The word “resume” gives some people the shivers when they think about having to write one. This reaction is truly not necessary—all it takes to write a resume is a little bit of effort, and some thought. The following are some basic tips on how to write your resume. While the actual writing process takes a lot of thought, planning and strategy, having a “to do” list like this will keep you on track.

Knowing what will go into a resume is the most important thing. In other words, your very first step is to plan out what will go into the resume—sort of like the term papers you wrote for school, or a shopping list.

Think about what jobs you have done, the time spans each of them have covered, and the job duties included. Don’t put them in a specific order yet, unless it’s easier for you to work that way.

Begin at the top of the resume, and decide the format that you want to create it in. List your name and contact information first. After that will be the career summary, your job experiences, and follow them up with education/credentials/professional development.

Start out writing each job description, in a loose, easy manner. Whether you choose for that to be just a few words for the description, or a list of words done as bullet points, it doesn’t really matter. Whatever works for you is what counts.

Look at the jobs that you have in front of you. Some people prefer to take the paper that they’ve used to jot these descriptions out on, and cut it up to rearrange the jobs into the correct chronological order. Others just use circles and arrows. Once you have decided the order in which you want to put the jobs, look at the descriptions again. Put the words into a coherent, thoughtful description of that particular job.

See? You are already writing a quality resume—it’s that easy.

Refining the job descriptions so that they make sense, don’t run on, and will put you into a positive light are the next step. There are some other things to consider now, in addition to the job descriptions. Education is an important thing to list on your resume. With that in mind, list whatever college or technical/trade school experience you may have. Remember to keep it reverse chronological (the preferred choice), listing the most recent position first.

List things like the GPA that you had, any school-related leadership positions you may have had, and extra-curricular activities as well, but ONLY if you are a new grad.

Now, create a career objective or career summary (I always do mine last, after I get a strong familiarity with the client’s history). What do you want to do in your career? What do you want the reader to know about you, your strengths and what you can contribute? You should remain very clear and focused in this area. Think of your brand. Do you have one?

Learning how to write a resume isn’t difficult as long as you devote the time, thought and planning into it.

Related posts:

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  2. Just How do Keywords Work in a Resume?
  3. 10 Critical Mistakes to Avoid When Writing Your Resume
  4. How to Ace a Phone Interview
  5. Are You Overqualified for the Job You Want?

5 Responses

10.21.11

Great advice! Planning your strategy BEFORE you start writing is an important step in creating an impressive resume.

Ken

10.21.11

I couldn’t agree with you more, Ken!

~ Ava

[...] you submit your resume, especially if you have not heard anything from the company. Who knows, your resume may have fallen through the cracks and a phone call is just the thing that they need to know how [...]

[...] email address will be the first thing that a prospective employer will see when you send them your resume. You email address should be as professional as it can be. Instead of having [...]

[...] I have several resumes a day emailed to me for review. Some are just not good. However, I do come across some that aren’t that bad. They need work, but the basic bones of it is there. It just needs some optimizing. [...]

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