In this post, I want to write out some simple steps on how to write a resume. It is much easier than most people think, but you must approach it in an organized manner. All your thoughts must be clear in your mind or on scratch paper before you begin writing.
Here Are 7 Tips
- Figure out which layout you will use. The layout should have a clean look with the most attractive points standing out (ie: bold, italics, or proper spacing).
- Do not go over 1 page unless you have 15 years or more experience. Most employers do not want to read through a recent college graduates resume if it is 3 pages long. If you have more to write, include that information in your cover letter.
- Keep your writing style consistent! People often make the mistake of mixing past tense with present tense at inappropriate times.
- Do not use “my” or “I” in your resume. Save those words for your cover letter.
- Choose a font size no smaller than 10 and no larger than 14.
- Be clear and concise in your job descriptions. Make it easy for the employer to understand.
- Be sure to emphasize the outcomes and accomplishments you have achieved at prior jobs. After your layout, an employer will notice this most.
What To Do Next
Once you have created and proof-read your resume, you are ready to begin sending it out. A little known secret is that most large job sites allow for a free posting of your resume that employers often look to if they are not getting the type of applicants they are satisfied with. It can’t hurt to list your resume, so why not do it. You should also refer to our Resume Makeover to see a few excellent resume samples.
How To Post Your Resume On Line
Two good places to post your resume for free are Beyond.com and Monster.com. If you want to go a step further, you can have Resume Zapper send your resume to thousands of recruiters who can also help get you an interview in your specific industry.
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15 thoughts on “Simple Steps On How To Write A Resume”
I have about 4 years of experience. But there is no way I can get it all (even if I drop all the ones that arent relevant to the job I am applying for) in 1 page. Is it absolutely necessary for 1 page under 15 years of experience? I would like to know how HR looks at a resume which is more than 1 page and less than 15 years of experience.
My experience has been that 4 years of job history and a resume longer than 1 page would not be viewed as well as keeping it to 1 page. This does not mean people don’t make exceptions, especially in industries that are not as formal as finance or science for example. It can be done.
The most common reason people don’t want to read more than 1 page is because they have 100’s of resumes to get through, and want to see that you can consolidate all relevant information into 1 page. There are a couple questions I have with your statement of not being able to fit 4 years of experience into 1 page. My only guess can be either you’ve worked at many different companies or you’ve had an endless list of responsibilities and tasks from one company. If you’re stuck, you can always start by eliminating the least relevant responsibilities of your prior jobs.
This is a good post – I disagree with the one page but hey, its a gray area (I’ve heard both sides from experts).
CEO – JibberJobber.com
Thats what I’ve heard too. 2 pages, no more no less.
Its hard to cram everything to one page.
I’ve been reading that a lot of creative people have been making short videos of themselves and sending it in via youtube links. What do you guys think of that as an online resume?
For a creative, artsy position, a video resume and with a portfolio in the video is an excellent way to get noticed and show your creativity. Since employers often times go through close to a hundred resumes, the most important thing is to stand out in a qualified, classy and creative way. This is especially important for creative type of jobs so as long as the video is relevant to the position it could work.
On the other hand, a video might not be as appropriate for positions in finance, biotech, or computer programming.
Great point Gary!
I don’t know about videos but I think a professional web page or online portfolio is very important (depending on job of course).
John I never saw an one page resume which is impressive or informative enough for making any decision for a professional postition, specially technical job positions. Could you guys take some fictitious job experiences and maybe have a post on how it can be put into one page maybe? I am sure a lot of people might find it helpful.
Keep it to one page, just be sure to make it good. You can spill the rest once you land the interview.
I actually read an article yesterday morning about how in a recent survey, managers are most likely to read a 2 page resume.
I used to hate when people gave me 2 page resumes because it was just “against the rules” but I’ve gotten used to them . . . i still think a well thought out cover letter can say more about an applicant than an extra page on their resume . . but that’s just me
Here’s a post & press release from Secrets of the Job Hunt on the 1 page resume thing:
CEO – JibberJobber.com
i review a lot of my friends’ resumes and it’s surprising how many of them have multiple pages, no structure, no cover letter, etc. some don’t even use full sentences! (seriously…) the easiest way i think to create a resume is just use a Word template and go from there.
It’s funny you mention reviewing your friends resumes and how they have no structure. I’ve had the same thing happen so many times! You’re right – sometimes a basic word template is the best way to go. Thanks for your comment.
What about the job descriptions? Clear and concise is one thing, but I’ve always been told it is important to make every aspect positive. I think my resume does this pretty well. My fear is trying to avoid sounding like a thesaurus (i.e. using 6 different words for “positive”).