Your CV: the all time classic do's and dont's – Agenda – The World Economic Forum

I recently compiled a list of the “classic” do’s and dont’s for interviewing and thought I might do the same for preparing your CV or resume.

There can be conflicting advice when it comes to preparing your resume; some people suggest getting creative with paper, fonts and formatting to stand out (my experience tells me recruiters don’t like that much), while others stress making sure your resume has keywords that are machine scannable (not as important as human readability).

So here are the classic rules for preparing your resume or CV.


  • Review professionally written resume samples to familiarize yourself with what a strong resume looks like and contains.
  • Make sure your resume is as easy to read as possible, using bullets, a font size that’s comfortable to read, and so on.
  • Customize your resume based on the position for which you are applying.
  • Include a career objective that is focused on what you can do for the employer — not what you hope to gain from the position.
  • List your past positions in reverse chronological order.
  • Include for each job: title/position, name of employer, city/state of employer, dates of employment.
  • Include measurable results you achieved at each job position rather than listing job duties.
  • Lead with action words instead of passive words. Avoid the word “work.”
  • Include publications, patents, presentations, honors, relevant volunteer experiences, and professional licenses or certifications, especially if they pertain to the position.
  • Emphasize transferable skills, especially when

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