How to Make a Resume in 13 Simple Steps - 2021 Guide With Examples

Are you looking for the job of your dreams? Do you need some help with how to make a resume? Consider a few resume examples and how job seekers can use them to create the best resume out there.

Keep reading to learn how to make a great resume.

What Is the Purpose of a Resume?

The importance of a resume is to give an overview of your professional experience. Your potential employer can look at your resume and learn where you've worked and what you've achieved in your career, so they can decide if you're a good fit for the position.

Knowing how to make a resume that stands out can help you land your next job. Without a great resume, you will have to search a lot harder to find work.

What You Should or Shouldn't Include on a Resume

When writing a resume, it's sometimes difficult to determine what you should or shouldn't include. You want to highlight your features, but you also want the resume to be short, sweet, and to the point.

For some helpful hints on the do's and don'ts of what to include in a resume, check out the following snippet:

Examples of what to put on a resume include:

  • Do include your name and updated contact information
  • Do include your prior job experience relative to the job you're applying for
  • Do include any honors, awards, or relevant skills to the position
  • Do offer a list of references upon request

While your resume should include important details, you don't need to include everything. Leave out the following:

  • Don't include irrelevant social media profiles
  • Don't include grammar and spelling errors
  • Don't include outdated or irrelevant experience
  • Don't include income or pay-related information

How to Make a Resume in 13 Simple Steps - 2021 Guide

A good resume guide should include how to write a resume for a job. Whether you want to use a resume creator, resume writing service, or do it yourself, knowing how to do a resume is crucial to success in your job search.

1. Organize Your Information

Before you start to make your own resume, organize your relevant information. Write down everything you want to include, from your contact information to your work experience and awards.

Right Way: Don't worry about the formatting, just list out your information as you think about it.

Wrong Way: Don't format the resume before you know what details you have and how you plan to include them.

Your resume doesn't have to look good right now, but you should get started. Knowing what you can include on your work resume can help you with the next step.

2. Decide on a Format

Next, you need to decide which format you want to use for your resume. Think about the job you're applying for and your experience.

Right Way: Look at your experience and decide if a chronological or functional resume would work better.

Wrong Way: Don't choose a template and just go with it.

Consider the differences between the most popular ways for how to set up a resume.

Chronological

A chronological resume focuses on your experience based on when it occurred. You'll typically list your job experience, education, and other details in order starting with the most recent job or degree.

Using this format shows employers what you've been up to recently, and it allows you to leave out jobs you had years ago. It's a great option for people who are looking to move up in the same industry or recent college graduates who have educational experience.

Functional

A functional resume focuses on your skills, rather than when you used them. You can list your experience and education, but you will focus on the most relevant jobs or degrees. Then, you can make sure the employer focuses on relevant experience.

Writing a functional resume is great when you want to make a career change. You don't have to worry about sharing your irrelevant experience, so you may improve your chances of landing the job.

Combination

If you have both skills and experience, a combination resume may be the way to go. You can show off your relevant job experience, and you can include your skills. That can be a great option for landing a more technical job where skills and experience matter equally.

When creating a resume using this format, be sure to include the most important details. That way, you can keep the resume from getting too long.

Expert Tip:

Depending on the job you're applying for, the resume format you choose should be focused on that position. What format should you use?

  • Chronological formats are great for people who are looking to advance in a specific career field where they've had plenty of past experience
  • Functional formats help you highlight skills that could land you a position in a different field.
  • Combination formats are helpful when you're looking to showcase both your experience and your skills. This could be beneficial for a new position, or advancing on your current career path.

By arranging your format to cater to the job you're applying for, you can include all the necessary details without distracting content.

3. Outline the Sections

Once you decide on the perfect resume format, you should create an outline. Here, you don't have to write the resume or use an online resume maker. Instead, you'll create a list of the overall categories for your resume.

Right Way: List the sections you want to include, at least your contact information, training, and experience.

Wrong Way: Don't write out everything you've ever done, especially if something like a job description isn't relevant.

If you want to include more sections, you can. Either way, list the sections so that you can determine how to type up a resume.

Contact Information

Your contact information will go at the top of your resume. This section should include your name, a professional email, and a phone number. That way, employers can contact you if they want to schedule an interview.

You don't need to include your mailing address or all of your phone numbers and email addresses. Be sure to omit any email addresses that aren't professional. If you don't have a professional one, you can create one for free.

Training and Education

The next thing you should cover is your training or education section, which can include traditional degrees or professional certificates. You should list where you received the training, the subject, and when you completed the program.

If you received any honors or a distinction, like cum laude, you can also include that. You may also want to include any relevant minors or secondary certificates.

Work Experience

Relevant work experience can help you land your next job, so your resume needs it, no matter the format. Be sure to include your employer, job title, and where you worked. You'll also want to list a few points from the job description.

If you're new to the field or just out of college, you may not have relevant experience. However, you can include your most recent jobs, and you can include duties that are somewhat relevant to the job you want.

Skills

If you have space on your resume, you may want to include a relevant skills section. This can be a great option if you don't have industry job experience. List your skills and start with the most relevant ones so that they can stand out.

Consider including information on where you learned your skills, such as in a class or an extracurricular program. Then, your employer can see you as a more well-rounded candidate.

Awards and Achievements

If you've earned awards or have other relevant achievements, you can use those to make a good resume. List the award or achievement and when and where you earned it. You can also include a description on how it relates to the job you want.

Creating a resume without much industry experience is difficult. Luckily, achievements can help you stand out without having had a relevant job.

Other

If you still have space on your resume, consider including references or other information. You should make sure whatever you add is relevant to the job you want to apply for. However, adding extra details, like your LinkedIn profile, can help you stand out.

When you have a full resume, you don't need to add more. You don't want to make it harder for a potential employer to read through a long work resume.

4. Choose Where to Build a Resume

Next, you should determine how to make a professional resume, specifically where. Using an online resume tool can provide you with the freedom and expertise to make your candidacy stand out amongst the rest.

Word and photoshop may be challenging to work with when trying to enhance a template. Online resume makers like CVmaker simplify this process by providing you with professional templates that you can easily fill in and customize.

Right Way: Consider how you want to format the resume and write it so that you can choose the best option.

Wrong Way: Don't choose the first template or resume builder and hope it works because it may not be right for you.

Writing a resume yourself can be a great option, but it does take time. So compare your options to get the best results.

Resume Creator

You can find an online resume creator that will design and format everything for you. On CVmaker all you need to provide is the information, and the resume generator will do the rest. It can create a file that you can download and use for job applications.

You can choose from an array of templates to generate your own resume, or you can use a resume writing service that helps create a tailor-made resume which will stand out. These resumes include keyword optimization, professional content, and a quick 4 day turnaround time. If you aren't satisfied with your resume, the service includes 3 revisions to perfect your image.

Microsoft Word

If you would prefer resume writing yourself, Microsoft Word is a great option. You can choose from tons of resume templates, or you can build a resume from scratch. That way, the job resume will look exactly how you want it.

While you'll write the resume in a document, you can then export it in a variety of file types. That can come in handy if employers require different file formats for applicant resumes.

Google Docs

Google Docs is an excellent alternative to Microsoft Word because it has similar features. However, it's free to use, and you can access different templates. You'll be able to write the document and then export it as a Word Document or PDF.

Using Google Docs is great for people who don't have Word or don't want to use it. You can still create a personal resume that you can use for many job applications.

Adobe InDesign

Adobe InDesign is a great option for graphic designers and other artists. You can use it to create a unique resume that will stand out from the competition. You'll be able to design the resume from scratch so that you can avoid copying others.

If you want to apply for a more creative position, Adobe InDesign is great. You don't have to settle for a resume template, and you can use a design that will attract your ideal employer.

Though Microsoft, Google, and Adobe resume makers offer great opportunities for resume building, they can be complex and difficult to manage. In addition, you may not be creating content for employers, but focusing more on what you'd like to see.

Resume creators like CVmaker pinpoint exactly what employers are looking for, limiting the risks of creating an irrelevant or undesirable resume.

Expert Tip:

So, what makes a great resume and what do you really need in order to create one? CVmaker has all the features that will help you stand out from the crowd including:

  • Sleek and professional template choices
  • Unique presentation of information
  • Inputs for relevant and job specific personal information

You may think you know what an employer is looking for when creating a resume on your own, but with the assistance of a resume creator like CVmaker you can be confident that your resume will make a lasting impression

5. Design the Header

Take a look at your name and contact information so that you can input it into the header. Once you choose a template or resume generator, you only need to type this out.

Right Way: Fill out the contact information in place of the example contact that the template gives.

Wrong Way: Don't create an extravagant header that's hard to read or takes up too much space.

Your header should be easy to read, and it should take up just enough space to grab someone's attention. Then, it should lead right into the next section.

6. Write Your Objective

You don't always need to write an objective, but it can be a great addition to your resume. The objective allows you to describe the job you want and why.

Right Way: Include the job title you want and why you're a good fit.

Wrong Way: Don't share your life story here; keep it short.

If you don't have much space, you can leave out the objective, but having one can help give you direction when writing a resume.

7. List Your Job Experience

Your next section can focus on your job experience, and you can list jobs based on the format you choose.

Right Way: Start with your most recent job for a chronological resume or most relevant for a functional resume.

Wrong Way: Don't list every job you've ever had, especially if it was a high school job and not relevant.

Your job experience can show recruiters and managers what you've done and make sure you're a good employee.

8. Outline Your Education

If you have relevant education or training, you can also include that below or above the experience section.

Right Way: Include the degree or certificate, the field of study, where, and when you received it.

Wrong Way: Feel free to exclude any education or training that doesn't help you get the job.

Sharing your education is great if you don't have much professional experience. And it can show you're willing to learn.

9. Include Your Activities

If you have relevant activities, such as clubs or organizations, you may want to add those to your resume.

Right Way: Focus on activities that relate to the job you're applying for and where and when you did them.

Wrong Way: Don't list every activity you've ever done.

Including your activities is a great way to show you have more experience, even if you haven't worked that much.

10. Add Your Awards

Along with activities, you may want to include any awards or achievements as they relate to your job.

Right Way: Share the award title and who gave it to you.

Wrong Way: Don't include irrelevant awards or awards that don't add anything to your resume.

Including awards can be a great way to stand out, but make sure they don't distract from your other experiences.

11. List Your Personal Interests

You may have other interests that you've never received an award for or been in a club with that focus. But you can still incorporate them to make a good resume.

Right Way: Consider interests or hobbies that add to your application like learning languages or knowing about personal finance.

Wrong Way: You don't need to include every hobby you have because some might not help you in the job.

Sharing your personal interests can help humanize you, and it can show there's more to you than your work.

12. Include Your References

If your resume is already a page or longer, you don't need to include references. However, they can be a great option for how to fill out a resume.

Right Way: Get relevant references, such as employers or professors, then add their name, phone, and email.

Wrong Way: Ask all references before you include them, and avoid including relatives as references.

Adding references can be a great way to build a resume, but be sure you ask first.

13. Use Relevant Keywords

As you go through your resume, check to see if you can add any relevant keywords.

Right Way: Think like an employer and use words or terms they might want to look for.

Wrong Way: Don't stuff keywords just anywhere; make sure they do serve a purpose.

Adding keywords to your resume is a great way to catch a recruiter's eye, and it can help make your resume stand out.

What Are the Next Steps After Writing a Resume?

After you finish writing a quick resume, you aren't quite done. You need to make sure you follow a few steps after the writing process. That way, employers will want to read your resume and contact you for an interview.

Format the Resume

If you didn't start with a template, now's the time to proofread and format everything. Make sure your header is slightly bigger than the body text. You can use bullet points when listing job duties or activities to make them easier to read.

Consider bolding the job titles as well so that they're easy to find. If your resume is more than a page or two, you should cut out some things, like activities or personal interests. That way, you can focus on the most important details.

Export as a PDF

Most employers will want to receive a PDF resume when you submit it electronically. Even if you use a word processor, you should export a PDF version so that employers can open it anywhere.

The PDF is also great for printing in case you need to submit a resume by mail or in person. And it will help your potential manager print the resume if they want to.

Use a Unique Save Name

If you will need to email your resume or submit it online, make sure to choose a unique name for the file. While it may be the only resume on your computer, companies can receive dozens or hundreds of them.

Instead of naming the file "Resume" or something similar, include your name. You can also include the job title or date of the file. That way, it will be easier for a hiring manager to find once they download it to their computer.

View the Resume

After you save the file and export it, you should view it to make sure it looks good. Then, you can see if it cuts anything off or if there's an odd page break. If there are any issues, you can correct them and save the new version.

Be sure to check how the resume looks on your computer and after printing it out. That way, you can cover all of your bases.

Some Final Advice:

Before sending off your resume, you'll want to make sure you do the following:

  • Read over your content carefully and make sure it is free of any spelling or grammatical errors. These could result in an immediate denial of your application.
  • Make sure you are highlighting skills and experience that is relevant to the job you are applying for. Generally, employers will spend less than a minute reviewing a resume, so it's important to quickly hit all of the necessary points.
  • Have a close friend or previous employer read over your resume to see what they think. Getting a second opinion could offer a new perspective on your resume and provide an outlook you may not have previously considered.

Key Takeaways on How to Create a Resume

Knowing how to write a good resume is crucial for finding a job in any industry and with any level of experience. Whether you use a resume generator or write it yourself, making a resume that stands out can mean the difference between landing your dream job or not.

If you know how to make a good resume, you won't have to struggle to find a job. Instead, someone may see your resume and know you're the perfect fit.

FAQs on How to Make a Resume for a Job

While you should know how to create a resume step-by-step, you may still have questions about the process. Here are a few common questions job seekers have and their answers.

What Makes a Strong Resume?

A strong resume is one that includes an honest look at your soft and hard skills and experience. It should also grab someone's attention and be easy to scan and read quickly because recruiters don't have much time to go through each one.

Your resume should cover your professional experience, education, and any other relevant details. You may also want to create a unique resume for each job to pair with a unique cover letter so that you can talk about that specific position.

Which Are Red Flags on a Resume?

Even if you know how to type a resume, you may still have to deal with red flags, like gaps in your employment or frequent job changes. Having to leave a job suddenly can also be a red flag for employers, but you can overcome these.

If you can fill the gaps with education or other activities, you may be able to explain the issue. And you can find cover letter templates to help explain.

What's the Best Template for a Resume?

The best resume template depends on you and your goals. If you're new to the workforce, you may want to use a functional resume so that you can focus on education or awards. On the other hand, someone with experience can list their jobs in reverse-chronological order.

Combining the two formats can be an excellent compromise. The top of your resume can stay the same, but you can customize the body to fit each job you apply to.

How Do I Get My Resume Noticed?

Using relevant keywords is a great way to get your resume noticed by companies that use an applicant tracking system. But you should also focus on relevant accomplishments and use action verbs to attract people who read the resume.

Cover your work history or GPA and review any soft skills that you can emphasize, then send it to career experts to get their opinions. That way, you can make sure you don't miss anything.

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