When you first sit down to write your resume, it can seem like a daunting task. It probably feels like a resume is a 1-2 page document that includes enough information about you for a 10-page essay. Fortunately, it’s easier than you think.
Organization and prioritization are the true keys to writing a resume that is readable while still saying everything.
Here are five quick steps to get you started:
- Start by writing clear, concise contact information. At the top of your resume, list your name, best contact number, email address, and a link to your LinkedIn profile. Do not include your address or multiple phone numbers – this is unnecessary information that just takes up space.
- Next, write a brief self-description. Underneath your contact information, briefly write about who you are and what you have to offer. This section is where you should explain your professional field, the number of years you’ve worked in it, how you got to where you are in your career, why you think you could make a difference in the company, and really let your personality shine. Know that the old-fashioned “Career Objective” is no longer necessary… or wanted. It gives very little context to your resume.
- Include your skills. While you may have a world of skills to offer the company, it’s important that your prioritize and condense them (i.e. being skilled in Microsoft Word, Excel, and Outlook could be changed to being skilled in Microsoft Office). Focus on the skills that you think are most relevant and valuable to the position while being unique to you.
- Write the body of your resume. The body of your resume consists of the jobs that you have worked. Here you will list the jobs you worked, explaining what you changed, fixed, began, improved, or reinvented at each. There is no need to list your duties at each job. This is just a waste of space.
- Lastly, personalize your resume to each company and position. Make sure that your resume includes the specific words and phrases the company uses in their job ad. Do not regurgitate these keywords… instead make sure they fit into your natural sentences.
Now that you have the rough draft of your resume completed, you are ready to move on to the tougher details. Stay tuned for our blog next week on how to tweak your resume to give it a competitive edge.