How To Write A Resume

What should a resume do? At its most basic, a resume should paint an accurate picture of your skills, abilities, and experiences. It should also demonstrate why you are suited for the position in question.

Organizing and Presenting Content

organizeFirst, a resume has to paint a comprehensive and logical picture for the person who will be reviewing it. Don’t confuse the reader with irrelevant information or complicated statements. Your resume is not a puzzle for the reader to solve. Be clear, be relevant.

Your information needs to be laid out clearly, concisely, and logically. Don’t expect the reader to piece together disparate pieces of information in order to gain the proper impression. We know you are an infinitely complicated creature, but the person reviewing your resume probably won’t respect your uniqueness enough to spend endless minutes sifting through your resume to piece together the reasons you applied for the job.

Don’t forget that the person who will be reviewing your resume will be a stranger to you. All they know about you is what is contained on that piece of paper. They will scan it quickly (most professional HR people spend about 8 seconds on a resume before coming to a decision) and try to relate it to their understanding of the job in question.

The first thing a hiring manager notices when reviewing a resume are inconsistencies or oversights. Thinking of your resume from the perspective of the employer will give it focus and clarity and keep you out of the recycle bin.

Targeting Your Resume for a Specific Position

targetThe second thing to remember is that your resume is being sent for a specific purpose. You are trying to obtain a job. Not just any job. But a job you think is just perfect for you.

Your resume should be targeted towards this specific position. The more targeted it is, the more likely it will hit the mental list of satisfiers the hiring manager has in their head. The more general a resume is, the less likely it is to be effective getting you that particular job. You should strive to make a powerful argument within the confines of your resume for why you should get the job. Word processors do job seekers a huge favor in that they allow you to quickly customize your resume for each position you apply for. Laziness often works against us when it comes to making the extra effort of targeting a resume but consider this, ten targeted resumes are probably equal to one hundred general applications. The fact is, a targeted resume will get you a job faster and thus over time, you’ll have to send less applications off.

If you are applying to several different industries or to several different types of positions in those industries, you should have a different resume for each of your main areas of focus.

Our guide to writing your resume aims to be a one-stop shop for all your resume writing needs. Please e-mail us your thoughts or send us articles we might include in the section. Following the links below, you’ll be introduced the some general issues concerning resume writing, following by how to construct your own resume, how to trouble-shoot it and how to distribute it. We’ve even included sample resumes we’ve received from real people just like you.

General Topics Before You Start


Writing The Resume

Beyond the Basics

Trouble-Shooting the Resume

Sending Your Resume to Employers


Special Articles by Bill Radin