Vincy Workplace
January 16, 2009
Gear up: Resumé writing 101

We are starting a series of articles called Gear Up. They are designed to get our young workers ready for the workplace. The current global economic crisis will make it a little more challenging for new entrants to the workplace, so this series is designed to cover everything that you will need to launch an effective job search.{{more}}

What is a resumé?

One of the most basic tools in your job search is a résumé. Although some companies only require a completed application, many others expect you to have a resumé to get a job. A resumé is important. It is a professional representation of your work experience and can help employers get to know your skills and abilities. There are many ways to design a resumé. Visit your local library or log onto the Internet to see examples. Let’s answer a few questions that will get you started.

What information goes into a resume?

Always start with your current or most recent job listed first, then work backwards. Make sure to include the company name, the position you held, the length of time you held the position and describe your responsibilities.

You must list your level of education achieved, dates graduated and any distinctions that were obtained. A resumé also includes community service work, special skills (e.g. foreign language, computer etc)

I never had a job, what do I put on my resumé?

If you never had a job, you can still include all the other information listed above such as education and community service. If you are a recent graduate also include any related school assignments, extracurricular activities, certificates and awards.

How long is a resumé?

It’s best to keep your resume to one page especially for younger workers.

Workers with more experience will need two-three pages. Try different fonts or adjust the size of the font. Use bullets instead of sentences. Be sure the spelling, grammar, and punctuation are correct.

What is an objective statement?

Some resumés include an objective statement at the top of the resumé. This basically tells the employer about your goals as a job seeker. Here is an example of a very simple objective.

Objective: To obtain a position as a customer service representative with the ability to advance into managerial responsibilities.

Do I have to type my resumé?

Yes, of course. This is a professional document and it needs to look neat, clean and legible. Avoid fancy computer fonts. Time New Roman or Arial with a font size of 12 pt. On a Mac computer, Geneva works well and maybe 10pt is okay. Basically it should be easy to read.

Is there a special resumé language?

No. Make your resume as easy to read. When describing your responsibilities the bullet format works well. Always start each bullet point with a verb so the reader knows immediately what you did.

Can I include my cell phone number and e-mail?

Although it may be easier to contact you through a cell phone, chances are when you answer the cell phone you will not be in a quiet professional environment. It reflects badly on you when you answer your phone with loud background noise (i.e. in your car listening to music or while hanging out with your friends). If you have access to e-mail please ensure that your e-mail address is professional. Avoid nicknames, or slang language in your email address.

Special Note: Make sure that you are able to receive messages and mail from the address and phone number you include in a timely manner. Employers will not understand if you reply late because a family member forgot to give you mail or messages.

Do I have to use special resumé paper?

No. If you have access to special resumé paper, by all means use it.

However, regular white paper works just as well.

Can I have more than one resumé?

Yes. If you have experience in different industries, you can have two or three resumés highlighting the experiences relevant to each industry.

Always keep your resumé current as you never know when you will need it.

Karen Hinds President/CEO –
Workplace Success Group,
Toll Free: 1-877-902-2775;
Tel: 1-203-757-4103
A CT Winner of the Make Mine a Million Dollar Business award!
[email protected]
Creator of The Workplace Success Program (TM)