Resume writing tips
 

How To Make A Resume From Scratch!


If you are in the job market the question how to make a resume or how to write/update your existing resume is likely to be one of the first things that comes up.  This step-by-step guide will show you how to make a resume - if you follow these steps and refine the result using the rest of the site you will soon have a resume that's a good showcase for you in the job market.

If you have not already done so - check out the first page in this series, it will set the scene and give you some background regarding how to make a resume - page 1.

How to make a resume - step-by-step

  1. Get a notebook or folder, and list all your work experience to date. It may be easier to do this randomly on sheets of paper, one page per role, and put them in order later, so you don't get stuck if you can't remember something.

  2. Included should be;

    • Paid work
    • Unpaid work
    • Full time roles
    • Part time work
    • Projects
    • Charity or volunteer work
    • Job titles
    • Responsibilities
    • Company or organization information.
    • Education - course names and details/subjects
    • Training courses
    • Other accomplishments such as memberships, team roles, sports clubs etc.
    • Military service

  3. Place these in order chronologically (in other words, according to time), starting with the most recent.

  4. Put this list to one side, now start to make the resume:

    • Put your name, address, telephone and e-mail details at the top of the page.

    • You can address formatting later - this site has plenty of sample resumes and templates you can use to tidy it up. At this stage we just want to get some content down on paper (or more likely in Word) in an attempt to get you started.  If you really want to pay attention to formatting at this stage, use the following rules of thumb;
      • ADDRESS - centred in bold
      • OBJECTIVE centred
      • EXPERIENCE not centred
      • EDUCATION not centred
      • ADDITIONAL SKILLS not centred
      • REFERENCES.

  5. Write a short objective - make this 1-3 lines max. Again, we can (and should) come back to this later so it does not have to be perfect from the start.

  6. Take your most recent work experience, and transfer it to the resume.

    • You need to include dates, job title, the organization name and location.
    • Include a list of your responsibilities to highlight your skills and experience gained.
    • You should take care to focus on skills and experience that are transferable.
    • How to make a resume great? - here is one of the secrets, make sure you focus on those skills and experiences that are relevant to the new job that you are applying for - use the job advertisement to guide you regarding the qualities they are looking for.

  7. Summarize your education:

    • List your highest qualification first.
    • State the degree type or other qualification clearly.
    • Provide information on specific courses that you attended/studied.
    • How to make a resume focussed is by adding emphasis to qualifications or periods of study that are applicable to the job you are applying for.

  8. Under Additional Skills, list any other relevant information that you wish to include:

    • Languages (written, spoken and/or understood).
    • Any IT systems/software you are familiar with. 
    • Certifications.
    • Relevant voluntary or social work.
    • Relevant non-work interests such as club or committee memberships etc.

  9. Under references, simply say "Available on request".

  10. Additional Tips on how to make a resume:

    • Creating a resume that is longer than 2 pages is not a good idea - it becomes too long.
    • Try to be dynamic in your writing. Write about what you did, not what was done - in other words use active, not passive writing.
    • Do not say "I" - let me give you an example to illustrate;

      • instead of saying "I managed 3 people", you should rather say
      • "Managed 3 people"  This is active writing, it is also shorter and much more direct.

You have now started writing your resume, at this stage you have something on paper and you should now refine this until you are happy with the outcome.  Keep using the rest of the site to guide you - have fun!