Creating a Professional Resume from Scratch

Are you creating a professional resume from scratch? Writing a resume is not that hard, but it does take a little time. Competition for jobs is fierce and you have to present your credentials in the most favorable light, so spend the time it takes to create an excellent resume. It will serve you well now and in the future when you need to add to it.

Employers want to read resumes that are professional, reflect your qualifications in a positive, energetic way and focus on the position you are seeking. The easier you make it for the employer, the more likely you will be called for an interview.

Everything about your resume is focused on the employer, not you. Yes, that seems backwards, but it's true. You have to get the employer interested enough in you to want to call you for an interview. That is the whole purpose of the resume. Even though it is your skills and accomplishments that are on the resume, they are there to show the employer that you can meet all the requirements of the job in which you are interested.

Now, it's time to focus attention on the resume itself. Think of the sections included in a typical resume. There is the heading, objective, education, experience and "other" sections. Each one needs to be written professionally and with attention to the employer's needs. Grab a pen and paper or whatever you choose to use (a word processing program is also great) and start writing down some important information.

Section 1: the heading. This is the easiest section to write. Make note of your current address, phone number and email address. If you are still in school, list both your home address and your school address.

Section 2: the objective. What do you want to do in your first or next job? Write down your goals and career plans. When you write the objective for your resume, remember that you are to focus on the employer's needs, not your own. Show the employer what you intend to do for them.

Section 3: education. Make note of the school, city and state where you attended, the dates you attended, the courses you studied and your GPA if it was good.

Section 4: work experience. Think about what you have done in the past which could potentially influence an employer to want to hire you. If you are writing your first resume, include anything you have done for volunteer organizations, churches and school organizations, too. Remember, the focus is on accomplishments and skills, not always former employers. After you have done this, highlight anything that complements your career goals or the job you are seeking. If it is not directly related, then don't use it.

Section 5: other. This could include: awards, honors, publications, activities and other such items. Use this section to emphasize your achievements, team sports and anything else that the employer might be impressed to learn about you.

You will need to select an appropriate format and the three most recognized are: Chronological, Functional and Combination. Tailor the information in your professional resume to the format that best suits your needs. There are examples and templates that you can use for guidance, if you need more information.

Once you have a working copy of your resume, proofread it and check for grammar errors, typos and other possible resume mistakes. The fastest way to get your resume thrown into the garbage can is to have misspelled words and/or typos on it. Revise your resume as much as necessary to ensure it is error-free.

Now you can see that writing a professional resume is not that hard. Yes, it does take a little time, but it is worth it when you are working in a great job doing something you enjoy doing.

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