We’ve noticed that many students have questions when putting together a resume in English, and they usually don’t ask teachers for help with this task. So here are some quick tips for you to use whenever you’re doing your resume at home:
1. Keep it short – one page if possible
Recruiters read many resumes per day. If yours is short, there is a better chance it will be read. What’s important is quality, not quantity.
2. Do not include irrelevant or minor details
Personal information such as age, marital status, children, parents’ names, etc. is completely irrelevant. Also participation in mini-courses, symposia, seminars – unless particularly prestigious and directly related to the job you are seeking – will not enhance your resume. Do not list languages unless you are fairly proficient. It is useless to include things like “notions of French”.
On the other hand, including hobbies, volunteer work and the like can sometimes be a good idea, as they attest to your character.
3. Do not include a photograph
Besides being irrelevant, it can cause embarrassment because of the company’s anti-discrimination policies. A “neutral” resume is best.
4. Pay attention to formats
The way dates, numbers and addresses are written is different in American English and British English. Check which style is used at the company you hope to interview for.
5. Do not use online translation tools
Translation tools are not 100% reliable, and sometimes comical or disastrous results can ruin your resume.
6. Pay particular attention to verb tenses
The Simple Past refers to actions or activities which have finished at some time in the past. If something began in the past and continues at present, the Present Perfect is indicated. If something is constant or a habit, the Simple Present tense is used.
7. Look at English-language examples
There are many sites that have examples of resumes. Here are a few: