Writing Your Resume

By Tracy Achen

Your resume is a marketing tool that summarizes your accomplishments and skills. It should be engaging and not just a boring list of previous jobs. Before you begin writing, take some time to brainstorm on what to include, such as the skills you acquired in previous jobs, how these benefited the company, and your personal advancement. When outlining your experience, you can use some of these descriptive buzz words to highlight your skills:

Achieved
Adapted
Advised
Analyzed
Assisted
Built
Completed
Controlled
Convinced
Coordinated
Created
Delivered

Designed
Developed
Devised
Directed
Employed
Equipped
Established
Evaluated
Expanded
Expedited
Generated
Guided

Improved
Initiated
Integrated
Investigated
Led
Leveraged
Maintained
Managed
Operated
Organized
Performed
Persuaded

Planned
Processed
Produced
Reduced
Restructured
Researched
Saved
Set Up
Sold
Supervised
Targeted
Trained

Using the above information, you can start drafting your resume. You can use the outline below to help you get started. Remember that it should be printed on one 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper.

Resume Example


Your Name

Mailing Address
City, State Zip Code
Phone Number (xxx) xxx-xxxx
Email address

QUALIFICATIONS
This is the equivalent of an elevator pitch to convince potential employers you would be a perfect fit for the position you are applying for. It should be a sentence or two which shows the value you can bring to the position and demonstrates you have the key skills needed for the job.

EDUCATION AND TRAINING
Name of University, College, or Training Facility
Degree or training obtained

Listing any other continuing education courses or training that you received which weren't included in your degree program, include class names and descriptions

CAREER SUMMARY
List your professional experience first, beginning with your current or most recent job. Include company name, dates of employment; position held, key achievements and duties performed. You can add then add the rest of your work history in chronological order as shown below.

Company #1
Dates of employment, Company Name, Position Held
Responsibilities / Achievements

Company #2
Dates of employment, Company Name, Position Held
Responsibilities / Achievements

Military Service 
If you served in any branch of the armed serviced, list your dates of enlistment, military branch you served with, highest rank achieved, technical training, and special assignments.

OTHER EXPERIENCE
Even if you don't have a formal job history, you can still market the skills you have picked up along the way, such as volunteer experience or civic duties you've performed and your responsibilities while performing these duties. You can also include any temporary jobs or internships that you held. It is also beneficial to list any foreign languages you can speak fluently.




If you have a LinkedIn profile, you can include a link, but only if it will complement your listed qualifications with additional information.

What about references? It's wise to have up to three references available if requested, but you don't need to include them in your document. Past employers or co-workers who recognize your strengths and will have something positive to say about you are a good choice. Contact these people, asking them if you can include them as a reference. Be sure to get their correct position, address, and phone number, because potential employers can get aggravated if they can’t reach the references listed. After someone agrees to give you a reference, it is good etiquette to send them a thank-you letter.

Once you have everything together, check for typos, even enlisting a friend to check it over. Nothing will turn a potential employer off faster than seeing misspelled words. After everything is perfect, print it out on quality paper. Also save the file on your computer so that you can post it to one of the online job sites. If you will be emailing to potential employers, it's also a good idea to save it as a PDF document.

One way to make sure everything is polished and customized for you is to have a professional do it for you. Résumé Writing from Monster can give you that extra edge in your job search.

Remember that along with a sizzling resume, you also need a good cover letter to present yourself to potential employers...