Writing 101: Guidelines
For Completing, Revising and Using Your Resume
one-on-one help writing your resume, contact Louise at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For $40/page either she or others by request can help you develop and write
a more effective resume.
Organization and Content
Name and Address
a phone number, email address, and (if possible) local mailing address.
should always be the first section in your resume.
- A one
sentence description of what you are looking for in a position.
as specific and focused as possible.
job titles, responsibilities, and geographic areas, if appropriate.
- If you are actively
job hunting, this should be the second section in your resume.
- If you are not job
hunting, delete this section.
Challenging position that uses my skills and experience.
Engineering job with potential for growth.
Mechanical project engineering position.
Aeronautical engineering management position.
Senior software developer, Cincinnati area.
key skills for hiring managers.
this section next in your resume.
showing your expertise level in years or hours.
ISO 9000 Implementation
Finite Element Analysis
3D Design and Modeling
Network Design / Implementation
SolidWorks (500 hrs)
Oracle (3 yrs)
/ Work History
company names, locations, dates of employment, job titles, responsibilities,
internships, fellowships, self employment, etc.
Project Engineer, contract
Tarpoff Moore, Lebanon, OH
January 2001 – present
Installed mechanical and electrical equipment for new
Optimized layout for customer facility
Researched required permits, standards, and requirements
applicable college level courses, professional training, degrees, licenses,
and honors awarded.
you are a recent graduate, place this section near the beginning of your
resume, otherwise move it down.
Six Sigma Blackbelt, 2000
Master of Business Administration,
University of Cincinnati, 1995
MS (nearly) in Computer
Science, Wright State University, completed coursework 1990
BS in Mechanical Engineering,
Purdue, 1980, graduated on Dean’s List
club memberships and volunteer work
publishing and electronic distribution have changed employer’s expectations
for a professional resume. Use design elements to create a user-friendly document.
Keep your resume style classic but up to date.
to one font to create a coherent look for your resume.
font styles create a professional image; avoid trendy fonts
Georgia, Helvetica, and Times New Roman are popular serif fonts.
Microsoft San Serif, and Verdana are popular san serif fonts.
fonts may be difficult to view on screen, print, and/or read.
Corsiva font is too trendy for a resume.
fonts, like Impact, may be difficult to view and print.
Serif fonts like
Courier are the most common and easier to read in print.
serif fonts like Arial squeeze more text on a page and are easier to
read on screen.
point font size is large enough to read without straining.
section and job titles by boldfacing, CAPITALIZING, underlining,
and/or slightly larger font sizes.
for a clean look; use emphasis only when needed for clarity.
Fonts That Are Too Small
Fonts That Are The Right Size
Many 9 point fonts are
hard to read.
8 point fonts are really
12 point fonts are easy on the eyes.
10 point fonts squeeze
more text on a page.
wide margins with room for notes and punching holes.
off section and subsection breaks with extra white space (line spaces and/or
bulleted lists of skills and accomplishments to grab attention
columns of short lists with hidden tables.
To create a hidden table in
- Highlight the table.
- Pull down the Format Menu.
- Choose Borders and Shading.
- Change the setting to None.
- Choose OK.
-- Black text on a white background is easy to print and read.
-- Black text on a white, cream, or light gray background is easy to read.
Use a good quality, heavy paper.
for screeners (automated or human) who are not familiar with your profession,
and managers who scan dozens of resumes at a time.
industry buzzwords for search engines (Windows NT, Sigma Six).
the words and phrases that appear in job ads (self-starter, team player,
out acronyms and abbreviations the first time you use them.
Mode Effects Analysis (FMEA)
Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
Certified Network Engineer (MCNE)
Your Readers With Strong Clear Writing
words and sentences are easy to read and understand.
verbs (analyzed, developed, evaluated, managed, solved) create excitement.
adjectives and adverbs, they create weak flabby sentences.
Development life cycle having been significantly impacted
by major process improvements.
Shortened development time.
And Revise Your Resume Early And Often
spelling, grammar, punctuation, and proper names.
for missing or extra spaces and line feeds.
for inconsistent use of font styles, spacing, and formatting.
a friend or family member to provide a second set of eyes.
your resume to reflect new skills and achievements when you complete a major
training program or project.
to changes in the marketplace demand for specific skills.
the resumes of others in your field; compare the style and content to your
should pique the employer’s interest, leading them to schedule an interview.
upbeat, this is a sales presentation.
a positive spin on your history, but stay factual and honest.
what you accomplished in previous positions (cut costs, shortened development
time, met deadlines, completed projects under budget).
on the benefits to your employer.
a picture of yourself as a dynamic productive employee.
relevant school, volunteer, and non-work accomplishments.
need more than one version of your resume.
- A complete
“Kitchen Sink” resume
abridged “Swiss Army Knife” resume
“One Shot” opportunity resume
“Kitchen Sink” Resume:
3-4 pages at most.
is the foundation for all of your resumes.
with full a chronological history of your work experience and education.
your first draft in light of your career goals.
on personal characteristics, skills, and achievements that employers value.
boring, repetitive, or unflattering information – be ruthless.
the layout and writing.
this resume handy for reference during interviews.
“Swiss Army Knife” Resume:
is the generic version of your resume to hand out or post for general consumption.
with your kitchen sink resume.
all material that is not relevant to your immediate career goals.
with “Additional work history on request.”
resumes are targeted to specific markets, employers, or job opportunities.
the job, employer, or industry.
relevant employer and industry web sites.
with your Swiss army knife resume.
or delete material to address the specific opportunity.
industry buzz words and company jargon to hit the hiring manager’s hot buttons
Set up a table with two columns listing their requirements and your relevant
skills or experience.
you are a new graduate, keep your resume short (1 page) and highlight your
educational experience (seminars, internships, honors).
you are very experienced, abbreviate your job history in the initial resume
and offer the full history on request.
you are changing careers, use a functional (skill based) resume to highlight
your capabilities and offer a chronological resume on request.
copies of your resume on hand in multiple software formats (Microsoft Word,
ASCII, HTML). Proofread each version separately.
updated copy of your resume on hand at all times and hand it out freely:
an introduction to new managers and team leaders who aren’t aware of your
a starting point for mentors and counselors who can suggest career growth
source material for introductions to speaking engagements or published articles.
a foundation block of your job hunting strategy.
About the author:
Ms. Tincher graduated
with a BA in History from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio
and works currently as a documentation specialist. Over the years, she has
held various marketing positions within the computer, defense, and employment