Do add quantifiable statements

Sell yourself on your accomplishments. While it might be tempting to list your duties in your last job role, listing your achievements is more impactful. If you increased sales, tell them how much they increased by. And if you reduced costs, then give some facts and figures to prove it.

Do proofread

Always check your spelling, grammar and punctuation are perfect. A poorly written resume will make you look sloppy and deliver a negative first impression.

Ask friends or family to read through your CV if you’re concerned. Or run it through a writing assistance tool such as Grammarly.

Do add professional qualifications

If you have qualifications, even if they’re not directly tied to the role you’re applying for, add them! Demonstrated knowledge and a proven willingness to learn and develop looks fantastic to an employer.

Whether you earned your qualifications in college or on-the-job, any professional acknowledgement of skills is valuable. Also, try to exhibit recent learning and continual professional development to show that you have current, relevant skills.

Do change the layout of your resume

Is your resume eye-catching? If not, it may be time to change it up. Experiment with different layouts, sections and headers. Make sure that your resume is clear and that all your accomplishments and skills are easy to locate.

Do ask friends and family what your strengths are

The people who know you best may have different ideas about what your strengths are. They may even highlight the achievements that you had forgotten or overlooked. Sometimes, a fresh perspective can revamp a resume.

Do use numbers and statistics

Prove your knowledge and accomplishments with facts, figures and statistics. These are reliable indicators of past successes and are easy for a potential employer to quantify.

Do include voluntary work

Even though it is unpaid, voluntary work can provide incredibly valuable work experience. Employers also love to see that you pursue work-related activities outside of regular employment. Voluntary work shows that you are motivated, caring and productive.


Don’t add a photo

Unless you’re applying for a modelling job, you don’t need to show what you look like. Photos can distract from your skills and experience and risk the employer using unconscious bias. HR departments may occasionally reject resumes with pictures to avoid discrimination based on appearance.

Don’t use a star rating system

Star rating systems don’t help a resume because the employer may not understand your rating system. For example, are you rating yourself against your other skills or against industry professionals? Additionally, if you rate yourself highly for something, the recruiter won’t know whether you actually have those skills or if you are exaggerating. Use specific examples of your skills instead.

Don’t add references

References in a resume occupy precious space that you could use for listing experience and knowledge. Instead, say ‘references available on request’.

Don’t submit the same resume for every job

Every job is not the same; therefore, no resume should be the same. Read the job advert and tailor your resume to fit what the recruiter is looking for (without lying, of course). Use the selection criteria to adjust your resume to the job description.

Don’t use cliches

Saying that you have ‘great communication skills’ or that you are a ‘team player’ doesn’t mean much when it comes to your resume. If you are good at communicating, explain how you came to that conclusion. Have you presented to large groups or led teams? Examples like this will be far more impressive.

Don’t include too much personal information

You can leave marital status, nationality or gender out of your resume. Employers cannot recruit based upon personal factors, so including that information could make them feel uncomfortable. Just like with photos, recruiters do not want to risk bias.