Resume Writing: Do's and Don'ts

Over the last month, we posted our job vacancies for developers on a few job sites and we received quite a number of applicants. Based on all the resumes we received, here are my thoughts on what you should and should not do when writing your resume.

The Do's

Do include your expected salary

Some people will tell you to never do this, but it will save time for you and your potential employer if you disclose this piece of information. However, avoid putting your minimum expectation. If you aren't sure how much you should be getting paid, ask your old colleagues or your old classmates, or even your old teachers.

Do make use of lists and tables

Keep it simple and get straight to the point. Don't write an essay. Put your skills, the languages or frameworks you're familiar with, and your past work experiences into lists

Do put a meaningful subject in your email

Let the employer know which position you're applying for. For example, "Application for Web Developer position." Avoid using subject lines that do not convey your intention, like "My CV."

Do proofread

Poor grammar, spelling mistakes, and bad formatting will distract the reader and leave a negative impression. Go over everything a couple of times before finalizing your resume.

The Don'ts

Don't say you want the job for work experience

Saying that you want the job only for experience has the subtle implication that once you have some work experience on your resume, you'll find another job. A high turnover rate is costly, and companies want to retain good employees as much as possible.

Don't say you don't care about salary

You certainly won't work for free, would you? By saying you don't care about salary, you're not valuing your time (and your skills).

Don't attach scanned documents

If you have certificates and diplomas you've obtained, you should mention it in your resume and bring it to your interview.

Don't put a photo other than your headshot

If you don't have a good photo of yourself then you can leave it blank.

Don't write a cliche objective

These are becoming cliche: "I am looking for a challenging role. I can work under pressure. I work well in a team as well as individually. I can meet deadlines. I will try my best. I believe my skills will make great contributions to your organisation."

Don't show sample work you aren't proud of

If you're sending a portfolio, pick your best work. In case you're sending a sample of your code, do not send code with poor indentation, bad naming, inconsistent style and commented out code.

Don't include too much personal information

Your height, weight blood type, the number of siblings you have are not irrelevant to the job, unless explicitly stated.


About the Author: Lian
Founder/Lead Developer at Zonetic. His pastimes are running, coding, and gaming.
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