How to write a resume

As a job seeker you get one chance to make a first impression on a potential employer. Your resume is your one chance and its what ultimately will land you the interview. Sending a resume is easy, but knowing how to write a resume is where most people struggle. This article covers the basics for writing a professional resume.

First it is important to understand the function of a resume. A resume is an overview of your credentials and qualifications as they apply to performing a job. Information that you should include when writing a resume entails your contact information, your educational background, previous work history, and any significant certifications, awards, or achievements.

When writing a resume, space is a premium. Experts suggest you condense your information into one page. Therefore, it is important to include only pertinent information that is essential to the job you are applying for. When writing your resume, tailor each one to the job you are trying to get. For example, if you have past experience in the food service industry but are applying for a job in an office, no one is going to care that you waited tables. Use unrelated past work experiences only when necessary to fill in large gaps in employment history.

Remember to not only provide concise information, but to provide it in a visually appealing way. Creativity belongs elsewhere so leave the fancy fonts out and focus on the format. Create a resume that is easy to follow by keeping dates consistent and chronological. When there is information or names that you want to stick out, boldface the type, but don’t over do it. When you finish writing a resume, ask yourself if YOU would take the time to read it. It is often a misconception that employers are so hard up for help that they will spend hours upon hours carefully reviewing every resume that comes their way. When in fact, they are simply looking for a professionally written resume that reflects only the qualifications they are seeking.

One of the most important things about writing a resume is proofreading. After all, if you can’t take the time to make sure every last word is spelled correctly, then why would you take the time to do a good days work? So run a spell check and then print and proof your resume before firing it off. It will go a long way in the end. Who would want to sink their chance at a good job not because they lacked the qualifications, but because they misspelled “experience”?

Once you’ve written a concise, visually appealing, and correctly spelled resume, then it’s time to proofread for wording. Experts recommend “power words” when describing your work history. Avoid simply listing your job duties and focus on what you actually did for the company. Careful wording in this area by choosing action words rather than adjectives draws attention to your past performance more than your title.

Writing a resume takes a bit of time, but the time you invest in it will separate you from those who didn’t take the time. Ultimately, this is what will get you in that interview chair where you get the chance to make a second, more lasting impression and land the job. If you are struggling with a format, check your word processing software for templates, or look online for examples.