How to make a resume in 2024 | Beginner’s Guide

How to make a resume?

If you’ve spent any significant time on this blog, then you know that we talk a lot about,

not only how to save your money, but also how to spend your budget in the smartest

ways. 

But before you can think about budgeting or saving money, you have to have the

money come from somewhere.

For the vast majority of people, the primary source of income will be from a job. Nearly

everyone has to work in order to make ends meet, and unless you’re able to provide for

yourself through self-employment, you’ll likely be going through traditional employment

sources in order to find a job, which means you’ll need a resume outlining your previous experience, education, and other qualifications when you’re applying for a job. 

Resume Format

The resume is a selling tool that outlines your skills and experiences so an employer can see, at  a glance, how you can contribute to the employer’s workplace. Your resume has to sell you in  short order.

Your resume can make or break your chances of getting hired, so it’s important to build it the right way in order to increase your visibility and appeal to employers and land that

dream job. 

In the following article, we will go through how to make a resume that will

land you any job you want.

The most effective way to write a resume are to clearly focus on a specific job title and address the employer’s stated requirements for the position. 

The more you know about the duties and relevant skills required for the job–and organize your resume around these points–the more effective the resume.

You will need information to write a resume. Not just information about jobs you’ve held in the past but also information to select the most relevant accomplishments, skills section and experience for THIS position. 

The more you know about the employer and the position, the more you can tailor your resume to fit the job.

Some people think of a resume as their “life on a page,” but how could anyone put everything important about herself on a single piece of paper (or two)?

 Actually, resumes are much more specific, including only relevant information about you for specific employers.

The components of a professional resume

As mentioned above, a resume outlines your qualifications for any job to which you’re

applying. 

Although there is plenty of room to customize your resume to your particular

background and abilities, there are several components to a standard professional

resume that you’ll want to be sure to include in yours. Let’s go over those components

now.

1) Contact information: One of the most important parts of your resume; after all,

how can a hiring manager reach out to you to set up an interview, if they don’t

know how to get in touch? 

You will absolutely want to include the following in the

contact information section of your resume:

Resume example

a. Your full, legal first and last name, as well as your preferred name.

b. Your phone number – these days most people only list their mobile

number, but if you have a landline at home, you can certainly include that

as well.

c. Your email address – stick with something professional; it may even be a

good idea to set up a new email address that only includes your name

rather than using an old address with a more casual username.

d. Your location – hiring managers like to know if they’re getting local

applicants, or if they may potentially be hiring someone who could have to

relocate (and possibly need help doing so).

There are some additional, optional things that you might want to include in your

contact information section as well, such as your professional title, whether it’s

your current position or the title you’re hoping to acquire after securing your

dream job. 

You may also want to include links to any relevant online presence

you have, such as LinkedIn or other social media where employers can see a

portfolio of your work, or a blog where you write about your field.

2) Summary or Objective: 

Believe it or not, these are two different things, but what

they share is that they will give potential employers a first impression of what to

expect from the rest of your resume, and from you as a candidate. 

Most hiring managers only spend a few seconds scanning each resume, so it’s crucial to

catch their attention right off the bat. We will go into more detail below about how

to choose between a resume summary or resume objective and what they should

include.

Include Work Experience

3) Work Experience: 

By far the most important part of your resume, the work

experience section is where you can show exactly what you’ve done in the past,

for how long, and what skills you’ve acquired from that experience. 

In this section, you’ll want to include a few relevant details for each place you’ve worked

previously or where you’re currently working. Stay tuned for more details on how

to get the work experience section just right.

4) Education: Here, you’ll want to include your relevant education, or at least the

highest level of education you’ve reached. 

Format the education section by listing the program, followed by the institution, years attended, and if you feel it’s relevant, you can include your GPA, honors, academic achievements, and minors. 

You can list all university degrees you have, but if you do have a university degree, don’t include your high school education at all. If high school is

the highest you achieved, do include it on your resume.

5) Skills: 

This is where you can include any technical or other skills you feel will

benefit you in a new position. These may include proficiency with particular

software, leadership or communication skills, or something as simple as flexibility

and teamwork. Make sure you tailor the skills to the job you’re applying for, and

include your proficiency level.

6) Other information:

This is where you can have a little fun and show a bit of

personality on your resume, and can also showcase unique skills that might

make you stand out from other candidates.

 This might be listing other languages

you are fluent in, volunteering experience, certifications, awards, publications, or

projects, or simply a few of your favorite personal hobbies and interests.

Sample Resume Format

The Heading

Let’s begin with the heading:

The heading of your resume provides basic contact information about you. 

That means your name, address, any telephone numbers you are available at and your e-mail address. 

You can arrange this information in a variety of ways. The simple way is like this:

Michelle Smith

555 My Bright Way

Yourtown, IL 54321 

Home Phone: (555) 555-5555 

Cell Phone: (555) 444-4444 

e-mail: micsmith@yahoo.com

As you can see, the name is in larger print than the rest of the information and in bold. The rest of the contact information is in smaller print and not bolded.

Another format you can use for the heading looks like this:

Sample #2 

Michelle Smith

555 My Bright Way  

Yourtown, IL 54321 

 Home Phone (555) 555-5555  

Cell Phone: (555) 444-4444 

 micsmith @yahoo.com

How do I write a resume?

If you’re ready to get started with your resume, there are a few other important things to

consider before you jump into writing it.

First off, you’ll want to think about how to build your resume. You can certainly use a

basic word processing or text editing application, but getting your resume to look the

way you want it in this format can be tedious and hard to make changes. 

It’s much easier to use a resume builder, which helps you format easily, make changes and add or remove sections, and give your resume a little extra flair to help stand out from the crowd. 

There are lots of free and low-cost resume builders and resume templates online; we definitely recommend using one of these to create the resume of your dreams and land the perfect job.

You’ll also want to pick the right resume type. 

There are three basic types of resumes: reverse chronological, which is the most popular, especially for people with plenty of experience that is relevant to positions they’re applying  for. 

A functional resume, which is skills-based and may be a good option for recent graduates or anyone looking to make a big career change; or a combination or hybrid resume, which is a great option for people with diverse skills or those applying for jobs that require a wide array of expertise.

Whether you’re using an online resume builder or creating your own, here are a few

other things to keep in mind when writing your resume:

1) Keep it to one page, two at most if you think there’s a very good reason. With

hiring managers skimming perhaps thousands of resumes, you don’t want them

to have to weed through lots of details.

2) Make it easy to read with an attractive but not overwhelming font, plenty of white

space, and standardized headings.

3) Save your resume as a PDF so that you can be sure your preferred formatting

stays the same.

4) Tailor your resume to each job you’re applying to. Scan job ads for important

keywords and incorporate those keywords in your resume and application. 

That way, your resume will get past the tracking bots and be more likely to be seen by

hiring managers.

Resume Objective

Sample of objective statement

The next section is your objective statement.

You can choose to include an objective statement if you like, but if you do, you need to know a few things. 

First and foremost, this statement should be brief and concise – not more than a sentence or two. 

An objective tells potential employers the sort of work you’re hoping to do.

Be specific about the job you want. 

For example: To obtain an entry-level position within a financial institution requiring strong analytical and organizational skills. 

Tailor your objective to each employer you target/every job you seek.

Objective statements improve your resume by helping you:emphasize your main qualifications and summarize them for readers inform your readers of the position(s) you are seeking and your career goals establish your professional identity.

To improve your chances for success, it’s always a good idea to tailor your objective statement (as well as your whole resume and cover letter) to particular organizations and/or positions. 

This means, for example, calling a position by the name the company uses to describe it. You might even indicate the organization’s name in your statement.

Strive to match your qualifications with those desired by the organization. 

If you are unsure what your résumé’s readers will be looking for, you’ll need to do some research to give your objective statement a competitive edge.

Before drafting or revising your objective statement, you will find it helpful to answer as many of the following questions as possible.

About you:

What are your main qualifications (strengths, skills, areas of expertise) What positions (or range of positions) do you seek?

What are your professional goals?

What type of organization or work setting are you interested in?

About the Company or Organization:

Which of your qualifications are most desired by your résumé’s readers? What position titles (or range or positions) are available?

What are some goals of the organizations that interest you?

What types of organizations or work settings are now hiring?

The most common mistake made in writing objective statements is being too general and vague in describing either the position desired or your qualifications. 

For example, some objective statements read like this:

An internship allowing me to utilize my knowledge and expertise in different areas.

Such an objective statement raises more questions than it answers: What kind of internship? 

What knowledge?

 What kinds of expertise? 

Which areas? 

Be as specific as possible in your objective statement to help your readers see what you have to offer “at a glance.”

To come up with an objective statement that is effective, try one of these formulas:

1. To emphasize a particular position and your relevant qualifications

A position as a [name or type of position] allowing me to use my [qualifications] 

To utilize my [qualifications] as a [position title] 

A position as a Support Specialist allowing me to use my skills in the fields of computer science and management information systems.

2. To emphasize the field or type of organization you want to work in and your professional goal or your main qualifications

An opportunity to [professional goal] in a[type of organization, work environment, or field] 

To enter [type of organization, work environment, or field] allowing me to use my [qualifications] 

An opportunity to obtain a loan officer position, with eventual advancement to vice president for lending services, in a growth-oriented bank 

To join an aircraft research team allowing me to apply my knowledge of avionics and aircraft electrical systems

3. To emphasize your professional or career goal or an organizational goal

To [professional goal] 

An opportunity to [professional goal] 

To help children and families in troubled situations by utilizing my child protection services background

4. A specific position desired

[position name] Technical writer specializing in user documentation 

Some things to keep in mind when formulating your objective statement include the following:

Integrate key words and phrases used in the job advertisement(s) Play with word choices to fit your strengths and your expectations. 

You might try readers’

substituting for “use” words like “develop,” “apply,” or “employ,” etc.

replacing “allowing me” with “requiring” or “giving me the opportunity,” etc.

changing “enter” to “join,” “pursue,” “obtain,” “become a member,” “contribute,” etc.

Blend two or more of the above generic models or create your own!

Depending on the format of your resume, the objective section should be written in sentence format with its own heading.

The next two sections are interchangeable depending on which applies the most to the position you are applying for. 

If you think your job experience is more relevant to the job then list “job experience” next. If it is your education that will help most, then put that section next.

Resume Headline

Write a standout resume headline

For Example: 

As previously mentioned, once you list your contact information on your resume, you’ll

want to include a headline section, which can be either a summary or objective of your

resume. 

It’s important to nail this section, as it’s likely to get the most attention from

hiring managers and help them determine if they want to read the rest. 

Your resume headline should make you look like an attractive job candidate so that you get an

interview. 

So what’s the difference between a resume summary and a resume objective,

and how do you decide which one to use?

A resume summary is exactly what it sounds like: a basic overview of your experience

up to this point. 

In two or three sentences, your summary should sum up what you’ve done in your field and for how long, mention a couple of your top achievements, and make clear your goal going forward.

 This is a condensed way for hiring managers to see if you’d be a good fit for the job based on your current experience level, and decide

whether they’d like to learn more about your work history.

If you are looking for your first post-college job, or changing careers, a resume objective

may be the better option for you.

 Keep the objective to the same length as a summary, but rather than listing your experience to this point, focus on why you want to get into this particular field, and how either your education or other work experience can help you in choosing this new direction in your career.

Detail your work experience

Resume Details

Again, the work experience section is the most important part of your resume. Let’s look

now at the key things to include about each job you’re listing in this section:

a. Job title: make this the most prominent part of each job experience, so you

can be sure hiring managers will be able to see that you have relevant

experience.

b. Company name and location: Hiring managers may need to follow up with

your previous employers to verify employment, so it’s important to provide

the name of the company and where it is. A brief description of the

company may also be helpful if it’s not well-known in the community where

you’re applying.

c. Responsibilities and achievements: You can list the basic tasks you

performed at previous jobs, but especially if you’re applying for a similar

job at another company, the responsibilities may be the same across the

board. In this case, look for opportunities to share your achievements,

such as how you’ve assisted company growth or otherwise exceeded

expectations.

d. Dates employed: It’s okay if you don’t remember your exact hiring date,

you really just need the basics of the timeframe you worked at each place.

Most recruiters and employers simply want the month and year for when

you started and when you left. This is, again, for verification and tracking

purposes.

Another important thing to consider is how much work experience you should include. 

If you’ve been on the job market for decades, you will likely want to include 10-15 years’ worth of experience at the most.

It also depends on what job you’re applying for.

Job Market

 For instance, if you’re applying to a senior-level position, include up to 15 years of relevant experience; mid-level applicants can detail relevant positions and briefly mention other positions. 

Entry-level job seekers should list all paid work and focus on tasks or achievements that may be important in a new job. 

First-time workers can include other forms of experience, such as volunteering, internships, or student work.

As you can see, the right resume can be the key to landing you the perfect job. 

Use these tips to write your resume, and you’re sure to get more requests for job interviews than you can even imagine!


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