A Comprehensive Guide
to Writing an Excellent
A resume is just like an ad -- you want to
target it to the audience. You have to
find out what the company is looking for,
and then match your skills up.
Advertising campaigns and job search
campaigns have the same goal: to get
attention through a clear message and
benefits statement. Just as an advertising
campaign needs to be perfect, so does
Only use a functional format if
you’re changing fields, and
you’re sure a skills-oriented
format would show off your
transferable skills to a better
advantage; and be sure to
include a clear chronological
Combination is a useful format if you
are changing careers but have a solid
employment history. It is also useful if
your job duties on a single job were
very diverse and you want to stress
your various abilities. If you spent a
long time at one job but moved up
through the company, you might want
to use a combination resume.
The goal of your resume is to get you an interview, not to be a
chronology of your work history. To achieve this in today’s
competitive job market, it needs to be strong, clear, and focused. It
should motivate employers to want to meet you and discuss
Three Basic Steps for
Writing a Good Resume
1. Be Strong
2. Be As Clear As Possible
3. Go Right To The Point
Remember: A resume is a self-promotional document that represents
you in the best possible light for the purpose of getting invited to a job
interview. It’s about YOU, and how you performed and what you
accomplished in those past jobs-especially those accomplishments that
are most relevant to the work you want to do next. A good resume
predicts how you might perform in that desired future job.
Job Objective - Compose a clearly
stated Job Objective using a
minimum number of words. If not
sure, ask yourself, “ what do I
want to do?” Be clear and concise
in your job descriptions. This helps
make it easier for the employer to
Go Right To The Point
Be sure to emphasize the outcomes and accomplishments you have
achieved at prior jobs. After your layout put the accomplishment that
your prospective employer will notice the most. Quantify your
accomplishments. Potential employers are looking for results-oriented
employees who save time and reduce costs. Never include job duties
on your resume if you cannot follow them up with the result that was
Use the following outline for your resume:
1. Contact heading
Name, address, phone, e-mail address
2. Career objective
Clear, brief, speciﬁc
3. Summary statement
A bulleted list of your key skills & qualiﬁcations
Example: Accounting & Finance professional
Experience includes: Project budgeting and reporting, SEC
reporting and cost accounting and cash ﬂow analysis.
4. Work History
Include speciﬁc results for which you were personally
responsible, with supporting data.
Use action verbs and quantify your experience as much as
Cite sales goals achieved, production volumes increased, lines of
code debugged, number of employees managed, revenues
College degrees, relevant courses or workshops, list of internal
or corporate training courses completed.
6. Optional Information
Relevant memberships, awards, publications, certiﬁcates, etc.
7. Personal statement
An overview of the personal characteristics that make you an
lk;lk;excellent candidate for the job.
Select the Right Format
Selecting the format is a major strategic decision; chronological,
functional or a combination of both. The chronological resume format
is widely preferred by employers, and works well if you’re staying in
the same ﬁeld.
Resume Format Do’s
Use a chronological resume. If applying by e-mail, use a
List your most recent job ﬁrst simple font and send in plain
followed by your additional text or ASCII format.
work experience in reverse
order, then your education.
Use bulleted statements, not
paragraphs, to describe your
Resume Format Don’ts
Don’t use gimmicks. Use Don’t include an objective on
professional easy to read your resume, unless it is
typeface, white or ivory bond written speciﬁcally for the
paper, and black ink. position for which you are
Don’t list references or state:
“References available on
request.” Interviewers assume
that you will provide
references when asked.
Writing Style Do’s
Since many companies screen Use your computer’s spell
resumes by computer, use key check function, but don’t
words from the job description count on it to ﬁnd every typo.
or classiﬁed in your resume. Remember, the computer can’t
tell the difference between
words like “too” and “to.”
Writing Style Don’ts
Don’t use “I,” the ﬁrst person pronoun,
in your resume. It is understood.
Don’t use lofty language, long
sentences or big words.
Don’t overuse professional jargon or
Don’t use puns or clever wordplays.
Resume Content Do’s
Be accurate and truthful. Include outside activities only
if they relate directly to the
Describe your signiﬁcant job for which you are
contributions at each of your applying.
jobs. List all the computer
hardware, software and Use keywords found in the
databases you know. job description or classiﬁed in
Customize your resume for
each prospective employer.
Resume Content Don’ts
Don’t misrepresent your Don’t include personal
education or experience. information such as height,
weight, social security
Don’t give reasons for
number, social activities of
termination or leaving a job.
Don’t use exact dates.
Months and years are
Don’t include your phone Don’t list your high school
number or e-mail address at education if you are a
your current job if your boss college graduate.
is unaware of your intent to
Don’t provide salary
information in the resume. If
an ad requests a salary
range, include it in your
cover letter. Otherwise, don’t
mention it until the interview.
The Cover Letter
You’ve worked hard to create a strong resume, and it’s ﬁnally done,
but before you apply for the job of your dreams, think about another
critical document your next employer will read - your cover letter.
Here are some tips:
Express your interest in the position and be sure to describe why you
think you are a good ﬁt.
Tailor the letter speciﬁcally to the job opening and company.
Mention in the letter where you saw the job opening (ad, internet,
Although optional, a job objective statement shows employers the
direction you want to go, your work preferences, and serves as a focal
point for employers to review and analyze your resume. It allows
employers to immediately identify the kind of position you want. If you
are looking for jobs in a number of different ﬁelds, you need to have a
different job objective for each position. To address this, prepare some
resumes without objective statements. Or tailor each resume to the
speciﬁc job you seek.
Do not write an objective that is vague and meaningless-if it isn’t
speciﬁc, don’t include one.
Skills you hope to bring to the position. Look to a list of action verbs to
identify which skills you have experience using.
If you are responding to a job listing, look in the text of the listing to
ﬁnd out what the employer calls the position. This is the actual title,
such as consultant, investment banker or ﬁeld or industry in which you
hope to work. Such as telecommunications, health care, and banking.
Don’t rehash your resume. If you will be available for work on a
certain date, the cover letter is the place to mention it.
Always double-check the name and title of the person receiving your
letter and resume. Do this by calling the ﬁrm’s main phone number.
ATR International, Inc.
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