Though the idea of a resume is far from new, many still cringe at the thought of writing one, let-alone sending it out to be judged by potential employers. Anxiety is no excuse, however, for a poorly written resume, and neither is claiming a lack of knowledge. Here, we will answer the questions that plague future resume writers so they can best present their abilities.
One: do I really need a resume?
Answer: Yes! This cannot be stressed enough; most employers will laugh you out of the office if you show up to an interview without a resume. You’re fired before you even have a chance to plead your skills. A resume is essential.
Two: how do I start my resume?
Answer: the first step is to choose a format that works for you:
Find examples of these and see which best suits your abilities and experience. Then, you’ll need to decide what to put in that format. Your resume should be limited to no more than two pages so every word must count.
Three: what do I need in a resume?
Answer: depending on what format you select, a resume can display your education, your past employments or skills that are related to the position you want. The key is to select the highlights of your life. Do not focus on failures or periods of unemployment. Instead, find what you did best. Impress, but be sure not to lie.
Four: how do I format my resume?
Answer: Do not assume that using creative fonts and bright colors will endear you to employers; it won’t. This is business, not party invitations, and a resume should be formatted accordingly:
The font should never be smaller than 10 and you should use basic ones (Times New Roman, Arial, etc.) to make sure that they can be read. Do not choose a “fun” font.
The resume should never be longer than two pages. One is ideal but, sometimes, impossible. Your word choice should be concise but, if you cannot fit your best experiences onto one page, move onto the second.
Use white space. The worst thing you can do is have paragraph after paragraph. A resume should be an outline of your life, not a novella. Do not press your skills and education together, without using proper spacing and line breaks. White space, the blank areas in between sections, is easier on the eye and offer relief for long details.
Follow grammar rules. A resume should never be considered casual; do not write this as you would an email to your best friend. Use proper grammar and punctuation.
With these questions answered, you can better understand what it means to write a resume.
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