How to Make an Easy Resume in Microsoft Word
How to Write a Neat Resume
A resume that is appealing to the eye is important to landing an interview and then a job. To write a neat, well-written resume decide on the content to include, write your resume with a professional tone that highlights your experience, and add some creative flair to help it stand out.
Decide on a resume type.There are three common types of resumes: chronological, functional, and combination. Figure out what type of resume you want to write before working on your resume.
- A chronological resume lists your work in reverse chronological order, starting with your most recent position and working backwards. It's main advantages are that it's easy to read and allows employees to get a sense of the full scope of your work history. However, it also highlights any employment gaps so you should refrain from using this resume type if you have gaps in your work history. It's best used to emphasize career growth over time and how you've developed a specific skill set in one career path.
- A functional resume focuses on skills and strengths that may be important to potential employers. It omits dates, places, and timeframes in order to downplay a work history with a lot of employment gaps. It can allow you to highlight specific strengths and skills that may be hidden in a chronological resume, but many employers dislike this kind of resume as they feel you're intentionally trying to hide employment gaps, underemployment, or a lack of a career progression. It's best to only use a functional resume if you're a new graduate or a changing careers or looking for freelance work.
- A combination resume is some combination of a functional and chronological resume. It usually includes a chronological work history and also a separate section highlight specific skill sets, volunteer work, and any relevant coursework. This is a great resume type to use if you're making a career change but have a lot of experience applicable to your new career. However, do not use this type of resume if you have limited experience as employers may think you're trying to obscure a spotty work history.
Include basic information.There is certain basic information every resume should include. When writing a resume, make sure to include the following:
- Your contact information, like your name, phone number, address, and e-mail, should be included. Spell out abbreviated words, such as avenue and boulevard. Use a professional e-mail address, one that includes your full name.
- List any schools you've attended and graduated from. You should also include your school if you are currently enrolled. List your GPA, major, and expected graduation date. If you received any academic awards or took any relevant courses, that should also be included. For example, if you're looking for work in a medical field and you took a CPR certification class this would be something include in your education section.
Figure out what employment history to include.Your resume should not be a listing of every job you've ever had. It should be a document that shows evidence of a certain career trajectory and skill set, so pick and choose what parts of your employment history to include.
- Cater your resume to the job you want. If you want to work in marketing, for example, include any and all experience you have related to marketing in your resume.
- Many recent graduates make the mistake of include all of their work history, including jobs that are irrelevant to the job they're seeking. If you're looking to move to New York City and work in a publishing house, your employers will not be impressed that you tended bar over the summers to make ends meet. However, they will want to hear about your internship at Random House and the 3 years you spent working on your college's literary journal.
- If you're changing career paths, including relevant experience can be tricky. Even if you've been consistently employed for years, omitting irrelevant employment history might make it look as if you have major employment gaps. However, you can try to frame your existing experience in a way that would be appealing for your new career path. Say, for example, you're moving from the service industry into advertising and you spend 3 years working as a waiter in an upscale restaurant. Rather than omitting your service experience, try to present as a hands-on learning opportunity where you were able to interact with customers and gauge what real people value in the restaurant market. This is an invaluable skill for marketing.
Add supplemental information.Do not reduce your resume to your employment history. Add supplemental information about your skill set to impress potential employers.
- You can have a section labeled "Additional Skills" and use that to include anything that does not quite fit into your employment history.
- If you speak any foreign languages, include that. If you have any certifications or licenses, list them. However, do keep with the theme of including relevant information only. If you're applying for a law, for example, being CPR certified might not be worth mentioning.
- Any awards or publications look great as well, especially if you're applying for a job in an academic field.
- Software skills are vital for almost any job position, so include a listing of any software you have professional experience using.
Find a way to add transferable skills.Many times, you have general skills from previous jobs that may not directly apply but are transferable to a variety of fields. For example, if you're a recent graduate you may have lots of waitressing experience, meaning you have experience in customer service and communication. The job itself, however, may not be relevant. Consider adding a general skill section and spinning your skills in a way that highlights skills you've accrued over the years from jobs you may not include in your experience section.
- Focus on interpersonal communication in your general skills section, as nearly every job will require working with others in some capacity. If you've held any service job, you have some experience with active listening, resolving differences, expressing opinions respectfully, and working one-on-one with customers.
- Talk up your ability to plan and organize. "Organizational skills" is an attribute many employees ask for, and a necessary for even low wage part time jobs. In your general skill section, talk about your ability to solve problems critically, meet deadlines, multi-task, and complete tasks.
- Leadership is another word found in many job listings, so talk about any leadership experience you have in a general skill set page. If you've ever had to instruct a new employee, talk about your ability to coach or counsel others, for example.
- Experience with social media is something most employees look for these days, and even if you just have your own independent blog or small Twitter following these things might be worth mentioning if the content is work appropriate.
Writing Your Resume
Choose the right words.Your resume is your place to brag about yourself. Make sure you use words that sound impressive and accurately convey the value of your experience.
- You can find lists of resume buzzwords online, often broken down into categories. Words like oversaw, remedied, clarified, maintained, inventoried, and more are powerful terms on a resume.
- It can be helpful to jot down a few of your duties at a given job and then reword them to sound more impressive. For example, say you worked as an editorial assistant for a magazine and one of the main components of your job was copy-editing. You might write down, "I read articles from contributors and checked them for grammar and clarity. I discussed my changes with authors and editors."
- Expand on the above statement to make it sound more impressive. For example, "I reviewed an array of content from regular contributors for clarity, ease of reading, and basic grammatical structure. I collaborated with authors and fellow editors to enhance existing content."
Quantify details when possible.Resumes should not just list general skills. You should strive to be as specific as possible when you can.
- If you work in business, do not say "I increased company revenue between 2012 and 2013." Include exact amounts. For example, "I increased company revenue from 0,000 in 2012 to 0,000 in 2013."
- Include numbers whenever possible. If you're a teacher, do not say "Taught English to a group of high school students." Instead, say, "Taught English to a group of 18 high school seniors 5 days a week, teaching 4 sessions lasting 1 hour each."
- If you work in a job where quantity is hard to qualify, focus on time. If you're in a creative field, for example, talk about the general duration of your projects to highlight your proficiency. If your job was performance-based, tell employers how long your practiced each day leading up to the performance. If you worked in writing, talk about word count. Give employers a rough sense of how many words you wrote per day.
Make use of bullet points and paragraphs.Resumes can be written narrative style, when a brief paragraph appears after your work history explain your skills. They can also be written with bullet points listing each applicable skill. It's best to use a combination, stating the general job description in a couple of sentences and then listing your general duties in bullet points.
Choosing a Solid Layout
Keep content on a single page.For the most part, resumes should be kept to a single page. This is one of many reasons you should be wise about what content to include. When employers must move through multiple resumes to select candidates for an interview, they might not even look at a resume that goes over a single page.
Use readable font in size 12 or 10.You should always use a legible font of an appropriate size when writing a resume.
- You should use a common font that is easily legible. Cursive or decorative fonts are a bad idea for a resume.
- Calibri, Arial, Times New Roman, and Georgie are safe, highly readable fonts appropriate for most resumes. If you're applying for a job in a more creative field, however, consider choosing a slightly more artistic font but one that is still readable. Examples include Bookman Old Style, Garamond, Goudy Old Style, or Century Gothic.
- Using smaller fonts can allow you to include more information. However, do not go smaller than size 10. If your resume is hard to read, an employer might choose to simply not read it.
Be consistent with formatting and punctuation choices.There are no universal rules for punctuation in a resume, but whatever punctuation choices you use should be used consistently.
- Bullet points in a resume are often written in sentence fragments, so you may or may not decide to add a period. While there's no strongly preferred method among employers, do not be inconsistent about your choice. Do not end bullet points with a period in the "Employment History" section but then choose to omit them in "Additional Experience."
- White space is important in a resume. While omitting all white space can allow you to fit more experience, it can make the resume difficult to read. You should include some white space between each section but keep the amount consistent throughout the document.
- If you're using bullet points for your work experience section, use the same type for your additional experience section.
Add creative style elements to help you resume stand out.While resumes should be professional in appearance, they should not be boring. Certain creative additions to a resume can help your stand out from the pile.
- Subtle use of color is a great way to make your resume stand out. You should not choose gaudy or difficult to read shades, like bright primary colors or yellows. However, adding deep shades of blue, purple, or read for your headers can make your resume more visually appealing.
- If possible, create an online resume or personal website to direct prospective employers. This is especially vital if you work in a creative field.
- A monogram of your initials in the upper corner of your resume is also a nice touch.
- You can find a variety of creative resume templates online if you're looking for a way to make your resume stand out from the bunch.
Experiment with non-traditional formats.While a traditional format is a safe bet, if you want your resume to stand out you may want to experiment a little. If you're applying for a job in a creative field especially, an unusual but easy-to-read format could help your resume stand out from the pile.
- If you're working a field where formatting documents is important, like graphic design, a dull and traditional resume may not impress an employer. Try to cater to the job you want. Many people get interviews by creating a custom resume based on the field they're applying to. For example, a young woman looking for a job in the scrapbooking industry designed a resume with the look and feel of a scrapbook page, complete with a pink stationary background and graphics resembling a paperclip and label gun strips. While she did not get the job, the resume attracted a lot of attention and interviews.
- If you're not looking for a job in a particular industry, you can always just pick an usual and attractive design for a general resume. Many templates and examples can be found online. Sites like Flickr and Pinterest provide great examples of creative resumes.
- Be careful, however, about getting too creative with your resume. While an interesting design can help you stand out, you do not want graphics and format to overwhelm and blot out content. Make sure your resume is still readable regardless of design.
Tips for a good resume
- When you send your resume out by email, send it in a PDF form. The formatting of word documents may change between computers and you do not want the format you chose compromised.
- It might be a good idea to have a few different resumes to send out for different types of position, especially if you're open to a variety of types of jobs.
Sources and Citations
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Video: How to Create a Simple and Professional Resume in Microsoft Word | CV Design Tutorial (With Vocal)
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