Follow Us

Your Personal and Professional Development: Plans, Tips and Lists

Powered by Bookboon, your personal eLibrary with 1,700+ eBooks on soft skills and personal development

Eight things your resume needs

Posted in Articles

This article is based on the free eBook “Be A Better Writer”

At some point in your career you’ll need a professional resume. If you hope to find a new job or a better job, a resume is a must-have if you want to land an interview. You should also have an updated resume at all times because you just never know when a great career opportunity will come your way and you don’t want to have to scramble to put together your resume.

Try these 8 tips for writing a professional resume:


1) Gather your information ahead of time

The toughest part of writing a resume is gathering all the information for it. If you do this ahead of time, when you’re ready to sit down and write the resume you can just use a template to fill in most of your information.

Make a list of your past employers, dates you were employed, positions you held with these companies, etc. Make a list of colleges, universities, and trade schools you’ve attended, the dates you attended, degrees earned, and major areas of study. Next, list all the work you have done (both paid work and volunteer) that relates to the job (or type of job) you wish to find. Next, list your job skills and qualifications.

Gathering all this information will also help determine the best resume style for you – a style that makes the most of your education, skills, and work background.


2) Choose the best format or style for your resume

There are several different formats or resume styles to choose from. The most popular is the chronological resume. However, if you have little or no previous experience, this style will not be the best style choice for you. Evaluate which resume style or format would put your particular experiences, education, and background in the best light.


3) Use a template

Once you’ve decided the best style or format to use for your resume, find a template for that particular style. That way, since you’ve already gathered your basic information, now you can start writing your resume by filling in the template with that information. Getting started is the toughest part of writing a resume. Once you get started, it won’t be difficult to finish writing the resume.


4) Avoid using “I”

Since a resume is all about you (or the person you’re writing the resume for), there’s no need to use the pronoun “I”, as in “I created lesson plans, taught classes, and graded papers.”  You don’t need to worry about using complete sentences either. Resumes are meant to be short and to-the-point. Use phrases like this: “Created lesson plans, taught classes, graded papers.”


5) Use plain, simple English

You’ll want to use plain, simple English in your resume. However, use words that give the reader a clear understanding of what you have accomplished in the past. Study sample resumes you can find online for the verbs and phrasing used to make an applicant’s background and qualifications really stand out. Use these types of verbs and phrases in your resume.

6) Use bulleted statements/points

Your resume should include plenty of white space, so it’s easy for prospective employers to read and tell at a glance if you have the background and experience they are looking for. Keep sentences and paragraphs short. Use bulleted points to emphasize key information. Just be sure the structure is parallel when using bulleted points.


8) Proof your resume one last time

Revise and then proof your resume one last time, making any necessary corrections or changes before sending it out to prospective employers. Even with the best education, experience, and other job skills, you won’t impress anyone if your resume includes typos or punctuation and grammatical mistakes.


To add it all up

Check off each item on this list before submitting your resume for review:

1. The resume includes all relevant contact information.

2. The resume is attractive and easy to read.

3. Key skills, training, and experience are highlighted.

4. The resume is free of spelling mistakes, general typos, and punctuation and grammatical errors.

Good luck with your application!


If you are looking for further general writing tips, then “Be A Better Writer” written by Suzanne Lieurance is the right book for you.