Looking for the easiest way to write a resume? There are plenty of articles on brushing up your resume, but not a whole lot that help you write one from scratch – and fast. There are plenty of people who don’t have an existing resume. From people who have been taking care of someone else at home, have been laid off or furloughed, or just graduated, writing a resume can feel intense. Today we’re covering the easiest way to write a resume!
Name, Contact Information, Professional Email Address
The obvious part of how to easily write your resume is your contact information. Include a phone number and a professional email address- and we can’t stress that professional part enough. If you don’t have a professional one, just include your phone number. Your address isn’t necessary, just town or zip code -unless you’re against using email and insist on only mailing your resume. Please use email! You don’t need to add your physical location anymore if you have your email address and phone number on there.
List Your Most Recent Job First
List your most recent job first, because you have a matter of seconds to keep your reader’s attention. Think of the job you’re trying to get and what skills you used at your last one. Any way you can connect the two will make it easier for the hiring manager to do the same. Don’t forget to put the dates you were at each job. If you don’t have the exact dates available, it’s okay to take a page from LinkedIn and only use the months and the years.
This is the easiest way to write a resume, so it’s the most common. This format is known as reverse chronological resumes, and they’re the standard. Putting something out of date or from years ago that isn’t relevant to the position you’re applying for can cost you the job. Hiring managers and recruiters want to see that you’ve been working recently. If you haven’t been working, for whatever reason, it’s acceptable to put a line saying what you’ve been doing instead. For example, if you’ve been a stay-at-home parent: Stay at Home parent from Jan. 2012- March 2020.
Include the Dates You Were There
If you’re not sure what day or month you started or ended at a job, it’s worth it to call the Human Resources Department of the company. You may have to request the information in writing, so don’t wait until the last minute to ask. If this seems like an extra pain, keep in mind that anyone doing a basic employment check will be doing the same thing. Just like when a potential employer calls your references, they also call your past places of employment. Don’t know the day? It’s better to have at least the month and year for both when you started and stopped instead of nothing at all. You’re showing your potential employer how likely you are to stick around at this future job.
Use Bullet Points
Can’t think of how to write all the things you did? Use bullet points and include numbers of progress if possible. Numbers cement your progress in the reader’s mind – and write the actual number instead of the word (use 90%, not “ninety percent”). Make sure the first five bullet points are the most relevant to the job you want.
Listing your experience in the form of achievements also helps. If you’ve just graduated, you can put your education at the top of your resume. Have you been out of the workforce? It’s okay to add a line of what you have been doing instead, as long as somewhere else you also include the skills that make you a great candidate for this position.
Add Keywords From The Job Description
Resumes don’t always go directly to a person. If you’re submitting this resume online, it’s most likely going to a computer program first. That program, known as the ATS (Applicant Tracking System) will scan the resume for the keywords that were in the job description. If your resume doesn’t have them, it will be discarded and never seen by a person at all. You could just be going through all this work for nothing! Be sure to scan the job description for their keywords, usually under the requirements. Do you have relevant keywords that match your resume to the job ad? You need to have the keywords that are used in the job description or you’re not going to get a phone call.
We go more into depth on this topic here: How To Get Your Resume Past The ATS
Don’t Forget to Spellcheck
If you’re hurrying to write a resume, you could easily make a simple spelling error. If you can spare the time, take a break before reading it. You could have someone else look it over. The important thing is not to have anything out of order or misspelled. After all, a resume is your first chance to make a good impression.
Make Sure It’s Legible
The easiest way to get an interview is to make your resume easy to read. Keeping everything on the left-hand side will make it easy to read, as will keeping it in the same font size. Put either the companies or the position you held in bold – but not both. Don’t use ALL CAPS unless you absolutely have to, since it’s hard for people to read. Please don’t. That one mistake makes your entire resume a headache to read.
Doublecheck Potential References
Before you start putting anyone down as a reference, make sure they agreed to it first!
To sum up, the easiest way to write your resume:
- Name and Contact Information
- List Your Most Recent Job First
- Get Accurate Dates
- Use Bullet Points
- Add keywords
- Don’t Forget to Spellcheck
- Make Sure It’s Legible
- Doublecheck Potential References
You’ve got this!
We cover other related topics:
6 Skills To Ace Your Job Interview
Ultimate Guide to Job Interview Questions
How to Write a Thank You Email After the Interview (With Templates)