RESUME WRITING RESOURCES
Do you need assistance writing or editing your resume? You can use this
handy collection of tools and resources to develop or revise your résumé
and cover letter. Strategies, tips, advice, instructions, word lists,
formats, templates, and samples are available here for your use.
Everything you need to write a professional résumé is contained in this
comprehensive résumé writing kit.
A good resume is the one that is tailor-made to meet your current
job-seeking needs, one that fits your specific background, your unique
contributions and your personal and professional goals. Your resume should
be targeted to the needs of the employer. It should be written from the
employer’s perspective. It must speak the language of the employer.
Your resume functions as an advertisement of yourself. It is one of your
key sales tools. You are the product and your resume is the advertisement
that sells that product. It is meant to be an effective way of marketing
and packaging your product. Your resume presents, promotes and publicizes
you to the job market.
Your resume must spark interest and grab attention.
It must arouse the curiosity of the reader. It must make the reader want
to meet you. It must clearly differentiate you from your competition. It
must make you stand out.
A good resume will enable you to affirm in writing your positive and
relevant qualities, skills and characteristics. A good resume presents
supportive information that justifies your job objective. By stating your
work-related accomplishments, duties, responsibilities, experience and
qualifications, you effectively document your capabilities and provide
evidence of your suitability to the job.
Your resume generally includes highlights and information
drawn from your professional work experience, educational background,
extracurricular activities and community service. It may also mention
memberships, internships, awards, honors and distinctions. Experience and
activities may be official or unofficial employment, fulltime or part time, paid
The information on your resume should be positive, selective and relevant.
Keep your presentation short and full of spark. Your resume should be a
concise statement of what you've learned from past experiences and how
they will help a future employer. Your resume must project a positive
image. It must fit both you and the circumstances.
Your resume is not a lengthy, detailed, official, historical document of
every area of your life. It is not your life story or your job history. It
should be brief, concise and full of spark. It should be targeted to a
specific job or career field. The information on your resume should be
positive, selective and relevant. A resume is an individually designed
document that summarizes your background. It is intended to demonstrate
your fitness for a particular position. It focuses on the most attractive
and applicable aspects of your background.
Every element of your resume must present you as a perfect match for the
job you are seeking. Keep the reader in mind. Make sure your resume
conveys what you have to offer. Tell what contributions you can make.
Emphasize transferable skills. Write clearly and simply. Use active,
positive language. Use short, direct, succinct phrases.
Header - At the top of your resume is a banner that includes your name,
address, telephone number, and e-mail address.
Profile - The first section on your resume is a summary of your background
and credentials. It should provide a very brief overview of your
knowledge, experience, skills, and personal traits.
Education - The second section on your resume provides a list of the
schools you attended. Under each institution you should list your
degree/diploma, your academic awards, memberships, clubs/organizations,
and extracurricular activities.
Experience - The third section of your resume provides a list of companies
and organizations you worked for (fulltime, part time, paid, unpaid,
voluntary, freelance, internships). Under each organization you should
list your responsibilities, duties, and accomplishments.
Writing a Winning Resume
Mistakes You Need to Avoid
Write a Great Resume
Resume Writing Tricks
Employers Look For in a Resume
Your Cover Letter
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Resumes generally should be only one page in length. Resumes should not be
detailed. It is not necessary to list every job. Resumes need not include
a complete job history. Do not tell everything, only what is relevant to
the job being sought.
The resume header should indicate your name in large, bold type. Use the
name by which you are commonly addressed. Include only one mailing
address. Include telephone number with area code (home and/or cellphone).
You may also include your e-mail address.
Do not devote undue space to company's address (city and state only). Do
not devote undue space to dates of employment (years only). Keep company
name and job title simple. Do not include supervisor's name. Do not
include company's telephone number or zip code. Do not include references
on your resume.
Every entry on your resume should include a description of the duties,
responsibilities, activities and skills associated with the experience. There is
no need to differentiate between paid and non-paid experiences. All descriptions
should be stated in terms of their transferability and relevance to the job
being sought. Avoid technical or job-specific jargon unless it is related to the
job you are seeking. Otherwise, use generic or general terms.
Information should be presented in list format, not paragraph format. Do not use
narrative language. Avoid using full sentences or excessive wordiness. Don't use
any personal pronouns. Short phrases, beginning with action verbs, stated in
single lines, work best. Language patterns, information groupings, verb usage
and tense should be consistent.
Format, layout and organization should be consistent, easy-to-read and
appropriate to the specific occupational field. Make your resume visually
appealing. Presentation should be clean and clear. Balance blocks of text with
white space. Margins should be wide and even. Avoid using font or type style
that is too fancy or exotic. Utilize emphasizing techniques for impact and easy
reading: bold letters, capital letters, italics, bullets, dashes, indenting and
font size variations.
You can typically arrange and organize the information on your resume into three
categories: Profile (General qualifications, knowledge, experience, skills, and
personality traits), Education (Schools you attended and related degrees,
courses, awards, honors, memberships, and extracurricular activities),
Experience (Jobs and employment, including fulltime or part time, paid or
unpaid, temporary or long term, along with descriptions of responsibilities and
The key words and phrases you choose for your resume and cover letter can
help you catch the attention of a potential employer.
When a hiring manager sees the same old resume time and time again with
the same old clichéd words and overused phrases, you are guaranteeing that
your resume will be tossed.
Avoid peppering your résumé with tired, stale, or empty buzzwords. Avoid
using annoying jargon, anemic catchphrases, and colorless verbs. Poorly
chosen words and trite phrases can destroy the interest of the reader.
Power words when chosen correctly can have the opposite effect of
motivating and inspiring the reader.
Every word on your resume should be working hard to
highlight your talents, skills, and strengths.
Choosing positive power words for your resume will make help you stand out
from your competition. Use words that have substance and impact. Use words
that are descriptive, compelling, and dynamic.
You'll need to carefully select what you're going to say on your resume,
but also be conscientious of how you say it. In a format such as a resume
with limited space, you need to choose powerful, effective words that will
get your message across immediately. You need to be as specific as
possible, leaving no room for reluctance in a recruiter's mind. And you
need to be concise and get to your point quickly.
Distill everything you want to say into a selection of carefully chosen
words, sentences, and bullet points, so that someone reading your resume
can see your accomplishments at a moment's glance, and most importantly,
be impressed by them. Careful, concise, powerful language is the only way
to achieve this goal.
Keep, it simple. Avoid bloat. Remove personal pronouns and articles. Keep
track of tense.
When describing your experience and accomplishments, it is important that
you use the right verb or adjective. Use active voice rather than passive
voice. Site accomplishments and achievements by using statistics and
numbers to show improvement. Provide examples.
100 Great Resume Words
100 Powerful Resume Words
Action Verbs & Power Words
Forbes Resume Tips
Resume Words That Suck
Resume Power Words
Key Resume Phrases & Words
Useful Resume Words & Phrases
Words & Phrases to Avoid on Your Resume
Resume Action Verbs
500 Resume Action Verbs
Selling Yourself With Action Words
Positive Personality Adjectives
Resume Words With Impact
Descriptive Resume Adjectives
Positive Adjective Glossary
How to Say it: Resume Language