As our textbook asserts: “If your resume is badly written or looks unprofessional, employers won’t bother to look at your application letter and other employment materials” (298).
Needless to say, your resume is an important document that often serves as the first impression you will make on a potential employer. Having a resume that is both well-written and well-designed is important in a competitive job market.
This week, we’ll focus on creating a draft of your resume. Perhaps you already have a resume. That’s great! You can use this opportunity, then, to revisit, rethink, and revise this draft.
As you create your resume, consider the following:
1. No Templates! If you use an MS Word, or similar, resume template, so are thousands of other folks. In a competitive job market, you want your resume to stand out and be different from the competition. So, do not use a resume template.
2. Use action words. Page 306 has a great list to get you started, and you should also check out the LifeHacker article for an additional list.
3. Follow a specific format (chronological or functional).
4. When listing your work experiences, you want to emphasize your position or job title, not the company/organization for which you worked.
5. Design is important. Consider the principles of design as you create your resume and organize content. Creating clean lines–through alignment–for example, allows reader-users to follow the overall structure of your resume. A splash of color might be helpful too. But don’t overdo it. And stick to professional colors such as blues.
6. Create a header. Your header should allow your name to stand out–either through color, font size, or both, and include your contact information.