How to revise your resume

Fire up Your Bulleted Lists with Parallel Structure

Resumes tend to be bullet-ridden documents—you will often need to list job duties, courses of study, skills and abilities. When you have that kind of list-based information to convey, the bullet is your friend. But be sure to follow the first rule of bulleted lists: items in a list must be parallel. This does not mean that the list must be lined up neatly; rather, it means that every item in the list must have the same grammatical structure. If it's been a while since you've sat in an English class, here's what parallel structure is and how to achieve it in your resume.

Dates in the Experience Section

The arrangement of entries in your Experience section is governed by a simply rule: jobs should be listed in reverse chronological order. But, as is often the case with simple rules, the trick lies in applying this rule to the jobs that may have overlapping dates or other peculiarities that make reverse chronological order less than clear. Here are some examples and principles to follow:

How to Write Better Job Descriptions

The heart of your resume is the "Experience" section, in which you describe the jobs you have had in the past, and the one you have now if you are currently employed; your challenge in this section is to provide the reader of your resume a sense not only of what you have done, but how well you have done it. We call this the "evaluative" function of the resume. For a discussion of why this is important, see "Don't Describe—Evaluate". For an example of how to do it, read on.

Don't Describe—Evaluate

Your resume should not just describe what you have done, it needs to tell how well you did it. This evaluating information is the only thing that will set you apart from all of the other applicants who have done jobs similar to yours. You have to set yourself apart by showing accomplishments, not just task descriptions. How do you accomplish this? Here are some ideas:

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