Before you mail, fax or e-mail your resume and cover letter, make sure your materials have that professional polish.
- DON'T forget to include your contact information: Name, e-mail, address and phone number.
- DON'T include your interests on your resume, unless they're relevant to the job you're seeking. Also, personal information, such as date of birth, height and weight, should normally not be on the resume.
- DON'T forget to replace a company's name with the correct one if you are using a similar cover letter or resume for more than one job application. For example, in a cover letter for IBM, "I believe my skills would fit well with Microsoft's goals."
- DON'T use personal pronouns or articles ("I" or "me"). A resume should be written in a telegraphic way, omitting personal pronouns and limiting articles. (For example, "I developed a new product that added $2 million in sales" should be changed to "Developed a new product that added $2 million in sales.")
- DON'T fudge dates, job titles and work responsibilities. If a prospective employer checks your references and finds out you lied, you can kiss that job goodbye.
- DO choose a common, non-decorative sans serif font (such as Arial or Verdana) and keep the font size between 10 and 14 points. It is easier to read if your resume is faxed, scanned or photocopied.
- DO keep your resume to one page. Employers don't want to have to search for the most important information. Highlight your most relevant work experience, skills and accomplishments. Use bullet points or other space-saving techniques.
- DO proofread, proofread, proofread. Have several friends proofread it as well. One typo can land your resume in the garbage. Two typos or more, and your chances are greatly diminished.
- DO use dates to show when you did things, not just the vague "one year."
- DO present specific accomplishments and achievements when describing your previous work experience, rather than simply listing your job responsibilities.
Monster.com contributed to this article. Check out Monster.com for job and internship listings.