Learn How to Write a Resume

by Waller Jamison

If you need to learn how to write a resume, the first thing you need to do is gather together all the information you will need. So you're going to need the dates of all your past jobs, including summer jobs, if you are just about to graduate.

It would be useful to have a short description of what you did in each job. Also, you want to make sure you have details of all of your qualifications, schools and courses. A resume should be only one or two pages long, unless you have very highly specialized knowledge in your field or are writing an academic CV.

A resume is called a CV or curriculum vitae in the UK, and the two documents are almost identical) At the top of the first page, you should put your name and contact details, including email address and phone numbers, both landline and mobile if you have them and can be easily contacted.

Leave out the landline if you are already in a job and don't want to be contacted at work. You should write a profile, which is a short summary of your experience, written in the third person.

Make sure you put your name at the top of the second page, in case it gets separated from the first.

Getting your CV format right is an important aspect of resume writing. There are several possible formats: chronological, functional and targeted CV formats being the main ones.

If you are writing a chronological CV or resume, your work history and education are presented in reverse chronological order.

So you start with your present or most recent job and go backwards, then do the same with your education. This format is handy for a reference document, which you can use to create custom CVs for each application.

A functional resume emphasizes your skills before listing your work experience and education, whilst a targeted CV is directed towards a specific job, often highlighting technical or specialized skills.

Learning which CV type to use and correct CV layout is a skill which can be learned and once you've got it down, your new knowledge - which is extremely powerful, can be applied very quickly to each new job application. Don't underestimate the power of a good resume. Your future depends on it and you have the choice to learn the skill and change your life.

Once you've established your transferable skills and know how to write a good CV, you will need to write a great cover letter to go with it. It's important that you don't just rehash your resume. The cover letter should add to the information you have already supplied and should make you stand out from the crowd.

If you are writing an English CV, but English is not your mother tongue, you should make sure that a native speaker proofreads it for you. A CV in English needs to be grammatically correct as well as having perfect spelling.

No matter how good your English, make sure someone else looks at it - this is also important for English speakers, as it can be easy to miss an error. So get a friend to proofread for you.

You will find some sample resumes in my digital book 9 Steps to Resume and CV Success,  as well as a CV template for each format, full details on how to write a CV covering letter, a step by step guide showing you exactly how to create a cv from scratch, with details on CV layout, a report on transferable skills and an explanation of exactly how to fill in a job application form in the UK, and a bonus ebook on avoiding procrastination to help you get started right away.

Once you've written you resume, you need to distribute it to employers. But how do you find the right ones? Simply checking out the classified ads and job search websites just isn't enough.

You may not know this, but these two methods have been shown by experts to be amongst the least effective ways to find a job. You need to know how to develop a network of contacts, which is the best way to find a job. This is covered in Create Your Jobsearch Strategy.

And the final stage of your preparation is to be ready to Ace that Interview, by preparing to answer difficult questions, knowing how to deal with group interviews and give a presentation. You can preview the whole package by checking out this free video, which has a few more tips as well.

Just tick whichever modules you want on the order page (there's a reduction for the whole kit)

Learning how to write a resume is a rare skill - one everyone should have, but few have developed. However, it is something you can learn quickly and which will make a huge difference to your life and career.

Once you've established your transferable skills and know how to write a good CV, you will need to write a great cover letter to go with it.