How To Make A Resume 101 (Examples Included)

By Mike Simpson

If you are reading this article, I think it is safe to say that we can call you a “job seeker”, correct?

But what kind of job seeker are you?

Are you looking for a change of pace from your everyday job?

Are you just starting out in the workforce?

Maybe you’re a seasoned veteran trying to make the leap up the chain of command?

Or perhaps you’re just fed up with the way things are going (or not going) with your career and it’s time for a change?

Well, no matter what stage you are in your career, you’re going to need to know how to write a good resume for a job interview… and we are going to show you how! So start by downloading our Free “Perfect Resume” Checklist that will help you overhaul your resume and will get you more interviews.  Click here to get the “perfect resume” checklist

Here's What We Are Going To Cover

    • What is a resume?
    • Why do I need to create a resume?
    • Resume fonts
    • Resume layout
  • Resume categories
    • Types of resumes
    • Resume length
    • Tailoring your resume
    • Action verbs
    • Top 10 resume tips
    • Resume “Don’t s”
  • Resume templates

What Is a Resume?

Don’t laugh.

Believe it or not, some people (especially those who are completely new to the workforce) have never seen a resume before, let alone written one.

If you’re one of those people, this section is for you!

So what is a resume?

A resume is a document used by job seekers to help provide a summary of their skills, abilities and accomplishments.

In other words, a resume is typically a short and quick way for a job seeker to introduce themselves to a potential employer. (In North America a resume should not be confused with a CV. Check out our blog post on the difference between a CV and a resume if you’re interested.)

Resumes are normally submitted to hiring managers along with a cover letter (Need help writing a cover letter? Check out our article How To Write a Cover Letter 101), usually via email or on online job posting.

Sounds pretty easy, right? Just take a piece of paper and put some basic info on it and “wham, bam, thank you, ma’am, I’m right for the job and can start tomorrow,” right?

Unfortunately (or fortunately, which I’ll explain later) it’s not that easy.

In fact, writing a bad resume is much easier than writing a good one…and trust me, there are lots of bad ones out there…which is why you want to make sure you have good one…no wait, a GREAT one so when employers look at it, they say, “Heck yes, bring this kid in for an interview!”

Why Do I Need a Resume?

I know the (company CEO, boss, hiring manager, owner’s dog walker who works on Tuesday’s and they’ve totally promised me a job no matter what.)

If that’s true, then hey, you probably don’t need a resume…you’re essentially guaranteed the job already…but what about when that job ends?

Betcha no matter how great your hookups are right now, at some point in your career, you’re gonna need a killer resume, and luckily we’re here to tell you how to create a resume.

And not just any resume… a professional resume.

For those of us who don’t have direct connections to killer jobs, a resume is essential to getting your foot in the door.

Employers use resumes as a way to quickly screen potential applicants, selecting only the individuals they feel are right for the position, so making sure your resume is in tip-top shape is absolutely vital.

Here, let me walk you through a quick little scenario and we’ll see just how important those little pieces of paper actually are:

Imagine you’re a hiring manager and it’s your job to find the perfect candidate for an open position with your company.

You’ve trolled the usual job listing sites and posted what you’re looking for and the response has been…overwhelming.

Your desk is COVERED with resumes. Pile after pile. Stack after stack.

All you need is that one qualified person, but as you look through the piles of paperwork, you feel your stomach starting to knot up. These resumes are a mess. Most of them are sloppy, with spelling errors, confusing headings, and lists of qualifications that have absolutely NOTHING to do with the job at all. You need an IT specialist and a third of these resumes have things like ‘underwater basket weaving specialist,’ and ‘professional poodle groomer’ listed under relevant skills. How is that relevant?

You call maintenance and ask them to empty your trash can, again. It’s filling up too quickly with all these rejected candidates.

You continue to slog through the pile of papers, your eyes growing heavy with each rejection. You’re sleepy, you’re bored, and you’re frustrated. Does NOBODY really qualify for this job?

And then you see it. A single resume that’s clean, crisp and clearly written. The font is professional, the layout is well organized and thoughtful and the qualifications are…gasp…actually on target! You smile as