Learning how to write a resume properly is a skill that will pay off again and again. A resume is not only your ticket to a job interview, it is also a template for questions a prospective employer will ask during this job interview. So it must be an accurate snapshot of exactly why you are the right person for the job you are applying for.
Furthermore, remember the old adage: you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Learning how to write a resume properly to make a strong first impression is what will give you the chance to make a second impression during an interview.
So here are the initial steps for how to write a resume that works:
1. Conduct some research on different types of resumes.
In brief, there are two types of resumes: Chronological and Functional
- A chronological resume is a “normal” resume which details all of your experience, education, and includes a summary or an objective statement.
- A functional resume is used for people whose skills and/or education overpower their experience. A functional resume typically includes a whole section which details your skills and then a section which only states your job title, company, dates of employment, and the city and state of the company. 2. Appearance matters!
The appearance of your resume should be eye-catching, clear, easy to read ( including using the right resume font! ), and include some standard information.
All resumes should include:
- Personal Information (name, address, city, state, zip code, phone number with area code, and email)
- A resume objective statement (or summary)
- Current and previous employment information
- Education, training, licenses, and certifications
3. Write resume objective statements or summaries:
Think about the type of job you are trying to get and what you can do for the employer.
Your summary or objective statement should:
- tell the employer what you can do for them in this position and what you will bring to the organization
- mention the skills you have that would be most relevant to the position(s) you are applying for
- above all else give a positive first and lasting impression
4. Describe your work history…and be truthful!
If you think your work history is holding you back, look into using a functional resume effectively.
- Always use bullet points when listing your work duties. Never write your job duties in paragraphs.
- Do not use the words “I”, “my”, “me”, or “we.” Resumes should be user-centered.
- Be clear but provide enough detail. Don’t just write one sentence…this is rarely enough for an employer to understand what you did.
5. Include your education…all of it!
Your educational background is part of the big picture of who you are, so you should include all of it. Even if it was a long time ago.
Do not lie or exaggerate your education and qualifications. Don’t claim to have completed a degree, course or education if you didn’t. Furthermore, regardless of how old or unrelated a previous degree is, include it.
As a recent graduate or switching careers to something similar to your degree, add relevant coursework from your studies – not just add English, Math, Psychology, Grammar, etc. Include the exact title of the courses.