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How To Write Resumes

When writing a resume, one must reflect on and research the following:

  • What is the goal of this resume?
  • Is this resume being used for more than one purpose? Is more than one version needed?
  • What sections and professional experiences do I need to include and omit to create a resume that is targeted?
  • How can sections be organized, bullets and lists be used, and information be presented to create a resume that is strategic, readable, and targets the desired roles while remaining industry appropriate?

Reflection and critical thinking help a candidate stand out from 100 – 3,000 others. 

Two of the most compelling questions someone can ask are, “What have I (or my client) achieved in my current and previous jobs that connect directly to the job description?’ and “What expertise do I (or my client) have that will quickly demonstrate I am (or they are) capable and qualified for the job. If you want more support writing effective resumes, enroll in one of our courses. 


Content Organization

Employment level and years of related experience will drive the length of the resume, the order in which content is presented, the sections included or omitted, and how information is arranged. Ultimately, a resume is arranged according to goals, industry, and experience level.

People who have more relevant work experience will not require the same sections on their resume as people who have less experience because that work experience speaks to their capabilities. A recent graduate will likely have different information at the top of the resume and perhaps additional projects and leadership experiences throughout the document than someone with 5-30 years of related experience and training. 

To stand out against other candidates in just 8-10 seconds — because that might be all the time someone takes to scan a resume — one must make strategic choices about what to write, how to write it, and how to organize it.

Resume Length

A resume should be 1 or 2 pages depending on the years of relevant experience and how much information is in the resume. Developing resumes that are easy on the eyes, and filled with key experiences, expertise, education, and training is essential. Length will always be individualized to the person using the resume. 

Sections Included

How to split up your history — from skills and competencies to education and affiliations to professional experience — and what you choose to include or omit depends on the years of work experience and background in relation to goals. If someone wants to land a job in sales but lacks a lot of professional work history, they may choose to include a volunteer experience during which they helped with event sales. If someone has a history of working in sales, they would be less likely to add that volunteer experience because it takes away space and attention from the professional history. In the latter case, the sales volunteer experience would be best on a LinkedIn profile. 

Resume Style

Industry experts suggest professional color, bolding, and shading should be used to guide a reader through the resume. It is important to use color to establish sections and highlight specific content, ultimately making the resume easy and desirable to read. It is your priority to develop resumes that are professional, optimized and help you pass the applicant tracking system (ATS). While icons, text boxes, and images can be pretty, experts do not use them. Instead, use shading, bolding, color, and lists to create resumes with a touch of the flair that modern job seekers have without compromising optimization and staying focused on presenting someone as a professional.


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Other professional fields

Sales & Business Development

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