Resume writing. Step by Step guide.

Posted 8 Apr, 2011 in Resume Help
resume writing

Resume’s main goal is to capture employer’s attention. Only a neatly- written, professional resume can serve this aim. The most difficult task for the beginners in resume writing is lack of knowledge as to choice of words, suitable resume formats and all other peculiarities. The article gives hints and advices on how to write a resume and make the resume work for you.

There exist 3 types of resume: skill-based, chronological and their combination. It’s up to you which type to select. But we advise to adjust your resume according to the desired position.

In chronological resume all work experience, from the most recent post, should be presented as this resume focuses on job experience. So you can use this variant when looking for a position in the same sphere you used to work in or if work experience is rather immense without many gaps. One of the strongest sides of such a resume is description of your career way thus it shows your progress and creates a brief job history for an employer. The second skills-based resume type concentrates on professional skills and is pertinent for employees with either minimum or diverse job experience as well as for those reentering job market. It’s obvious that the third types presents  the golden mean of the previous two resume formats, including both skills advantages and work history and thus gives freedom to choose adequate amount of listed jobs or to highlighten  necessary skills. The principal difference of skills-based and chronological resumes lies in the section altering – the first type includes “Relevant Experience” section while the second only a “Professional History”.

Now let’s have a more detailed look at the resume sections and their contents.

The entry section of all resumes includes contact information (name+surname, address (remember the correct order of writing: street number, street name, town\city\village, country and country post code), then comes phone number, e-mail address). In the second obligatory section headed “Education” you list: degree, university name and location, it’s also possible to include relevant course or diploma topics and awards. Keep in mind that you don’t include your school history. The body section alters depending on the resume format chosen but if to dwell on the combined format you should embrace in this section “Professional History\Experience” and “Skills”. The first sub-section include reversed list of 3-5 previous positions (position title, company-employer, dates). The “Skills” paragraph is aimed at “putting you in the best light” and tells about all kinds of experience (even volunteer work). The optional information section

is based upon objectives (title of the applied position, experience you hope to enlarge and that the employer’s company can benefit from), research and publications (articles, relevant projects e.t.c.), honors and awards, licenses ( different certifications such as foreign language courses, first aid) and at last important for your future position memberships ( include club\committee name, date of entrance, positions).

The concise resume writing guide will be useful for those who feel ill at ease thinking over the correct words and information that should be included into a successful resume.

Step 1

concerns the resume format: use the standard 12 point font. Remember that Arial and Times New Roman fonts are the easiest- readable. Try to make visible paragraph in the resume and don’t invent any new headings that seem original to you. Although there is a number of resume covering 2 full pages, stay within the limits of a page. Keep in mind that an average employer spends approximately 40 seconds reading one resume.

Step 2

is connected with language usage. Try to avoid abbreviations unless they are unified (like state names). When there is a need to shorten some companies’ names, first spell them. An accepted way of abbreviation is writing them in parenthesis e.g.  California University (CU). Like in cover letter be careful with words choice. Minimize the repetition of personal pronoun “I”. But try to use key words related to the sphere you’re going to work in. Special terminology show what a profound employee you are. For instance programmers use such clichés as: MS Word, computer software, intelligent network e.t.c.

Step 3

dwells on resume structure and filling. Think over the above presented resume format choosing the best way to organize information. Don’t be overdiligent trying to squeeze into the resume the whole long-list of your previous jobs and enumerate all your strong sides. Be more concise, a cover letter that MUST accompany the resume, not repeating the latter, will include the rest of your talents. Stress 3-4 strongest points. Don’t forget to write about your achievements especially those concerning any increase of company’s performance.

Step 4

Focus on resume objectives. The first rule of a successful resume runs: let your objectives suit the demands of a prospect employer. So before sending a resume compare your resume aims with employer’s requirements. In case of experience shortage include information about the most relevant course works and highlighten your ability to learn, work in a tem e.t.c. Another useful fact about objectives: don’t write general objectives like “Seeking for a job with quick promotion”, better “I’m seeking a position of senior market manager, which utilizes my 20-year experience on the international goods market”. The last objective will tempt the member of a human resource department pay more attention to reading the whole resume and cover letter.

Step 5

Education History and Skills. Applying for the first job it’s appropriate to write not only about universities degrees but also about rewards and honors on your high school list. But mark that such information is usually included by people under 23-24 who haven’t gained much experience yet. Though mentioning different training courses suits all the resumes. Continuous studying shows your determination, desire to learn and broaden your mind. Concerning the necessary skills list, everything depends on the position you are seeking, but the most common phrases are like: “self-motivated”, “a team player”, “determinate worker”, “able of effective cooperation”

Step 6

Job experience. Presenting your former jobs stick to a simple rule. List each title of the previous job on a separate line together with company name and years you spent working for a particular company. You don’ have to mention companies address though state and country names are essential. It’s a good idea to accompany each of the jobs with a short description of your position and duties.

Step 7

concerns the last arrangements. Reread the whole resume crossing out the unnecessary or uncorrelated sentences. Your aim is to make the resume more brief and consistent. Before sending the resume to an employer resume guidebooks advise to “have an objective look from outside” or in other words give your resume to a more or less qualified person (a college) who will go through your resume correcting mistakes ( if any).

When you’ve accomplished the resume it must look like the following simple resume sample:

Mark Wolker
345 Bridge Street
Miami, Florida MF 1236765
Tel.: (876) 34 45 667

Education: Bachelor of Science, City Ecology, Western Washington University (WWU), Bellingham, WA.


  • Peer tutored WWU students individually in writing.
  • Facilitated online discussions.
  • Researched and wrote interpretive brochures and city ecology park staff reference

Professional History: Writing Assistant, WWU Writing Center, Bellingham WA2004-2005

Activities and Honors:
Huxley College Outstanding New Student in the Environmental Science Department—Spring 2005

- Languages: English, French (upper-intermediate)

We know how to prepare a professional resume!

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