How to write a Resume

Resume Writing

How to write a Resume

            A Resume is a specific document written to a prospective employer showing why you are best suited for the job that has been advertised.  Resume writing precedes an interview and has a format that can easily be followed.  But what exactly is a Resume? Is it the same as a CV?

 What is a Resume?

From the dictionary definition, a resume is a summary or account of education and employment experiences and qualifications. It is also called curriculum vitae (CV).  It is often presented to a potential future employer when applying for a job.  A curriculum vita (CV) is a written account of one’s life comprising one’s education, accomplishments, work experience, publications and so on. The CV is the one especially used to apply for a job (British version).  Another definition of Resume states that it is a detailed written account of one’s education and experience used to seek for positions in academic or educational environments, typically including academic credentials, publications, courses taught, etc (US version). It is evident therefore that a Resume is a brief summary covering a short period of time but a CV is a lifelong account of career experiences. The two documents serve different functions and cannot be interchanged although they may be similar in format. To give weight to  resume writing, you have to attach your credentials as evidence of your worth as documented in the resume or CV. Therefore, building a resume requires you to bring out your best for that particular position, and ultimately convince the interviewer that you will be the best choice for the job.  It is important to note that applications for international jobs mainly require a CV, and that some countries like those ones in Europe require a CV in their job applications and not a resume.  However, the US prefers a resume over the CV.  Also, job application in some disciplines like Medicine requires a good CV which looks into more details of one’s experiences and career. This will be necessary due to the complexity of the job.

Explain the best 8 steps to write and build a resume

            A resume is written targeting a certain position that has been advertised.  Therefore, you need to build it up in a way that will draw the employers’ attention and make it stand out competitively because you are not the only applicant for the position.  In writing and building up the resume, consider the eight best practices stated below: –

  • Use action verbs that convey powerful messages concerning your abilities.
  • Include keywords that catch the attention of the employer in line with the descriptions of the job.
  • Align your write up with the job description provided in the advertisement
  • State your work experience and achievements, and avoid describing your responsibilities and personal interests.
  • Be very clear, concise and precise in your statements
  • Find out more about your prospective employer and interviewer so as to meet their requirements focusing on their needs.
  • Organize your resume properly following a given format.
  • Proofread your resume to correct any errors in grammar, word spelling and structure in order to present a top resume.

It is also good to write a cover letter to be sent with your resume. The cover letter connects you to the employer in a more personal way as you draw the attention to your interests in the job and the resume or CV attached. Use the cover letter also to justify why you are the best choice for the job, and keep the conversation professional although sounding personal. Send the cover letter with your resume to the contacts as instructed in the advertisement. You may also send your resume through email but you need to know what to write in an email while sending a resume. It is unprofessional to send a resume through an email without the request of the employer because this may lead to your application being disqualified.  In case you are asked to send the resume by email, then strictly follow the directions given by the employer. Specific instructions on what to write in an email while sending a resume will be provided along with the professional or employers email address.  Otherwise, you should ensure that the subject of the email is clearly related to the resume. In addition, write a short email message giving reasons why you are writing it and refer to the resume for the job.  Start the message with a salutation and close it with a sincerely ending. Attach the resume from a file and send the email to the correct address.  You should know who you are addressing before writing the email.  Take time to learn more about your possible employer.

Can you have different resumes?

            It is possible to have different resumes.  This is because a resume is directed towards meeting the requirements of a specific job position.  It can be changed to suit another position that you are applying for. This means that the resume you present for one position can be different from the one you present in another position.  Consider a case where you are applying for a job for the first time. There is a possibility of writing a resume without work experience in this case.  As a new entrant in the world of working, you will write a resume without work experience probably only to showcase your internship experiences.  After getting the job, and an opportunity arises later on for another job, you will write another resume this time indicating your work experience.  Even when you continue climbing the ladder of your career, you will continue changing or writing a new resume to suit you for a new job position that may arise.  Hence, it is possible to have different resumes.  The resume normally is a one-page document. Sometimes, resume writing can be challenging but you can also seek help from professional writers in developing your resume. Resume services are available on the internet from websites that have professionals who will serve you round the clock.

Why it is important to always update your CV

A curriculum vita is a lifelong experience. A good CV must be updated regularly as you gain more experience and make new accomplishments. Unlike the resume, a CV is a career history document that generally covers a minimum of two pages.  It gives the history of your work and experiences attained throughout your career. It is not written to meet a particular job requirement like the resume but it is a continuous record of skills and experiences in your working life written for the job market. Therefore, it must always be updated so as to give a picture of the current situation in your career, describing such achievements as publications done, awards received, honors attained and the like. A good CV adopts the reverse chronological order of work experiences, skills and educational growth. The only thing that changes in the CV as you update it is the cover letter.

Is it advisable to send a follow up letter for your application?

A follow up letter is written by the applicant to make an inquiry on the status of the application made earlier on after being interviewed.  It is not advisable to do this because to some degree it is impolite and irrational. However, there comes a time when you need to write a follow up letter, but you have to be extremely cautious so as not to annoy the employer in any way. Show your request asking whether your application has been considered in a very polite way.  Restate that you are still highly interested in the job.

Format of a resume

The resume is a one-page document in a clear font like 12-point Times New Roman.  This also applies to the cover letter. The basic parts are: –

Cover letter

  • Your name at the top part of the page, boldface and larger font size, contact address and phone number.
  • Salutation, Dear Mr., M/s …Avoid the expression “To Whom It May Concern” and be specific on who you are addressing.
  • Paragraph 1- hook the employer with attractive reasons or objectives of the application, position applied for, how you got the advertisement.
  • Paragraph 2- restate work experience referring to your resume, and skills matching the job description, the value you will add on the job if taken.
  • Closing, use sincerely ending.

Resume sections

  • Professional Summary and Objectives of applying for the job.
  • Skills and abilities in line with the job descriptions
  • Experiences and achievements in line with the job description.
  • Education levels achieved.
  • References and contacts.

May also include

  • Communication skills
  • Leadership skills
  • Voluntary experiences

Top resumes can be found on Websites like where you are assured of quality resume services and help in writing a good CV. Kindly get in touch with the support team to help you get your CV done at the best price


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