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The Proper Way to Write a Resume

the proper way to write a resume

Writing your resume can feel overwhelming and doesn't come naturally to most. Many people have the misconception that a resume's purpose is to get them a job; resumes open and close doors. Their primary purpose is to get an employer impressed enough to invite you in for an interview. It's an advertisement, and you're the merchandise. As such, knowing which resume format will avail adequately in your favor is key to your success. Just as everything comes in different sizes and shapes, so do resumes.

Step 1: Choose the most suitable format.


A few format styles are: chronological, functional, or combination.

  • A Chronological resume seems to be one of the most popular formats used. This type of resume usually includes an objective/career summary, statement, and a chronological listing of all your employers from most recent to past. Academic information should be included, along with certifications and special skills.

  • A Functional resume should highlight abilities rather than your chronological work history, but a summary of your work history is still needed at the end. This format is beneficial for people who have gaps in their work history, reentering the workforce, frequently changing jobs, or transitioning into a new career.

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Step 2: Arrange your contact information

contact information

When writing a resume, include all of your contact information at the top of your resume. Without correct, detailed contact information, employers will have difficulty getting in touch with you quickly.

First Name Last Name

Your Address

Your City, State Zip Code

Your Phone Number

Your Email Address

LinkedIn or Personal Website URL (if you have one)

Step 3: Write a winning resume introduction.

resume introduction

A resume introduction shortens the relevant aspects of your experience into a brief pitch to the hiring manager and should be done last. Writing the other parts of your resume first enables you to choose which segments to incorporate into your introduction paragraph.

Step 4: Highlight your relevant work experience.

work experience

Focus your resume on the job experience relevant to a specific position. Doing so will consequently improve your chances of getting hired. If you have too many jobs in your background, you can structure your resume to highlight pertinent job positions and eliminate or mask others.

Step 5: Academics


The quintessential information required is your degree(s) and the schools you attended. You can also present more comprehensive information, including your major and minor and the year you graduated if desired. Any professional development courses and certifications should also be included. List any licenses you have acquired, unless there's a separate section of your resume where you include this information.

Step 6: Hard and soft skills

Work Skills

Hard skills can include your knowledge of specific tools, platforms, or computer programs, as well as your ability to perform particular tasks and your familiarity with processes needed to do your job. Make sure each bullet point describes a skill the hiring manager requires.

Soft skills refer to a set of transferable skills that are particularly important for success in the workplace. These skills work best in two parts of your resume: the summary paragraph and your achievements section(s). They incorporate communication, teamwork, adaptability, time management, problem-solving, leadership, and a good work ethic. Applicant tracking systems can't understand nuance in language, so you must pick your examples of soft skills straight from the job ad. If the job ad asks for "strong problem-solving skills," write that precisely. It won't understand any deviation.

Step 7: Key certifications, awards, & honors.


Take a second to make sure each one is relevant to your job search. Asking yourself if it proves that you excel at a soft or hard skill that's important for the job you're applying to, shows that you've been recognized for the type of work you'd be doing in this role, or if the award is particularly prestigious or well-known in your field. If an achievement you're proud of isn't related to the job you're seeking, cut it.

Step 8: Write a matching cover/application letter

cover letter

A cover letter's purpose is to introduce and briefly summarize your professional background. It is a one-page memo that is submitted as part of your job application in addition to your resume. It is on average between three to four paragraphs, and a simplistic, standard font, such as Arial or Helvetica, 10 to 12 points in size should be used. Your letter should be left-aligned with single-spacing one-inch margins. You don't need to be imaginative. Just stick to the format.

  • Header - Contact information

  • Greeting - Dear Hiring Manager / Hello Ms.Peabody / Dear Peter Pickles

  • Opening paragraph - Grab the reader's attention with 2-3 of your top achievements

  • Second paragraph - Explain why you're the perfect candidate for the job

  • Third paragraph - Explain why you're a good match for the company

  • Formal closing

Remember, a cover letter is a supplement to your resume, not a replacement.

Step 9: Proofread your resume and finish strong.


Reread the job description. Hiring managers list the exact qualifications they're seeking in job ads, so ensure the information on your resume corresponds to the listed requirements. Find skills-related keywords for your target job. Companies use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to automatically delete applications that don't include the skills they need.

Remember, simply having a well-written resume isn't enough to get you an interview.

By: Jowanna's Corner

Getting Grown, LLC

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