How to Make a Resume
Want to make your resume shine? Here's how to put together a resume that'll impress any employer.
1. Start by making a list of all your accomplishments to date. Don't leave anything
out. Include jobs, awards, educational degrees, skills, personal projects: anything that
would be impressive and/or interesting to anyone (even if not impressive or interesting to
everyone. Even after your resume is finished, maintain this list. That way, you don't have
to revisit those portions year after year. Organize your list by category.
2. Tailor your list to the position you're applying for (this will require a bit of
research). Trim out each item that is not directly relevant to the job and add on two or
three sentences explaining the relevance of each item. Whenever possible, list your
experience in terms of accomplishments and achievements rather than tasks and
responsibilities. Show your success. You may end up with many different versions of your
resume, each one emphasizing a different set of skills.
3. Consider stating your objective. Again, keep this short and to the point, a single
sentence. Personalize it to the position. Make sure your objective doesn't contradict the
position you are applying for. Many employers will ignore an objective; so if it doesn't
add something to the resume, don't include it.
4. Now it's time to format. Mind the look and feel of your resume. It should have clean
lines and be easy to read. Make it two pages max, and only one page if you're just out of
school - if you have more to share, save it for the interview. The font should be 8-13, no
smaller, no bigger, but you should be able to read it well when you print it out. Black
and white is best unless you're emphasizing your artistic or publishing skills (and even
then be careful and tasteful). Keep the format neat and organized.
5. Include an address, phone number and email address. But, do not include an email
that shows you shouldn't be taken seriously, like email@example.com. Don't use your
current employer's name, number or email, either. If necessary, get an extra email address
with a professional name that you can use for job searches.
6. Proofread, proofread and proofread again. Have a friend proofread. Have an enemy
proofread. Have a stranger proofread. Then proof again! Don't boast about written
communication skills with a typo.
7. Toot your own horn, but be careful. There is a fine line between arrogance and
confidence. Try not to cross that line.
8. Follow directions. This is a huge indicator of responsibility to a hiring manager.
If the ad says "no calls please," then don't call! If the job description asks you to
provide your salary history, then include that information in your resume.
• Remember: the point of a resume is not to get the job, it's to get
the interview. Focus on your best accomplishments. Focus on things you've accomplished so
that whoever reads the resume will think, "I want to find out more about how this person
• Be consistent! Format each entry in your resume in the same way.
• You might not need to list your whole name if it takes up two full
lines (James Michael Allan Hoffman III; James Hoffman is fine or even Jim Hoffman if
that's the way you like to be addressed.
• Don't over qualify yourself for a position. Give enough information
for interest and save the "wow" factor for the interview. Write the resume for the
position you are applying for without altering the truth.
• Don't attach 6 letters of recommendation, your diploma, your birth
certificate, and your CPR and fitness certifications. Indicate your current certifications
and be prepared to give references upon request. Do not waste space on your resume by
saying "References available".