Top 5 Resume – DON’TS


I always spend a lot of time educating clients about what their resumes SHOULD include that I sometimes overlook the biggest MISTAKES they can make on your resume. Your resume is the very first impression that a potential employer receives, so make it stand out – in a good way! Do your research and spend the time on your resume that it deserves. I promise you will not be disappointed in the end.

This is obviously in no way a complete of list don’ts since there are so many specific no-no’s I encounter, but I consider these five my ultimate just don’t do it tips!


  1. Grammatical mistakes or misspellings. Spellcheck can be your best friend and will usually catch spelling errors for words found in the dictionary, but don’t count on spellchecker to catch jargon spelling mistakes, capitalization mistakes, homophonic issues, and typos that are actual other words (for years mine was ‘hte’ instead of ‘the’ 😊) ( Seriously, take the time to read, reread, and reread again to make sure you don’t have any grammatical or spelling errors. PRO TIP: Print off your resume when reviewing and give to a trusted friend or family member to also read through. They might catch something you missed.


  1. Headshots. Unless you are a model or someone looking to be hired on appearance, just don’t do it. Do you really want someone to make a decision on whether you would make a good fit for a position based upon your appearance? I’m no spring chicken and no cover girl, but do I want to announce my age on my resume? Besides, if recruiters really want to see what you look like they will likely find you on social media (so monitor your content or make sure your settings are private). PRO TIP: Include a URL link to your LinkedIn profile where recruiters can see your professional headshot along with all your wonderful qualifications.


  1. Personal References. I get what you’re trying to convey (your upfront and have nothing to hide), but just don’t include the personal information for your references. You can say “References Available Upon Request” – or something to that affect – but don’t just give a potential employer your references’ information. That should be something provided by you at a later date and with express consent given to the potential employer.


  1. Salary. You don’t want to be knocked out of the race before you get to the gate, do you? Salaries should be negotiable based upon your experience, skill level, and the total benefits package offered. Who’s to say you wouldn’t take less salary in exchange for more PTO, better flexibility, or other perks being offered? If the job posting requires salary information or expectations, include it in your cover letter but I always let employers know that salary is negotiable based upon the total benefits package being offered. Otherwise, you could include a separate document which addresses/lists your salary history.


  1. Personal Information (Age, Race, Religion, Nationality). These are all legally protected areas from outright discrimination against employment, but unfortunately it still happens. Just don’t give anyone the reason to stereotype you or pass on your resume because of personal information.

Again, there are many more resume don’ts that are specific to each individual’s situation but these are my Top 5 Resume – Don’ts. If you would like a professional’s opinion, send me your resume for a free consultation.


Resume Formatting

“Resume formatting is as unique as the individual, with limitless designs available to highlight a job seeker’s skills and experience.”

Resume Formatting 

Resume formatting 101. What type of resume format is best for you?


Just like your resume, the format in which you use is very specific to your situation. While I can’t tell you which is best for you. I can offer some insight into the most common resume formats, but please consider your situation and what information you would like to highlight on your resume before starting.


Chronological Resumes


By far the most common resume format is the good old chronological resume. If you have an existing or older resume, I’m guessing this is the format it is in. The chronological resume is:


  • The simplest of all resume formats.
  • Chronological listing of your jobs and responsibilities/achievements. Starting with your most recent job and ending with your first job.
  • Good for anyone who wants to demonstrate a history of employment in the same profession.


Functional Resumes


The functional resume is a great way to showcase your skills with a deemphasis on employment. I don’t typically use this resume format for my clients because it is less effective than other formats. You’re definitely taking a risk with this one… However, if you do like living life on the edge or your situation fits, why not shaking things up a bit if you fall into these situations:


  • Expert level professionals in their field who almost need no introduction.
  • People who are looking to change up their career and move in a new direction and want to downplay the specific employers/experience and instead focus on the skills gained through other employment.
  • Entry level individuals – recent high school or college graduates – or those looking to return to the workforce after a hiatus.


Combination Resumes


This is by far my favorite resume format to use. Because the resumes I am writing for clients are as unique as their work experience, career goals, and ambitions, I take all things into consideration when drafting their resume. My focus is what information will get the resume seen by the recruiter and get my client an interview? This type of resume is best for everyone really because the options, design, and overall purpose of the resume are endless. Some things to consider with a combination resume:


  • Flexibility! You literally can do whatever you want. The focus is highlighting your strengths, skills, accomplishments, and experience. That’s what makes this resume format so great and my go to.


So what should you include in your combination resume?


  1. Always include your target job title in the heading. This is the job you want/are applying for.
  2. Performance profile section. This is your brief statement about what sets you apart from other applicants. This is not to be confused with the old “objective” statement (get rid of this NOW if you are still using one!). Summarize your work experience, education, talents, skills, accomplishments – this is where you can brag a little. Be your own cheerleader! Your resume is your personal PR ad to employers and this section is a great way to get their attention.
  3. Professional skills section. These are the specific professional skills you possess with respect to your experience/job (i.e. multitasking, writing, editing, project management, etc.). PRO TIP – make sure your skills align with those in the job posting!
  4. Technical skills section. This is where you can list any and all computer software, programs, or other technical skills you have that relate to your job (i.e. Office 365, Quickbooks, Spotify, Facebook Ads Manager, Google AdWords, etc.).
  5. Professional experience. No explanation necessary. This is then when, where, and what of your employment history.
  6. Education section. Always make sure you are listing your education. However, if you are a college graduate, there is no need to include your high school information. If you don’t possess a degree, include your high school information as well as any applicable courses and/or training you have received.
  7. Depending on the client, we may also include sections on awards, certifications, personal interests, patents, special projects, volunteer work, etc. The possibilities are endless and depend on the person and what we are trying to highlight.


As always, if you have any questions about your resume format, please don’t hesitate to reach out.





Resume Writing 101: Top 3 Resume Tips


I have so many pointers for writing a great resume that I can’t wait to share with everyone. But to start, I am giving you my top 3 resume writing tips.



My number one of all number ones in resume writing is: KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE. Seriously! Any good author knows she/he must write for their audience. Your resume is no different than any other great work of informative writing so know your audience, study your audience, and write with them in mind.

So who is your audience anyway? Most likely a recruiter or HR manager but don’t neglect the resume gatekeeper – resume databases (or more likely referred to as Applicant Tracking Systems). Your resume should be written with keyword rich text that applies to the job posting. I’m not saying fudge your resume with experience you are lacking. Instead, make sure that your experience aligns with and compliments the job posting. If the posting calls for 10+ years’ experience or excellent customer service skills – make sure this is demonstrated on your resume.



My second resume writing tip is a close second and goes hand-in-hand with knowing your audience: CUSTOMIZE, CUSTOMIZE, CUSTOMIZE. What do I even mean when I say this? There is no one-size fits all resume. If you a serious about your job search you will take the extra time to tailor your resume to each job you want to apply for.

First, I suggest starting with a generic resume because each job you apply for will be different – even if it is the same target job title. It will have different requirements and/or preferred requirements so make sure you are demonstrating the requirements of each specific job you are applying for in your resume.

Great questions to ask while drafting your resume: What story are you trying to tell about yourself? What do want recruiters to know about you? What sets you apart from other job seekers? Showcase that information when relevant to the position.



Edit and then edit some more. Your resume shouldn’t be just one draft. It should be many drafts and many edits. People often overlook how important their resume truly is. I mean it is likely one of the most, if not the most, important financial documents you have in your arsenal. It is the document that makes or breaks your job search. Have a poorly written and formatted resume and you will likely not get the call backs or interviews you were hoping.

So now that you have your resume drafted. Go back and do these things:

  • Remove repetitious information.
  • Condense long sentences.
  • Remove words that don’t add value.
  • Make sure your tenses are consistent.
  • Check your spelling and grammar.
  • Make sure your contact information is up to date.
  • Cut out overused pronouns.
  • Action words are your best friend. Use them throughout your resume.
  • No long paragraphs. I will go as high as three sentences in a paragraph.
  • Bullet point important information.

If you have any questions or need any help, please contact me. I’m always happy to help and love talking resumes and everything job search related.

Professional Resume Writer


Hello, World! 

February 18, 2020

Hi! My name is Tania and I love helping others in their job search efforts. There is nothing more exciting than hearing about a client’s new job, raise, or promotion. 

I’m so excited to begin my blogging adventure. I have so many fun topics I want to discuss. Yay!

Are there any topics you would like to discuss? Let me know.