Resume Tips

Tell Us About Your Professional Self

The managers who review your resume will need to see that you have the particular skills and approach which makes them want to interview you. Therefore, we need to know everything about what you've done professionally so that we can find a good fit between you and an opening. So, please give us information on all the things you've done. Handwritten updates are fine. Try not to use words like "familiar with" in describing work assignments. This is a true story - once interviewing a candidate about a position as a 3D PDS designer the candidate's resume said he was "familiar with" 3D – PDS on a 20 month assignment. As the interview narrowed in on his experience and capabilities using 3D – PDS software – the candidate finally admitted that he "didn't actually use 3D-PDS software". But for 20 months he sat next to a 3D-PDS designer who was using 3D-PDS software therefore the candidate said he was "familiar with" the use of 3D-PDS software.

Be Concise...

Try not to have resume exceed more than four (4) pages. If you have an extensive history of assignments, you can shorten your resume by stating "Experience prior to 1990 (or whatever date you might want to use) available upon request"

...But Not Too Concise

At the same time that you're being concise, don't forget to mention important things. If your cool terminal driver was developed on Unix and ported to Windows NT, be sure to mention this.


Length of assignments should be in "Month and Year" format – for example: 10/12 – 06/13.

All contract personnel and generally all hiring managers know that listing assignments in "Year to Year" format (2010 – 2011) is used when a candidate wants to bridge "gaps" in employment. If you list the length your assignment as 2010 – 2011 - was the assignment (and therefore your experience) for:

  1. One week – December 26 , 2010 to January 02, 2011 (12/10 – 01/11) ; OR
  2. One month – December 5, 2010 to January 02, 2011 (12/10 – 01/11); OR
  3. One year – December 2010 to December 2011 (12/10 – 12/ 11); OR
  4. Two years – January 2010 to December 2011 (01/10 – 12/11); OR
  5. Anywhere between 2 months to 23 months assignment – was the assignment for 7 months (June 2010 – January 2011); OR was the assignment for 5 months - November 2010 to March 2011; or was it an 8 month assignment - July 2010 – February 2011, etc ? Any of the choices are correct as they all fit the length of assignment you listed - 2010 – 2011.

By listing your assignments in "Year to Year" format is generally a "red flag" to the hiring manager. Either the candidate has something to hide or the assignments were all short term or there is a large amount of time between assignments ?

Another thing to consider when you use "Year to Year" formatting - When the hiring manager has 20 resumes to review and make a selection, he / she is not going to take the time to try to decipher how much experience you have performing the assignment listed. Their decision is pretty quick – "on to the next resume". Many hiring managers have told us that resumes with "Year to Year" formatting are usually passed by and not considered.

Readability Matters

Tell Us Where You Can Be Reached
May be hard to imagine, but sometimes people completely omit their addresses and phone numbers and we have no way to contact them! Please remember to include yours at the top of your resume. Additionally, when you supply a phone number, be sure to identify whether it applies to the daytime or the evening. These simple steps can cut days out of the time it takes to reach you, which may make all the difference in finding a job for you!

Avoid Unusual Acronyms

You don't need to spell out every acronym, but many acronyms are not used outside of a particular company. If you use such an acronym, the reader may not understand that you actually have just the experience that they're looking for. If in doubt, spell it out.

The same advice applies to technical terms. For example, IBM calls display points on a screen "pels", but most other use the term "pixels". If you don't know how the rest of the world describes what you are doing, study up on it. It could open new opportunities for you.

Make Sure You Are Sending Text

When submitting your resume – please send it in "Word" format. All resumes are automatically uploaded into our "key word" searchable database.

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