How to Write a Resume

The resume, dear reader, is a summary of a woman’s skills, qualifications, and professional experiences.  It is a brief, at a glance, view of what she might offer to a potential employer.

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The professional woman is versed in its form and uses it to present the best possible version of herself to her associates, clients, and potential employers.

It is typically one-paged, but can be longer if she is very experienced or an advanced professional, in which case she uses what is called a curriculum vitae rather than the resume.

The margins are between 0.5” and 1” and only one font is chosen for the entire document, and the font is sized at between 10 and 12.  The font is not overly florid or distracting, but is quite clear and easy to read.  Cambria, Times New Roman, Helvetica, Ariel, and Geneva are all acceptable choices.

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The first thing to include on the resume, is the name.  It is the largest item on the page, is placed in the top center and can be bolded.  It is followed by the appropriate contact information – mailing address, email, and phone number.

It is of utmost importance that the resume be free of grammar or spelling errors and look neat, showing consistent style throughout.

Next after the name and contact information is a listing of the author’s education and credentials, including any schools attended, degrees earned, and relevant dates of attendance.  For the young professional, the G.P.A. is also listed if above a 3.0 out of 4.0, as well as relevant coursework.

Work experiences are then listed in reverse chronological order, by end date.  The dates and locations of employment are included, followed by bullet points that start with an “action verb” and detail any activities and results.  These are quantified wherever possible.

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Examples of action verbs (taken from To Boldly Go: Practical Career Advice by Peter S. Fiske) include:

  • Administered
  • Analyzed
  • Assigned
  • Chaired
  • Consolidated
  • Contracted
  • Coordinated
  • Delegated
  • Developed
  • Directed
  • Evaluated
  • Executed
  • Organized
  • Oversaw
  • Planned
  • Prioritized
  • Produced
  • Recommended
  • Reorganized
  • Reviewed
  • Scheduled
  • Supervised
  • Addressed
  • Arbitrated
  • Arranged
  • Authored
  • Co-authored
  • Collaborated
  • Corresponded
  • Developed
  • Directed
  • Drafted
  • Enlisted
  • Formulated
  • Influenced
  • Interpreted
  • Lectured
  • Mediated
  • Moderated
  • Negotiated
  • Persuaded
  • Promoted
  • Proposed
  • Publicized
  • Reconciled
  • Recruited
  • Spoke
  • Translated
  • Wrote
  • Clarified
  • Collected
  • Critiqued
  • Diagnosed
  • Evaluated
  • Examined
  • Extracted
  • Identified
  • Inspected
  • Inspired
  • Interpreted
  • Interviewed
  • Investigated
  • Organized
  • Reviewed
  • Summarized
  • Surveyed
  • Systemized
  • Assembled
  • Built
  • Calculated
  • Computed
  • Designed
  • Devised
  • Engineered
  • Fabricated
  • Maintained
  • Operated
  • Pinpointed
  • Programmed
  • Remodeled
  • Repaired
  • Solved
  • Adapted
  • Advised
  • Clarified
  • Coached
  • Communicated
  • Conducted
  • Coordinated
  • Developed
  • Enabled
  • Encouraged
  • Evaluated
  • Explained
  • Facilitated
  • Guided
  • Informed
  • Instructed
  • Lectured
  • Persuaded
  • Set goals
  • Stimulated
  • Taught
  • Trained
  • Administered
  • Allocated
  • Analyzed
  • Appraised
  • Audited
  • Balanced

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  • Budgeted
  • Calculated
  • Computed
  • Developed
  • Managed
  • Planned
  • Projected
  • Researched
  • Acted
  • Conceptualized
  • Created
  • Customized
  • Established
  • Fashioned
  • Illustrated
  • Instituted
  • Integrated
  • Performed
  • Planned
  • Proved
  • Revised
  • Revitalized
  • Set up
  • Shaped
  • Streamlined
  • Structured
  • Tabulated
  • Validated
  • Assessed
  • Assisted
  • Clarified
  • Coached
  • Counseled
  • Demonstrated
  • Diagnosed
  • Educated
  • Facilitated
  • Familiarized
  • Guided
  • Inspired
  • Motivated
  • Participated
  • Provided
  • Referred
  • Rehabilitated
  • Reinforced
  • Represented
  • Supported
  • Taught
  • Trained
  • Verified
  • Approved
  • Arranged
  • Catalogued
  • Classified
  • Collected
  • Compiled
  • Dispatched
  • Filed
  • Generated
  • Implemented
  • Inspected
  • Monitored
  • Operated
  • Ordered
  • Organized
  • Prepared
  • Processed
  • Purchased
  • Recorded
  • Retrieved
  • Screened
  • Specified
  • Accelerated
  • Achieved
  • Attained
  • Completed
  • Conceived
  • Convinced
  • Discovered
  • Doubled
  • Effected
  • Eliminated
  • Expanded
  • Expedited
  • Founded
  • Improved
  • Increased
  • Initiated
  • Innovated
  • Introduced
  • Invented
  • Launched
  • Mastered
  • Originated
  • Overcame
  • Overhauled
  • Pioneered
  • Reduced
  • Resolved
  • Revitalized
  • Spearheaded
  • Strengthened
  • Transformed
  • Upgraded

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Finally, skills and leadership experiences are included for the young professional, and optional for the more experienced professional.

The resume, when sent electronically, is always distributed as a .pdf file and is titled as the woman’s last name, for example: Smith.pdf.

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