The first step in learning how to write a resume happens before a single word makes it to the page. It’s a self-assessment. What are your strengths? Your weaknesses? Your employment goals? Ask yourself the same questions you might be asked in an interview by your future employer. Not only will it help prepare you for the next stage of the job search, it will assist you in deciding which qualifications, skills and experience to highlight on your resume.
Next you’ll decide on a resume format and then you can begin.
Resumes typically lead with contact information. The goal here is to make it easy as possible for employers to get in touch with you. Include your full name, street address, city, state, zip code, home and cell phone numbers, and email address. You might list your name in bold to make it stand out but don’t go overboard; highly-stylized fonts and attention-grabbing colors should be avoided.
Though a resume objective is optional, it makes a critical first impression and deserves as much thought as the rest of your resume if you decide to use one. More experienced job seekers should use a resume summary statement instead, highlighting past accomplishments and skills obtained.
Document your employment history. List the companies you worked for, dates of employment, the positions you held and duties performed. It’s not necessary to include jobs that are not relevant to the current opportunity. If you’ve been with the same company for many years, it’s a good idea to list each role or position separately. This allows you to show an increasing level of responsibilities and new skill development. Wherever possible use action verbs like achieved, coached and managed.
List schools you’ve attended, degrees attained, and special awards and honors earned. Also include continuing education courses and certifications.
Be specific when listing skills. If you have computer skills, name the software you’re proficient with and how long you’ve used it. Highlight skills that match the requirements of the job to which you’re applying. For instance, typing speed for an administrative position, or keystrokes per hour for a data entry position.
The fastest and easiest way to write a resume is using a free online tool like our Resume Builder. Not only do we offer hundreds of industry-specific resume templates to get you started, we can help with the content too. You’ll find thousands of expert-written resume samples which you’re free to use and ensure you’re communicating in a clear, professional manner.