The Step by Step Guide to Writing a Well Structured Resume

We get it. Job hunting is a chore in itself. Let alone, having to come up with a resume that’s not only presentable but catches the attention of an employer, which can be intimidating, whether or not you just graduated or are a novice. It helps to have a presentable & well structured resume that is visually appealing to whoever you’re applying to because it only takes them a matter of seconds, just by looking at your resume, to determine if you are a fit for the job. Well we’re here to help! Here is a Step by Step guide to make sure your resume stands out from the rest.

Step 1: Gather Information Before you start drafting your resume, gather all the necessary information, including:

1. Contact Information: Your full name, phone number, email address, and location (usually city and state).
2. Objective or Summary (optional): A brief statement summarizing your career goals and qualifications. Include this if it adds value to your application.
3. Work Experience: Make a list of your work history, from most recent to oldest, including job titles, company names, dates of employment, and a description of your key responsibilities and achievements for each position.
4. Skills: Identify your relevant skills, including technical skills, soft skills, and languages spoken.
5. Certifications and Licenses: If you have any professional certifications or licenses, list them with their dates of issuance.
6. Awards and Honors (optional): Include any awards, scholarships, or recognition you’ve received.
7. Education: List your educational background, including the institution’s name, degree earned, major or field of study, graduation date, and any relevant honors or certifications.
8. Professional Memberships (optional): Mention any relevant memberships in professional organizations.

Step 2: Choose a Resume Format Select a resume format that best suits your background and the job you’re applying for. Common formats include:

  • Chronological: Lists work experience in reverse chronological order (most recent job first).
  • Functional: Focuses on skills and qualifications, often used by individuals with employment gaps or career changers.
  • Combination/Hybrid: Combines elements of both chronological and functional formats.

Step 3: Create a Header At the top of your resume, create a header that includes your name, contact information, and optionally, a LinkedIn profile URL.

Step 4: Write a Compelling Summary or Objective (Optional) Craft a brief summary or objective statement that highlights your career goals and what you can bring to the employer. Make it concise and tailored to the job you’re applying for.

Step 5: List Your Education List your educational background in reverse chronological order. Include relevant details such as the degree earned, institution name, location, graduation date, and any relevant honors or certifications.

Step 6: Detail Your Work Experience For each job you’ve held, include the following information:

  1. Job Title: Clearly state your position.
  2. Company Name: Mention the name of the organization.
  3. Dates of Employment: Include the start and end dates (month and year).
  4. Job Description: Provide a concise description of your key responsibilities and achievements. Use bullet points for clarity and focus on quantifiable accomplishments, if possible.

Step 7: Showcase Your Skills Create a section to highlight your skills. Categorize them as technical, soft, or language skills, depending on their relevance to the job.

Step 8: Include Certifications and Licenses List any relevant certifications or licenses you hold, along with their dates of issuance.

Step 9: Mention Awards, Honors, and Memberships (Optional) If applicable, include any awards, honors, or professional memberships.

Step 10: Review and Edit Proofread your resume carefully for spelling, grammar, and formatting errors. Ensure it is clear, concise, and tailored to the job you’re applying for.

Step 11: Choose a Professional Layout Select a clean and professional layout with consistent fonts and formatting. Use bullet points for easy readability.

Step 12: Save and Send Save your resume in a common format like PDF to preserve its formatting. When applying for jobs, follow the employer’s instructions for submitting your resume.

Remember to customize your resume for each job application by emphasizing the skills and experiences most relevant to the specific position you’re seeking. An employer wants to see you have experience in the field your applying for and any irrelevant information provided could hurt your chances with that employer. Tailoring your resume increases your chances of standing out to potential employers.

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