How to Write a Proper Resume

Personnel departments receive thousands of resumes every day, they don't have the time to deal with resumes that don't fit into their system. That's why it's very important that your resume contain the proper documents in the proper format. A resume should include the following documents:

Cover Letter
Letter of Recommendation
Curriculum Vitae

Cover Letter

A cover letter should always be sent with your resume. A cover letter states what job you're applying for, your skills and experience related to that job, why you're interested in the organization offering the job, and what you can you do for the organization related to performing the duties of that job.

Your cover letter should be specific to the job that you're applying for. Personnel departments receive thousands of resumes every day, so they don't have the time to read long cover letters. Your cover letter should be one page and your writing should clear and concise. If you're not sure what to write, review some of the many cover letter examples on the Internet.


The most important information to include in your resume is how to reach you, and that information should be at the top of your resume. At the top of your resume put your name, telephone number and address.

Next put a line or two about your job objective. A job objective states the type of work, and in which industry, you are seeking. And of course, your job objective should match up exactly with the job that the organization is offering. Personnel departments receive thousands of resumes every day, so they don't have the time to read all the resumes. First they look for keywords in the job objective statement. If they don't find the proper keywords related to the position they're offering, the resume goes in the circular file. When stating your job objective be sure to include those keywords, which you can usually derive from the job add.

Next the resume should include summaries of your education and work experience. Usually a summary of your work experience, in reverse chronological order, comes first. If you have many different jobs, just include the last three or four, unless an older job applies specifically to the position you're seeking.

Then include a summary of your education and any degrees or certificates you hold. If you have a college degree, listing a high school diploma is not necessary. If you haven't finished college or high school, include your expected graduation date and, if it's good, your GPA. Also include any training or classes you've taken that relate specifically to the job you're applying for.

Some people don't have a great deal of education or work experience. In that situation you should write a functional resume. A functional resume lists the skills that you have. These might include artistic skills, organizing skills, computer skills, craftsman skills, or skills at developing report and being persuasive with people. A functional resume is good for people making a career change. You may not have much experience in the specific field, but you have many skills developed in another field that transfer to the desired position.

Some people like to include information about their personality type in their resume. For example. you might state that you like to analyze and solve problems, or that you are extremely detail oriented, or that taking initiative is your greatest strength. Many organizations are looking for people that are honest and reliable.

Don't include references in your resume. Instead, at the bottom of your resume, state that references will be furnished upon request. Also, because of the possibility of identity theft, don't include your social security or driver's license number.

Letter of Recommendation

Including a letter of recommendation is usually not required. However under certain circumstances you might want to include one. For example, if you lose your job because of some circumstance not under your control, like your company gets taken over by another company, or you're laid off because of a slow economy. In this situation a prospective employer may not be able to locate any person that you used as a reference. If you lose your job because of circumstance not under your control, ask your manager for a letter of recommendation.

Curriculum Vitae

Curriculum vitae (CV) is a Latin phrase meaning "course of life". Whereas a resume is short and tailored for a specific position, a CV is far more comprehensive and elaborates on education to a greater degree than a resume. You would not use a CV to apply for a typical job in the private sector. A CV is more appropriate for scientific, academic, or medical positions. A CV might be included along with, or as a replacement for a resume. A CV is usually organized in a standardized format that follows a clear chronology.

Online Resumes

The Internet has changed much about the way resumes are submitted, and processed. It's not uncommon for employers to only accept resumes electronically. Many employers now find job candidates resumes through search engines. This makes it important for job seekers to use appropriate keywords when writing their resume. It's also important for job seekers to use the proper file format for their resumes. Many employers, especially recruitment agencies, insist on receiving resumes only as Microsoft Word documents.

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