The Definitive List of What To (and What NOT To) Include On Your Resume

Written by Michele Lando, founder of Write Styles.

Figuring out what information to include on a resume can be difficult (don’t make these mistakes) because truth be told, there’s no one answer for everyone. What information you should include on your resume largely depends on your career, level of experience, industry, and a whole slew of other factors.

With that in mind, there are some general guidelines you can follow to better assist you with gathering the right information. Here are five do’s and don’ts of what to include on your resume.

DO 

Use a font that is simple and easy to read. If you want to go with sans serif (more modern) try using something like Arial or Open Sans. If you want a serif font (slightly more traditional) try Garamond.

DON’T

Use some fancy cursive font or a font that is difficult to read. Simple is always better for fonts.

 DO

Add your education. Unless high school is your highest level of education, no need to include it. If you’re currently in college, this implies that you’ve completed high school. If you’ve graduated from college and/or post graduate schools, include all of those degrees.

DON’T

Include dates of education unless you are just out of college or in college and have very little experience. If you’re in college or just graduated, it’s important to include dates of education to give perspective on why you don’t have much experience. Once you’re a couple years out of school, don’t include dates of education on your resume. It can actually work against you if someone thinks you’re too green or too far out of school.

DO 

Add certifications or specialized training (i.e. online courses, on the job training, software training, etc.)

DON’T

List out relevant college classes unless you’re currently in school or just graduated and need to show that you have industry knowledge.

DO 

Use job descriptions to your advantage and pull key words and phrases from the job descriptions to integrate into your resume.

DON’T

Copy job descriptions and use those on your resume. Integrating key words and phrases is important, but simply copying and pasting a job description you found online won’t benefit you.

DO 

Include specific metrics and achievements. Think about how you can quantify your achievements and how you can articulate your value.

DON’T

Use information from your coworker’s resume. They might have similar job duties to you, but you likely won’t have the exact same achievements.

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About the Author

Michele Lando is a certified professional resume writer, personal branding expert, and founder of Write Styles. She has a passion for helping others present the best version of themselves both on paper and in person, and works to polish individuals' application package and personal style. Aiming to help create a perfect personal branding package, Write Styles provides resources to enhance your resume, professional appearance, and boost your confidence. Michele strives to help others gain the confidence to put their best foot forward in a personal and professional light.