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How to Begin

No matter how you choose to lay out your resume, you have to gather the content first.  To gather content, ask yourself these four questions:


Dough boy with check list

What are you good at?

What do you love to do?

What have you accomplished?.. and how?

What jobs do you want to target?


Once you’ve answered these questions, you are ready to start to build your new resume. (see the blog posts and videos if you need help with this.)




Where to start:

Take as much time as you need to do this next part, especially, numbers 2 and 3. These are the guts and glory of your new resume and, as such, will have the biggest impact on whether or not you get noticed!

1. Prepare a list of where you have worked, the titles you’ve held, and the dates you were there.

2. Write out specific achievements that you performed at each place of employment.

3. Write an opening paragraph that includes any or all of the following:

  •   a description of what you do well,
  •   how you’ve done it,
  •   what your best at,
  •   any qualities you’d like to mention in particular,
  •   the industries your interested or have experience in, etc.

(see Opening Paragraph page if you need examples)

4. Write out the details of your education (institution, degree/certificate, and the date you acquired the degree/certificate.)

Now you have the basic elements to start putting together your resume.

Prepare a layout for your resume. (see Word Tutorials if you need help with this.) I like to work in an organized space, so I prepare my document first and then I fill in the areas with the opening paragraph (optional), the highlight bullets (optional), and the achievement areas.

Colorful Resume building blocks

Consult the Tool Box if you need verbs, adjectives and achievement phrases to help you get going.

Now, go ahead and write out your opening paragraph if you’re using one, fill in the bullets under each job or role with your achievements (what you did and how you did it), and fill in the education area.

You should have a pretty decent looking document.  If you’ve included quality content that describes who you are and what you are good at, then you should be proud of yourself!




* Be sure you’ve included the qualifications and experience that the employer is looking for.

* Choose the best order for your achievements

* Make any changes you’d like to make – then sleep on it and review it again. (do this twice)

* Check it for spelling and grammar by reading it aloud three times.

* Ask another set of eyes to check it as well.

* Leave it alone for three days if time allows and review it again with a fresh perspective. Adjust as needed.

* Save it in PDF format to send out.(see note below)

If you’re unsure of what you have produced, review the posts and videos on this site.  Most of all, keep working on it until you are happy with it. Do not give up – that’s not an option.

Happy resume writing!

* I strongly suggest that you send your resume out in PDF format. There are exceptions, though,  like sites where electronic application forms accept only Word versions. When you have the choice, however, send it out in PDF so your document can’t be edited by anyone, accidentally or otherwise.