How to Write a Resume
Your resume is the central driving force around which you will organize each step of your job search. It represents you, your job search and your future. Your resume should be based upon career planning that reflects your greatest strengths, skills, abilities, and experience. The end result will assist you in getting job interviews and offers.
Listed below are guidelines to follow on how to write a resume:
- Plan and organize your resume form, content and presentation. There are three basic resume styles from which to choose: chronological, functional and a chronological/functional combination.
- A chronological resume is the type most commonly used. The focus is on time and job continuity. Employment experience is presented in reverse chronological order, starting with the present or most recent job and going back in time.
- Strengths: Easy to organize, write and read.
- Weaknesses: Unemployment periods, unrelated jobs.
- A functional resume focuses on functions, skills, and responsibilities. This resume is organized by functional titles and explains a general area of expertise. In a typical functional resume, dates are omitted. Emphasis is on what you did, not when you did it.
- Strengths: Highlights job related skills, knowledge.
- Weaknesses: Hides unqualified job record.
- Combination resume uses elements of both chronological and functional styles. The bulk of the combination resume if functional, organizing your skills and experience by function and then by job title.
- Strengths: Job continuity, job related experience.
- Weaknesses: Unspecific job titles and duties, confusing to reader.
- Start drafting a resume by organizing a work sheet, following the format you have chosen. List your job duties by writing brief summaries and examples of your accomplishments, skills and abilities. Always keep your objective in mind, focusing on the qualities that a prospective employer would want for that job.
- Expect to write at least two drafts with the first draft being your worksheet. Write as many examples and descriptions as you can that are related to your job objective. Only the strongest facts will be stated in your final draft.
- The length of your resume should be a minimum of one page (8 ½ x 11) not to exceed two pages.
- Regardless of format, there are five key parts of a resume:
- Personal data, including name, address and phone number.
- A statement of career objectives that is a quick summary of your career goals.
- Work experience, which includes past jobs and accomplishments arranged either by date or by function, depending upon the format.
- Education, including the school, major, degree(s), and the year in which you earned your degree.
- A brief list of honors and activities, memberships, and community service.
- There are five basic guidelines when writing a resume:
- Be brief: use short words by summarizing information quickly.
- Be specific: list examples of achievements rather than writing in terms of straight job duties.
- Be active: use strong words that emphasize action, such as: produced, established, directed, generated, reorganized, and implemented.
- Be selective: think before you list job duties, skills and accomplishments. Decide what aspects of your previous jobs apply to the position you want.
- Prospective employers want to determine your qualifications for a specific job and you need to justify on paper that you possess these qualities.
- Be honest: statements and claims in your resume are subject to verification and background checks. Writing false information will discredit you personally and professionally.
- After completion of your resume, carefully review the accuracy of all the information you listed. Carefully examine all grammar, punctuation and spelling in your resume to verify all information is correct, proper and professional.
How To Write A Resume.net is a valuable resource for information on creating a successful resume.