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Your Resume - Resume Writing For Beginners

Updated on January 27, 2013
Resumes Are Foundational To A Job Interview
Resumes Are Foundational To A Job Interview | Source

Write My Resume

Just how do teenagers embarking on their first work experience present themselves on paper? It would be tempting to write a resume for them, wouldn't it? Resist! This is the very best time for them to learn how to do it all by themselves. Of course you, as the parent or educator, can provide wisdom in the learning experience by helping them navigate these uncharted waters!

This article is part of a course that I taught--wrote, and taught--to a small but mighty class of tenth graders. The Class of 2014!

All six of them have varying interests, strengths, weaknesses, desires and dreams. All six of them have a sincere desire to know how the path to higher education and then the job of their dreams works.

Today, we covered "resumes".

What is a Resume?

Resume: A resume is an autobiographical document compiled by an individual with the intent of securing a new job or acceptance into an organization.

The resume lists the job seeker's basic contact information, significant work experience and educational background. In a job search, the resume is the starting point from which a potential employer will get to know you.

Hopefully, the resume will sell you well enough to lead to an interview and, eventually, a job offer.

Resume Writing Basics

Write your resume with the job position in mind. Research the specific company and the field of work that they do. Be familiar with them. When sifting through piles of resumes, they will be looking for key phrases to show them that you might be the person that they want.

Limit the information. Include the important facts about you that the potential employer needs to know. Don’t over-burden the reader with unnecessary details.

Readability. Structure your resume using an easy-to-read style. Be consistent with your formatting. If the first words of a section are in bold type, the first words in every section should be. Use spacing, bolding, italics and underlining to create a sense of order.

Accuracy: Be sure that your dates, addresses, etc. are right. Now, PROOFREAD the text. Errors in your resume implies that you will also be inaccurate or lazy when it comes to your job performance.

Write Your Resume

  1. First, start with your contact information: name, address, phone number and email address. Your age or birth-date are not expected to be on a resume and can work against you. Leave that out. Likewise, along with your age, your gender, religion and marital status are illegal for an employer to ask.
  2. Next, list professional experience. Include the most recent jobs first. Those who have years of work history should leave out the least significant items. (i.e. a civil engineer does not need to include that she was a life guard in high school.)
  3. Finally, add your educational background. Again, give your highest level of education first, going backward in time. Doctorate, then Masters, Bachelors, High School. If you have had professional training outside of the traditional collegiate studies which enhance your ability to do the job being applied for, add that as well.

Finishing Touches on Your Resume

Cover Letters. A cover letter for a resume should express your interest in that position and that working for that company, not just your need for a job. Say enough to show that you’ve paid attention to what they’re asking for but not so much that they toss your resume aside. If you are long-winded on paper, chances are you will be in real life. Who wants to work with someone like that?

Display: use professional resume paper or plain white. Think about the industry you’ll be working in. Which would be more appropriate?

And, where is artistic appropriate? If you are seeking a job in graphic design, theater or fashion, then a creative look can win you points. Applying for a creative job in the film industry? That might call for a video resume. Know your field.

What was your first steady paying job?

See results

Sample Resume

A picture is worth a thousand words, so they say.

Here is what President Barack Obama's resume might have looked like, prior to his winning the Presidential Election: imaginary resume

This example is part of a great 2008 article by Ware Sykes posted on The Ladders: "Want to Know What a Great Resume Looks Like?"

About the Author...

Sinea Pies is a former high school guidance counselor, a freelance writer for a popular parenting magazine and blogger on Ducks 'n a Row.

Please feel free to leave a comment or subscribe to her RSS feed to be updated on new hubs and articles that she publishes. Click for more: Sinea's profile


Submit a Comment

  • Sinea Pies profile image

    Sinea Pies 4 years ago from Northeastern United States

    Thanks so much, DIYmommy, for your encouraging words. It's nice to hear that, in practice, this advice is working!

  • DIYmommy profile image

    Julie 4 years ago

    Having just returned from a year tour, to Kuwait, this past August, my husband vigorously set out to get a job. With 13+ years in the service, with 3 of those years being an Army officer, he knew he had at least some skills and experience he could offer. Our home office turned into pretty much a battle command post, with dry erase boards hanging all over the place--meant for the most intricate of tracking of places he had submitted his resume, responses, interviews, etc. In the end, the resume was what got his foot in the door, and, knowing that, he really took hours upon hours to craft it. If I could make a suggestion that my husband did, and I see you mentioned it in the article, but he constructed what is called a "T" cover letter. To the hiring manager, at least pulling him in for an interview was a no-brainer, as he had utilized the "T" cover letter to completely align and match the job requirements with his value and offerings. This worked out very well for him, as he was able to beat out 10 other candidates--with the 2 final candidates being West Point and Naval Academy graduates--for a position as a manufacturing supervisor with 35 direct reports. Thank you for such a great hub! It's definitely worth putting effort into a solid resume.

  • Sinea Pies profile image

    Sinea Pies 5 years ago from Northeastern United States

    Thanks so much Madeeadair.

  • Mandeeadair profile image

    Mandeeadair 5 years ago from California

    Fantastic hub!! :) Great information.

  • Sinea Pies profile image

    Sinea Pies 5 years ago from Northeastern United States

    So glad that I could be of help, ebookshack. Thanks for the nice comments.

  • ebookshack profile image

    Melanie Bremner 5 years ago from Canada

    Thank you for this hub. I was just wondering how the modern resume needs to be written the other day. I have a son and husband who both recently were in need of one written and since it had been years since I wrote one, I didn't know what to do.

    I am going to bookmark this hub and read it again as needed. thanks again for the tips.

  • Sinea Pies profile image

    Sinea Pies 5 years ago from Northeastern United States

    Thank you so much, Internetgeek.

  • Sinea Pies profile image

    Sinea Pies 5 years ago from Northeastern United States

    Thanks Sturgeoni, for the nice comment and Vote UP. President Obama's resume was a recent add. I like it, too. Hope it is helpful to your son. :)

  • internetgeek profile image

    Nizam Khan 5 years ago from Hyderabad, India.

    This is very helpful. You have provided very useful instructions and well formatted. Thanks for sharing and voted up :)

  • Sinea Pies profile image

    Sinea Pies 5 years ago from Northeastern United States

    Thanks so much, Don. I agree. You hope that your resume says just what it takes but who knows what that boss-to-be is wanting to see?

  • Don Simkovich profile image

    Don Simkovich 5 years ago from Pasadena, CA

    Nicely formatted hub and practical. Resume writing to me always seemed a mystery -- and I'm a writer! This is helpful.

  • Sturgeonl profile image

    Sturgeonl 5 years ago

    I like the example of Obama's resume. My son is currently looking for his first job so I will definitely share this with him. Great information. Voted up.

  • Sinea Pies profile image

    Sinea Pies 5 years ago from Northeastern United States

    Thanks so much for the vote up and nice comment, jainismus.

  • jainismus profile image

    Mahaveer Sanglikar 5 years ago from Pune, India

    Sinea Pies,

    It is an informative and very useful Hub for many. Thank you for sharing it. Voted up.

  • Sinea Pies profile image

    Sinea Pies 5 years ago from Northeastern United States

    Thanks The-Best-Mouse Trap!

  • The-BestMouseTrap profile image

    Pam Valentine 5 years ago from The Heartland, USA

    Yet another informative hub on creating a resume, will pass this along to those teens of mine.

  • Sinea Pies profile image

    Sinea Pies 6 years ago from Northeastern United States

    Thanks stephhicks68. I know what you mean. I used to get many resumes across my desk as a school administrator and saw some pretty scary stuff. These were from "teachers" and they couldn't spell or write very well. Good resumes are so important as an introduction to the person who may become your boss!

  • stephhicks68 profile image

    Stephanie Hicks 6 years ago from Bend, Oregon

    Very helpful hub for many people. It is surprising to me how many people do not know how to prepare a proper resume (I used to interview law students when I worked for a large Seattle law firm). Besides spelling errors, my biggest pet peeve is grammatical error. You might as well write, "I do not really want this job." ... :) Rated up!

  • Sinea Pies profile image

    Sinea Pies 6 years ago from Northeastern United States

    Mishel ronld, thank you for your nice comment.

  • mishel ronld profile image

    mishel ronld 6 years ago from New York, NY

    Hey its helpful to student to making there resume. All the important points are covered here thanks for sharing.

  • Sinea Pies profile image

    Sinea Pies 6 years ago from Northeastern United States

    Thanks, Nell. That's what I'm hoping...that it will help people write great resumes. Thanks for the vote up!

  • Nell Rose profile image

    Nell Rose 6 years ago from England

    Hi, this is so helpful, In fact I should have read this before today, I just helped my son do his C.V. as we call it over here, and I went over it so many times to make sure its correct! this is great for anyone not knowing how to set out a resume, rated up! cheers nell