information or disclose any private information that might lead to discrimination, such as your age, religion, sexual orientation, marital status, etc.

Do – Just include the essentials; just take into account other information if it’s required, such as a date of birth if serving alcohol.

  • Social Media Dos & Don’ts

Don’t- Include the handles for each and every social media account you use. Don’t believe it’s unprofessional to include social media either.

Do- Add your primary social media accounts, such as Facebook, Twitter, and particularly LinkedIn. In the current job search, social media connections on your CV are a need.

Don’t- Don’t audit your personal social media pages. They will undoubtedly attempt to search you up whether or not you provide them connections to your Facebook and Instagram.

Do- Organize your online image. Posts that may be giving others a bad impression of you, including lengthy tirades about ex-lovers, ex-employers, and colleagues, should be deleted or marked as super-private.

Don’t – Don’t underestimate the value of your LinkedIn profile. Additionally, avoid creating a LinkedIn profile that isn’t similar to your résumé.

Do -To better reflect your current job search objectives, improve your LinkedIn profile page and header summary statement.

Don’t- Links to your own blog should be included, at least until you’ve checked it for relevant and possibly offending content.

Do – If you are proud of your prior postings and believe they will strengthen your candidacy, link to your own blog or website (like a professional portfolio). Consider creating a professional website that will serve as your online identity.

8- Finishing Touches & Sending It All Away

You’re almost there. You’re nearly ready to send out an email with your cover letter and a killer CV attached.

Before you feel confident sending it all out, here are some resume dos and don’ts as final touches.

Don’t – Applicants tracking systems are useless! In its most basic form, an applicant tracking system (ATS) is software that a hiring manager could use to assist them in sorting through the hundreds of applications they get for each job opportunity. You may as well not have submitted your resume if the ATS can’t read it.

Do- Make your CV ATS-ready (applicant tracking system). Include a.DOC version and a PDF version only if you are certain that the ATS bots can read the content in the former format.

Don’t – One of the most frequent resume blunders is to believe that submitting your resume by email is no different from sending any other email.

Do – Add the hiring manager’s name, the name of the business, and customize the email just like you would your resume and cover letter.

Don’t – overlook the email subject line, which contains the final resume keyword.

Do- Check the job description once again to determine whether sending emails with a certain subject line is required of candidates. If not, use the title of the job, any needed reference numbers, your name, and the term “resume.”

Don’t – Don’t give your resume files bad or random names.

Do- Apply a consistent naming pattern to all of your attachments, including your name, hyphens or underscores, the title of the job you’re applying for, and the words “resume” or “cover letter.”


Don’t – commit typos. I assume you already knew that. Well, I’ll underline the significance since a 2013 CareerBuilder study discovered that 58 percent of resumes include errors. Check to make sure your contact information is valid and your facts are right, just as you would for typos.

Do- Be sure to double-check your resume before submitting it. Better still, let a friend or member of your family scan it so you have a second set of eyes. Then, use a program like Grammarly to check your email, cover letter, and resume.

Don’t- Have the resume extended such that the second page is basically blank with a few words at the top.

Do- reduce the fat. Find a method to condense everything into one page, or include extra stuff to prevent the second page from seeming to be a blank piece of paper.

Don’t- Unless the job advertising clearly instructs you otherwise, be lazy and send your email to the company’s catch-all public email address.

Do- discover the recruiting manager’s email address. Send it immediately to the appropriate email address as you already know who they are by name.

Don’t – Send it with a resume as a Google Doc or Office Online link without giving the proper viewing rights.

Do- Ensure that you email it to people who have the connection, or at the very least make it public. Otherwise, simply continue attaching.doc or.pdf files to emails.

Key Takeaway

We often provide you some (hopefully!) beneficial ideas on how to improve your CV. There are just as many things not to do, as you can see, however.

For the finest CV you can create, bear the following in mind:

Relevant – Your CV should emphasize the fact that you are the greatest applicant possible at every opportunity.

Tailor – Do not make your CV about you; it should be about them. Mention the business and tailor your list of abilities to the role being offered.

Lying – Don’t do it. If anything isn’t entirely true, leave it out. Avoid over-the-top embellishments and exaggerations.

Cover letter – The focus of this essay was on resume dos and don’ts, but a cover letter is still required!