In the midst of crafting a résumé to finally get that dream job? Do you ever wish someone could just hand you a simple but effective résumé checklist?

You're in luck.

Career experts at Georgetown University have released a guide to the things you absolutely must have in your résumé if you want to get your next job. Remember, your résumé should represent you well while also catching the eye of your prospective employer.

Here are some tips from the Georgetown University résumé guide to help you attract the attention of job recruiters and other hiring officials:

1. Brevity.

Keep your résumé to a single page if at all possible. If you're itching to talk about every accomplishment or project you've ever done, perhaps save it for later--during your interview perhaps. Your résumé should be clear and concise, with only work relevant to the job or position listed.

2. Customization.

Not only should you discuss the work you've done that is most relevant to the position or industry you are targeting, also make sure the skills or accomplishments you put in your résumé are tailored to the role you are applying for. Take time to customize your résumé to the job announcement--ensuring that you hit as many of the requirements as you can. Hiring recruiters want to find a perfect match!

3. A professional email address.

What's your email address? Is it the same one you used in college, or even worse--high school? Make sure the contact information on your résumé clearly demonstrates that you are a mature adult who can be trusted to take your job seriously. Dump "" in favor of an address that shows how much of a serious candidate you are. Your real name is a good place to start.

4. Understandable terms.

Georgetown career experts recommend you avoid jargon and acronyms if you don't first spell them out. You may have been the President of GUSA, but your hiring recruiter won't care if they do not even know what GUSA is in the first place.

5. Action verbs.

Ditch common, flavorless, non-descriptive verbs like "do/did." Instead, spice things up by using action verbs like "activated," "facilitated," and "integrated."

Other action verbs include:

  • Increased
  • Attained
  • Chaired
  • Developed
  • Adapted
  • Solved
  • Persuaded
  • Directed
  • Coached
  • Managed
  • Executed

6. Consistent punctuation.

Be consistent in the use of your punctuation throughout your résumé, for example, use periods at the end of bullets or don't use them at all. This is a small thing to pay attention to, but if you keep punctuation consistent it shows that you have an eye for detail and quality formatting.

7. The truth.

"Do not lie, exaggerate, or include something that you would not want to discuss in an interview," advise Georgetown's career experts. Honesty is always the best policy. If you aren't a match for a position or job, then find your match elsewhere. 

Published on: Dec 20, 2019
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