BURRRRP, 7 Ways to Make Your Resume Digestible

Burrrrrp. That’s the sound of your resume being eaten alive by the hiring manager who just realized he needed your “type” about 10 minutes ago and now his heartburn’s kicking in. Isn’t this the right time to NOT make this guy or gal even more upset? No one want’s to take two Prevacids in a single day, so why would you allow your resume to do just that?

So let’s identify some ways that will work as your antacid annihilator, and kickstart some relief back into those hiring managers stomachs.

Grammar and Word Use Tips:
● Use periods after Experience examples.
● Second comma in series, not before “and”.
● No comma before “such as” but use before “includes/including”.
● Use hyphens for compound adjectives, (i.e. service-oriented demeanor).

Job titles that refer directly to the user’s own job title should be capitalized. Job titles referring to another person’s job title should not be capitalized. Generally, job titles won’t be used in Experience examples, but if they are used when referring to another person’s job, they should not be capitalized, as in the example, “Worked directly with account managers.”

Job titles should be capitalized in Summary Statements: “Customer Service Representative” not “customer service representative.” If job titles are used in Accomplishment examples, as in the examples “Promoted to Customer Service Manager,” the job title would be capitalized because it is referring to the user’s own job title.

Only capitalize the first word of a Skill/Highlight unless it is referring to a software program or other proper noun.

Capitalize awards and use quotation marks around the name (i.e., “Employee of the Month” award).

It’s OK to vary how job titles are written within the entire set of Experience examples. For example, “Coordinated with doctors and registered nurses” can use “RN” or “Registered Nurse”. If an abbreviation is commonly used and understood within an industry (HIV/AIDS, RN, CPA), it is OK to use abbreviations.

Brackets [____]
Make sure what belongs inside of “insert” brackets is descriptive so it is obvious to user what to insert. For example:
● Certified in State of [State Name]
● Increased sales by [number]%.
● Award [year]
● When you are writing a word in the brackets, use capitals in the same way that the inserted word should appear. For example, you would say “State of New Jersey” so the representation in brackets use capitals for the first letter of each sentence: “Certified in State of [State Name]”.

$ and %
Use % and $ symbols, not “percent” and “dollars” as words.
● Dollar amounts in thousands should be represented numerically, e.g, $100,000
● ● 4-digit numerals should include comma after first number, e.g., $1,456
● Numbers above the thousands should be represented as outlined below
● ● $1,000,000 should be written as $1 million
● ● $1,000,000,000 should be written as $1 billion
● ● Avoid abbreviation of $1MM

Use when listing magazine or publication titles

Spell out numbers nine and lower. 10 and higher can be represented numerically.    

Avoid using specific years whenever possible. Use [year] bracket construction so user can insert correct year. This will help content from appearing dated down the road.

● Use one or two hyphens an em-dash, but this shouldn’t be too common in our formats.
● Use hyphens sparingly
● When using an adjective that ends with the word “oriented,” use a hyphen, as in detail-oriented, not detail oriented. Other examples are results-oriented and customer-oriented.

Backslashes (/) and and/or
Do not use backslashes or and/or to link two words together. Either pick one item or use both.
● “Prepared forms/reports” should be “Prepared forms and reports.”
● “Prescribed over the counter and/or prescription medications” should be “Prescribed over the counter and prescription medications.”
If you do have occasion to use a/, close the spaces surrounding it, e.g., singer/songwriter not singer / songwriter.

Ampersands (&)
Eliminate them. They are common in job descriptions so make sure that when you cut and paste, you delete them.

Eliminate the use of parentheses. The only reason they should be used is to indicate an acronym or abbreviation, as in “American Medical Association (AMA).”

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