Resumes for Dummies: How to Write A Resume the Right Way

If you are worried about how to write your first resume, you are not alone. Resumes are intimidating, but everyone must have one, which means everyone goes through this experience in their career. Some people worry that they won’t have enough for their first resume, but don’t fret. You can create a strong resume with the right approach.

“Think about “ROI.” Your resume should sell the potential of how you can save your future company money and drive profitability! List out your accomplishments under each job description of what you did for previous employers and add the estimated savings if that makes sense!” Says Sharon Tsao, CMO, Contemporary Staffing Solutions.

Tips for Writing Your First Resume

Start with a template: No one expects you to be a graphic design whiz – unless you are a professional designer, of course. So for the rest of us, a downloadable template form Microsoft Word is an ideal place to start.

Study samples: Go online and look for sample resumes of people in your field. Use them for inspiration as you craft your resume, but do not be tempted to copy anything. Lying or plagiarizing will lead to immediate rejection.

List experience starting with your most recent job: Employers want to know what you’re doing right now, and they will work their way backwards. Always list your most recent experience first.

Include achievements: Under each job, list some of your most critical responsibilities but then go a step further by showing your achievements. You might have been named employee of the month or perhaps you created a new filing system that increased efficiency for your manager. Include any examples where you added value.

Use bullet points: Don’t write paragraphs of long-winded prose. Keep everything concise.

Use past tense: List your responsibilities in past tense, rather than present tense.

Include relevant experience: If you are new to the job market and have limited work experience, you probably have other relevant experiences to draw from. Internships, volunteer experience, and club participation taught you transferable skills.

Use keywords: Look back at the job postings you are interested in. You will find common skills and requirements. Use some of those keywords in your resume to show that you are a good fit for the job.

Make it readable: Add spaces between jobs and use a readable, professional 10-12 point font. Bold titles, and keep it consistent from top to bottom.

Keep it professional: While it may be tempting to add personal details, don’t include a picture, and don’t include details about your children, family, religious affiliation, etc.

Review for accuracy: Make sure all of your dates are accurate. If your dates don’t align, you could lose the offer during a background check. If you aren’t sure of dates, call the HR department of your previous employer.

Proofread, proofread, proofread: You will be competing against dozens of other applicants, if not more. A minor typo could end up costing you the job. Proofread your document multiple times, and have at least two other people look it over, as well.

“Consider a cover letter that follows the KISS principal. Consider including salary, availability, and travel expectations! Speak directly to the hiring manager or recruiter and know that this cover letter will hit the trash after they grab these three pieces of information – and always ship your resume in a PDF so it travels through email and print maintaining the format you have locked down!” Says Stephanie Rush, Branch Manager, Contemporary Staffing Solutions.

Are You Embarking On A Job Search?

If you are seeking new career opportunities, contact the expert recruiters at Contemporary Staffing Solutions. We can help you craft a resume that will impress hiring managers, and we will match you with opportunities that will allow you to achieve your professional goals.

Read More helpful & inspiring tips here.

Contemporary Staffing connects job seekers to hiring managers nationally in the following professions: Accounting & Finance, Call Center & Office, Human Resources, IT, Salesforce, and Sales & Marketing.