Resumes

How to Start a New Resume

A well-formatted and visually appealing resume can make you stand out during the hiring process. Learning how to write your resume will help you understand what needs to be included so you can highlight all of your relevant skills and qualifications for the role. Read this article to find out how to start your resume when applying for a new job.

How to start a new resume

Here are some steps you can follow when you start writing your own resume: 

1. First, set up your resume to look like an organized outline

Make sure that your formatting is easy to read and to scan. Hiring managers may have a limited amount of time to look through your resume. In order to make sure it gets sent to the next round, you’ll want to make sure it’s as easy as possible for them to see that you’re the right candidate for the position.

2. Second, be consistent with your formatting and font

Formatting consistency is an important part of keeping everything organized on your resume. You should use the same font throughout your resume. Use a professional font, like Arial, Times New Roman or Helvetica. You can use a large, bold or italicized font for section headings, and the content of each section should be formatted in the same way. For example, if you use bullet points to highlight your responsibilities in the section for work experience, make sure you use the same bullet formatting throughout your resume. 

3. Third, keep your resume focused

In general, your resume should be one to two pages in length, but the ideal length is one page if possible. The information that you include on your resume should be relevant to the position you’re applying for. Try to focus on skills, experience and education that relate to the role.

4. Fourth, customize your resume details

You should tailor your resume to each job you apply for. This could mean matching your skills and experience to the job based on different keywords from the posting. You can also include the job title and company in your resume summary or objective to show your interest in that specific role. Many companies use applicant tracking software which automatically flags resumes with specific keywords. Tailoring your resume can help the ATS pull your resume for the hiring manager to read.

5. Next, use a resume checklist

Use a checklist to make sure you have all of the necessary parts of a resume.

Example of a resume checklist:

  • Contact information
  • Summary or objective
  • Experience
  • Education
  • Internships/volunteer work
  • Skills
  • Certifications and memberships
  • Hobbies/interests

You don’t necessarily need to add a summary or objective, internships, certifications or hobbies/interests if they don’t apply to you. 

6. Finally, carefully edit your resume

Your resume should be completely edited for grammatical and spelling errors. This shows the employer that you’re professional and serious about the role. Use spellcheck software to find any errors, have a trusted friend or family member review it, and read it out loud to make sure it flows. 

Tips for starting the parts of a resume

Here are some tips you can follow when starting to write each part of your resume:

Contact information

This is where you’ll put your personal information such as name, address, phone number and email address. You can also include links to your professional networking profile or website. Be sure to include this information so that the hiring manager can directly contact you by quickly glancing at your resume. 

Objective or summary

Think of this as your reason for applying for the position. An objective should be a brief one to two sentences describing what you hope to achieve in the industry and why you bring unique skills to the position you’re applying to. A summary gives the hiring manager an idea of how your experience relates to the position. 

Experience

This is where you will want to put any relevant experience. Start with your most recent experience first, then work your way back to your oldest. You can exclude any history that doesn’t relate to the role. If you don’t have much industry experience yet, you can list previous jobs that are unrelated. Some of these jobs could have useful skills that are transferable to the role.

Education

List your highest education first. If you have a higher degree, you likely don’t need to add your high school diploma or GED information. Include the type of degree, school, dates attended and any academic achievements or clubs you were a member of. If you’re still attending school, list the date you’re expecting to graduate. 

Volunteer work or internships

This is an optional section where you’ll mention the dates of any volunteer or internship experience that you’ve taken part in. Volunteer work shows you have an interest in your community, while an internship could show that you have some industry experience.

Skills

This is an optional section where you will mention any skills that apply to the role. These could be soft skills like time management or communication skills, or technical skills that apply to the role you’re applying to. Read the job description to see if there are any specific skills you can add that can get the attention of the hiring manager. 

Certifications, licenses and memberships

Add any certifications or memberships that relate to the role, especially if they’re listed in the job description. You should list the name of the certification, a number if applicable, the date obtained and the date it expires. For memberships, list when you joined and if you have a special title in the organization. 

Hobbies and interests

This is an optional section where you can mention any interests that you take part in during your spare time. You can add this section if you have space on your resume. This gives the hiring manager some insight into who you are outside of work and how you could fit in with the culture of the rest of the team.