Resume writing
how to prepare your document

When resume writing, deciding how to get started is often the first obstacle to overcome.

This is especially the case if you haven't ever prepared a resume, or it's been a long time since you put your last resume together.

My recommendation is to get organised and have a plan before you write a single word.

Take a look at 3 simple steps to follow which will help you to get started in the best possible way.

Resume writing - How to prepare in 3 simple steps

Here's an easy to follow system for building a resume in these 3 simple steps

  1. Clarify your audience and purpose - who will be reading this? Is this a resume you're preparing in response to a job ad? Or, is this a more generic style 'leave with' resume?
  2. Related to your overall purpose, which of the three resume layouts are you going to use?
  3. When you've decided on which of the resume layouts to use, you can then select the resume headings to be included in your resume - this is covered here - creating a resume

Resume writing - how to get started

When you have completed these three steps, then you can begin to think clearly about the content to include under each of the resume headings you intend to use.

Now you have an overview of the task ahead of you. You've begun the first important steps in creating a highly targeted message about your employability.

Resume writing - how to prepare
What information will you need?

There is nothing more annoying when building a resume than having to stop writing and go searching through old records to find essential information.

Be clear about this......resume writing is a highly creative process.

Having to stop and start this way will interrupt the flow of your thinking, and your creativity.

If your record keeping system is anything like mine is, searching for old records and information can be a time consuming chore!

So.....the tip is.......gather the information you need first.

What sort of information will you need to gather?

Let's take some of the important areas of your resume where you are likely to need to access essential information:

Your profile and key skills summary:

Some vital information is required here.....well worth fully researching before you commence writing your resume draft.

What's needed? Resume key words......in other words the key skills, attributes and experiences that appear in the job advertisement.

When resume writing, how can you identify which key words to use? If you are building a more generic resume great examples of key words to use can be found by using job search websites to research similar occupations.

Look for key words that describe skills and attributes that are similar to yours. Adapt and use these resume key words in your own profile and key skills summary.

Your professional experience or employment history:

To complete this heading you will need to gather information about things like:

  • Dates of previous employment - 'From' and 'To'
  • Your key responsibilities in previous positions
  • For each employer you are including in your resume, some information that will help you to briefly describe that organisation - see personal employment history for more information
  • Details about your career achievements - you'll need to be able to quote things like quantities, value of budgets, quality standards achieved and so on. See this page on how to write about your career highlights

Your education and training:

You will probably easily recall the university or college you attended, and the qualifications you obtained there.

But when resume writing, how reliable will your memory be about short training courses and other professional development activities that you have completed?

You'll need to include the name of the provider of these short courses, and the dates you completed the activities.

Publications, Research, Awards:

If you decide to include any of these headings when resume writing, how and what information will you include under these headings?

Your task of building a resume will be so much easier if you track down all this information, if relevant, before you start writing your resume draft.

Your referees:

Do you know the current contact addresses, email address and phone numbers for the people you intend to ask to be your referees?

You may also need to spend some time brainstorming which people to use to provide you with a reference. Most people are reluctant to use their current boss.....for obvious reasons. So who can you call on to speak favourably about you?

Resume writing
How to prepare - Summary

Your resume is an exceptionally important document in your job search strategy.

The quality of your writing can only be made better if you first carry out essential planning and preparation....... before you begin the serious task of writing.

By thinking about your audience, the overall structure and layout of your resume, the resume key words that you'll need to use and having important historical career information at your finger tips, you'll be much better prepared to really focus on your message.

Your reader most definitely will notice that your document has been well researched and prepared!

Your reward......get ready for the interview!

New! Comments

Has this helped you in your job search? What else would you like to see here about job search? Leave me a comment in the box below.
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