Resumes, business writing, human resource consulting, and more!

Resumes – Getting Started

Writing an eye-catching and engaging resume can be a challenge, but making a plan and knowing some important steps can make the difference between getting an interview or not.

Step One:  An important first step is choosing a style.  Although there are many different styles of resumes, I typically stick to 2 main styles because between the 2 they basically encompass all different applications.

Style One: Employment-Based Resume (Chronological)
This style highlights the positions you have held and your key responsibilities.
You would use this style if you have held notable positions that apply to the job you wish to apply for.  For example, you would like to apply for a teaching job, and you have held teaching positions.

If you have held notable jobs that directly relate to the job you are applying for - use the employment-based resume style to showcase your work history.

If you have held notable jobs that directly relate to the job you are applying for – use the employment-based resume style to showcase your work history.

Style Two: Skills-Based Resume (Functional)
This style highlights specific skills and duties you have been responsible for.
You would use this technique if you have not specifically held similar positions to the one you are applying for, but still have the experience and talents the employer is looking for.  For example, you wish to apply for a teaching job and you have never been a teacher, but you have volunteered as a swimming instructor, have worked as a manager and have trained staff, etc.

You would use the skills-based resume style if you have not specifically held similar positions to the one you are applying for, but still have the experience and talents the employer is looking for.

You would use the skills-based resume style if you have not specifically held similar positions to the one you are applying for, but still have the experience and talents the employer is looking for.

Step two:  Gather your information!  If you don’t have information handy, the actual writing process is going to be much more time consuming, and you will be more likely to get distracted.  Here is a list of information I like to have handy:

  • Previous work experience (job titles, employer names, dates of employment, maybe even a short list of duties you were responsible at each job)
  • Specific project successes
  • Education and training (school names, diploma/degree/certification names, include any in-house training received from employers)
  • Job postings you will be applying for
  • Copy of an old resume

Step three:   Choose a free pre-made template in Microsoft Word or Google Docs.   (Although you can write your resume in other file formats, these are the most common and can likely be opened by the employer you will be sending them to.)  There are some great free pre-designed templates that can be found through Microsoft Word or online, you certainly don’t have to use them but they can save you lots of time!  If you want to save time but still want to be unique, I suggest you find a pre-made template that you like and then change some fonts, colours, sizes, and order until you are happy with them.  Doing this will give you a unique look, but you won’t have to start from scratch.

Once you have completed these first 3 steps, you are ready to actually write your resume!  Check out my next blog on Writing Your Resume (to be posted soon) to guide you step by step and give you tips on successfully writing a great resume that will hopefully land you some interviews!

 

Like what you read? Have a question?  Have a future blog topic idea?  Please comment below, email me, or share the blog with people it can help!

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