Building a Stellar Resume: Dos and Don’ts

Crafting an impressive resume is essential in today’s competitive job market. Your resume serves as your first impression to potential employers, so it’s crucial to get it right. In this article, we will explore the dos and don’ts of building a stellar resume that will help you stand out from the crowd.

When it comes to building a stellar resume, there are certain things you should do to make a positive impact. First and foremost, tailor your resume to the specific job you’re applying for by highlighting relevant skills and experiences. Additionally, using clear and concise language will ensure that your achievements are easily understood by hiring managers.

On the flip side, there are some common mistakes you should avoid when creating your resume. Steer clear of including irrelevant information or going overboard with fancy designs that may distract from your qualifications. Furthermore, be mindful of grammar and spelling errors as they can leave a negative impression on potential employers.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve deeper into these dos and don’ts of building a stellar resume while providing valuable tips on how to make yours shine above the rest. So let’s get started on crafting a winning document that will land you those coveted job interviews!

Choose the Right Format

When it comes to building a stellar resume, choosing the right format is crucial. It can make or break your chances of getting noticed by potential employers. Here are some dos and don’ts to consider when selecting the format for your resume:

  1. Do tailor your format to fit your industry: Different industries have different expectations when it comes to resumes. For creative fields like graphic design or marketing, you might want to use a more visually appealing and unconventional format. On the other hand, for more traditional industries like finance or law, sticking with a standard chronological or functional format would be more appropriate.

  2. Don’t overcomplicate things: While it’s important to stand out from the crowd, avoid going overboard with fancy fonts, colors, or excessive design elements. Remember that simplicity and readability are key factors in making a strong first impression.

  3. Do consider using bullet points: Bullet points help break down information into concise and easily scannable chunks. Use them strategically throughout your resume to highlight key achievements, skills, and experiences.

  4. Don’t overcrowd your resume: Be mindful of white space on your resume as it helps improve readability and gives hiring managers room to breathe while reviewing your qualifications.

  5. Do include relevant sections: Depending on your experience level and industry requirements, include sections such as summary/objective statement (optional), work experience (highlighting accomplishments), education background, skills/technical proficiencies relevant to the job you’re applying for.

6 .Don’t forget about consistency: Ensure that formatting elements such as font type and size remain consistent throughout the document for a polished look.

Remember that each individual’s circumstances may require slight variations in approach; however these dos and don’ts provide solid guidelines for choosing an effective resume format tailored specifically for you.

Highlight Your Achievements

When it comes to building a stellar resume, one of the most important sections is highlighting your achievements. This is where you can showcase your skills, experiences, and accomplishments that set you apart from other candidates. Here are some dos and don’ts on how to effectively highlight your achievements:

  1. Do quantify your achievements: Provide specific numbers or percentages to demonstrate the impact of your work. For example:

    • Increased sales by 20% within six months.
    • Managed a team of 10 employees and improved productivity by 30%.
  2. Don’t be vague: Avoid using generic statements without any supporting evidence. Instead, focus on concrete examples that illustrate your abilities.

  3. Do prioritize relevant achievements: Tailor your resume for each job application by emphasizing accomplishments that align with the requirements of the position you’re applying for.

  4. Don’t include irrelevant information: Only include achievements directly related to the job or industry you are targeting.

  5. Do use action verbs: Start each achievement statement with a strong action verb to convey proactivity and accomplishment. For instance:

    • Implemented cost-saving initiatives resulting in annual savings of $50,000.
    • Led cross-functional teams in successful project completion under tight deadlines.
  6. Don’t overdo it: While it’s essential to showcase notable achievements, avoid overcrowding your resume with excessive details or lengthy paragraphs.

  7. Do provide context when necessary: If an achievement requires additional explanation or context, consider using bullet points or a table format to present the information clearly.

Remember, hiring managers scan resumes quickly; therefore, it’s crucial to make key achievements stand out at first glance. By following these dos and don’ts when highlighting your accomplishments, you will create a compelling resume that grabs attention and increases your chances of landing an interview opportunity

Resume Building Do's and Don'ts For the Executive Assistant Career -  Executive Leadership Support

Tailor Your Resume to the Job Description

When applying for a job, it’s crucial to tailor your resume to the specific job description. This not only demonstrates that you’ve taken the time and effort to understand the requirements of the position but also increases your chances of getting noticed by potential employers. Here are some dos and don’ts when it comes to customizing your resume:


  • Study the job description: Carefully read through the job posting and highlight key skills, qualifications, and keywords mentioned.
  • Identify relevant experience: Match your past experiences with what is required for the role. Emphasize those experiences that directly relate to the job.
  • Use industry-specific language: Incorporate industry-specific jargon or terms that are commonly used in that particular field.
  • Highlight transferrable skills: If you lack direct experience in a certain area, focus on transferable skills such as problem-solving abilities, teamwork, or leadership qualities.
Customized Resume
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  • Reorder sections: Rearrange your resume sections so that those most relevant to the desired position appear first.
  • Quantify achievements: Whenever possible, include numbers or statistics to quantify your accomplishments and showcase tangible results.


  • Don’t submit a generic resume: Avoid sending out a one-size-fits-all resume without any customization. It may come across as lazy or disinterested.
  • Avoid irrelevant information: Exclude details about past jobs or experiences that aren’t applicable for this particular role.
  • Don’t lie or exaggerate: Be truthful about your qualifications and avoid embellishing facts just to make yourself seem more suitable for the job.

Remember, tailoring your resume doesn’t mean completely rewriting it from scratch every time you apply for a new position. It means strategically highlighting the most relevant information and aligning it with the job requirements. By doing so, you increase your chances of catching the attention of hiring managers and landing that dream job.

Note: The image used in this section is for illustrative purposes only and does not represent an actual customized resume.

Use Action Verbs and Quantifiable Results

When crafting your resume, it’s crucial to use action verbs and showcase quantifiable results. This not only grabs the attention of hiring managers but also demonstrates your accomplishments effectively. Here are some dos and don’ts to keep in mind:

  1. Do start each bullet point with a strong action verb: Begin every sentence describing your past experiences or achievements with an active verb. This adds impact to your resume and makes it more engaging for the reader. For example:

    • “Managed a team of 10 employees during a successful marketing campaign.”
    • “Implemented cost-saving strategies that resulted in a 20% reduction in expenses.”
  2. Don’t rely on passive language: Avoid using phrases like “responsible for” or “duties included.” Instead, opt for vibrant verbs that demonstrate proactivity and highlight your contributions.

  3. Do quantify your achievements: Whenever possible, provide concrete numbers or percentages to illustrate the impact you made in previous roles. This helps employers understand the scope of your responsibilities and showcases tangible results:

    • “Increased monthly sales by 30% through targeted marketing campaigns.”
    • “Streamlined processes, reducing project delivery time by 25%.”
  4. Don’t be vague about accomplishments: While listing responsibilities is important, emphasizing specific outcomes is even better. Avoid generic statements without any supporting data or context.

  5. Do use industry-specific keywords: Tailor your action verbs according to the job description and industry you’re applying for, as different fields often have their own preferred terminology.

Remember, using action verbs coupled with quantifiable results can make a huge difference when presenting yourself on paper! It allows potential employers to visualize how you can contribute positively within their organization while highlighting what sets you apart from other candidates.

By following these dos and avoiding the corresponding don’ts, you’ll create a stellar resume that effectively showcases your achievements and captures the attention of hiring managers.

Include Relevant Skills and Keywords

When it comes to building a stellar resume, including relevant skills and keywords is crucial. This section will guide you on how to effectively showcase your abilities and optimize your resume for applicant tracking systems (ATS).

Here are some dos and don’ts to consider:

  1. Do tailor your skills: Analyze the job description carefully and identify key skills that the employer is looking for. Highlight those skills in your resume, placing emphasis on ones that align closely with the position.

  2. Don’t overdo it: While it’s important to include relevant skills, avoid going overboard by listing every skill you possess. Focus on quality rather than quantity, highlighting only the most essential abilities.

  3. Do use industry-specific keywords: Research common keywords used in your industry or field of interest. Incorporate these into your resume to demonstrate familiarity with industry terminology and increase searchability by ATS.

  4. Don’t rely solely on buzzwords: While using buzzwords can catch attention, they can also make you seem generic or insincere if not backed up by specific examples or achievements related to those words.

  5. Do provide evidence of proficiency: Simply stating that you have a particular skill may not be enough; try providing concrete examples of how you’ve utilized each skill in previous roles or projects.

  6. Don’t fabricate information: It’s tempting to exaggerate or lie about certain skills just to appear more qualified, but this can backfire during interviews or when asked to demonstrate those abilities later on.

Remember, resumes are often scanned quickly by both humans and machines alike; therefore, optimizing them with relevant skills and keywords is essential for success in today’s competitive job market.

Resume Do's and Don'ts | PPT

Avoid Common Mistakes in Resume Writing

When it comes to building a stellar resume, avoiding common mistakes is crucial. Here are some dos and don’ts to keep in mind:

  1. Don’t use generic templates: Using a generic resume template can make you blend in with the crowd. Instead, create a customized layout that showcases your unique skills and experiences.

  2. Do tailor your resume for each job: Sending out the same resume for every job application is a big no-no. Take the time to customize your resume based on the specific requirements of each position you’re applying for.

  3. Don’t include irrelevant information: Hiring managers are busy people, so avoid cluttering your resume with unnecessary details or unrelated work experience. Focus on highlighting relevant qualifications that align with the job you’re targeting.

  4. Do emphasize achievements and results: Rather than simply listing responsibilities, highlight your accomplishments using quantifiable metrics whenever possible. This helps employers see how you’ve positively impacted previous roles.

  5. Don’t neglect proofreading: Spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, or formatting inconsistencies can leave a negative impression on potential employers. Always proofread your resume thoroughly before submitting it.

  6. Do use action verbs: Start bullet points under each work experience with strong action verbs like “achieved,” “implemented,” or “managed.” This adds impact and demonstrates your proactive approach to work.

  7. Don’t go overboard with design elements: While adding visual appeal to your resume can be tempting, remember that simplicity is key when it comes to readability and compatibility across different devices and systems.

Don’t Do
Use long paragraphs Opt for concise bullet points
Include personal information Focus on professional details
Use fancy fonts Stick to clear and legible fonts
  1. Do quantify your achievements: Whenever possible, use numbers or percentages to quantify your accomplishments. This adds credibility and demonstrates the impact you’ve made in previous roles.

  2. Don’t forget to include contact information: Ensure that your resume includes accurate and up-to-date contact information, including your phone number and professional email address.

Remember, a well-crafted resume can greatly increase your chances of landing an interview. By avoiding common mistakes in resume writing, you’ll stand out from the competition and make a lasting impression on potential employers.

Resume Dos and Don'ts: 29 Resume-Writing Tips

Craft a Professional Summary

When it comes to building a stellar resume, one of the most crucial sections is the professional summary. This short paragraph at the beginning of your resume provides employers with an overview of your skills and experiences, making it essential to get it right. To help you craft a professional summary that stands out, here are some dos and don’ts:


  • Be concise: Keep your professional summary brief and to the point. Aim for three to four sentences that highlight your key qualifications.
  • Tailor it to the job: Customize your professional summary based on the specific job you’re applying for. Focus on including relevant skills and experiences that align with the position.
  • Highlight achievements: Use this section to showcase notable accomplishments or contributions from previous roles. Quantify results whenever possible.
  • Include keywords: Incorporate industry-specific keywords in your professional summary to increase visibility during applicant tracking system (ATS) scans.


  • Avoid generic statements: Steer clear of vague statements such as “hardworking team player” or “excellent communication skills.” Instead, provide concrete examples that demonstrate these qualities.
  • Skip irrelevant information: Only include details that are directly related to the job you’re applying for. Avoid mentioning unrelated hobbies or personal interests unless they add value.
  • Refrain from repetition: Your professional summary should complement rather than duplicate other sections of your resume. Don’t simply restate what can be found elsewhere; use this space wisely.

Remember, a well-crafted professional summary can grab an employer’s attention right away and compel them to keep reading further into your resume. By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way towards creating a strong first impression with potential employers.

For more insights into crafting an impressive resume, continue reading our article on Building a Stellar Resume: Dos and Don’ts.


In conclusion, building a stellar resume requires careful attention to detail and adherence to certain dos and don’ts. By following these guidelines, you can create a compelling resume that stands out from the competition.

Remember to highlight your relevant skills and experiences using strong action verbs in the active voice. Use concise bullet points to convey information effectively. Avoid common pitfalls such as including irrelevant details or excessive personal information.

Additionally, make sure your resume is visually appealing with consistent formatting and clear headings. Proofread for any grammatical errors or typos before submitting it.

By implementing these dos and avoiding the don’ts outlined in this article, you will increase your chances of getting noticed by potential employers and securing job interviews. So take the time to craft a well-structured resume that showcases your qualifications, achievements, and aspirations – because a strong first impression starts with an exceptional resume!