Tips for Creating a Good
1- Choose a target job (also
called "job objective"). An actual job title works best.
2- Find out what skills, knowledge, and
experience are needed to do that target job.
3- Make a list of your 2, 3, or 4
strongest skills or abilities or knowledge that make you a good candidate for the
4- For each key skill, think of
several accomplishments from your past work history that illustrate that skill.
5- Describe each accomplishment in
a simple, powerful, action statement that emphasizes the results that benefited your
6- Make a list of the primary
jobs you've held, in chronological order. Include any unpaid work that fills a
gap or that shows you have the skills for the job.
7- Make a list of your training
and education that's related to the new job you want.
8- Choose a resume format that
fits your situation--either chronological or functional. Functional works best if
you're changing fields; Chronological works well if you're moving up in the same field.
9- Arrange your action statements
according to the format you choose.
10- Summarize your key points
at the top of your resume.
Things you "Should" do
with your resume
- Use 8-1/2" X 11" paper.
- Make your resume as legible as possible.
- Include both a permanent contact and present address and phone number. You may be
contacted through a permanent address or phone, even after you have moved from your
- Include your job discipline(s)...near your name at the top of page one of your resume
and as a title to each assignment.
- Include a summary paragraph near the top of your resume. Be brief but be complete.
- Include pertinent education and/or training.
- List jobs in reverse chronological order.
- Try to keep to a maximum of two pages (see "tips" if resume is longer than two
Things you "Should Not"
do with your resume
- Don't include personal references or hobbies.
- Don't include your Social Security Number.
- Don't include a cover sheet.
- Don't use a "Job Objective." This is normally found on a resume for someone
who is seeking a "direct" position. A "Job Objective" tells the firms
what you want from them whereas a "Summary" tells what you can do for them.
- Don't exaggerate your experience.
- Don't show salary or pay information.
- Don't offer explanations for leaving prior employers.
- Don't use your photograph.
- Don't use abbreviations (except those that are acceptable in the engineering/technical
fields, such as IBM, CAD, E/M, etc.).
Tips to help you shorten a lengthy
- Have it typed by a professional typesetter.
- Eliminate all extra spaces between lines (except between job assignments).
- Use narrower margins.
- Keep job descriptions to 3-5 sentences (especially for older positions).
- If your "length" problem is due to an extensive number of job assignments,
leave the oldest positions off and type the following at the bottom of the last page of
your resume: "Experience from (date) to (date) available upon request." Then
prepare a "complete" resume to furnish only to firms asking for it.
- Include only necessary personal information.
- List "Under contract to" for any contract assignments you may have had.
- Include total number of years experience.
- Give security status, if any. If your security clearance has expired, include the date
- Write job descriptions in easy-to-understand terms, and as completely as space allows.
- Include your name and page number on each page of a multiple page resume (except no
number on first page).
- If you want to use a better quality paper, consider a white bond paper with a rag
content (available from most printers or paper supply stores). Rag bond, however, should
not be used if you are printing copies of your resume on a photo copier (such as Xerox),
as the letters may break up on folds.