Writing a Resume

Tips for How to Write a Resume

How to Write a Resume

Writing a Resume

Think of a resume as your own personal highlight reel. It’s a short, one to two-page document that gives potential employers a look at your experiences, skills, education and work history. A resume is not a comprehensive list of everything you have ever done. Instead, it makes the case for why you are the most qualified candidate for the position you’re seeking by presenting evidence of your qualifications. 

Your resume is going to be your first and best chance to sell yourself to the people who will be deciding whether to interview you or not. So, even though there is no single “officially correct” format or process for how to write a resume, it’s important to keep a few basics in mind as you sit down to create yours. However, writing an effective resume doesn’t have to be difficult or scary. After all, nobody knows you better than you! And, if you’d like free professional help, Career Development Services provides resume services for all Peirce College students and alumni. 

Resumes open doors to job interviews, and interviews open doors to jobs. For this reason, a resume is one of the most important financial documents you will ever own. It is always worth your time and effort to tailor it to your specific audience. 

Know your purpose. Your resume should be tailored to the specific job you’re targeting, and you should describe your experience in terms that the target company will recognize. For example, if they use the word “client” in the job description, you use the word “client.” If they use the word “customer,” you write “customer.”   

Choose a starting point. Not sure where to begin with writing your resume? You can use these Peirce College sample resumes for help getting started. 

Keep it brief. Chances are, the person looking at your resume is busy—and your resume probably isn’t the only one they’re reading. Make it easy to find information about you by including a header or professional summary at the top of the page. And don’t list every job you’ve ever had. A resume should present about 10 years of your work experience.

Be specific. Wherever you can, include specific numbers! Talk about how you increased sales by 15% in the third quarter and or how your posts increased website traffic by 1,000 clicks/day.

Don’t be shy. Focus on your accomplishments, not just daily tasks. Potential employers want to know what you did to go beyond your “duties as assigned.” For example, if you were a retail associate, you might write either:

TASK: Ran the cash register

ACCOMPLISHMENT: Provided exemplary customer service by ensuring accurate order transactions and efficient checkout  processes for over 400 customers each day

Which version is more compelling? The accomplishment statement not only signals that you understand why your daily work was important, it also paints a richer image of how you work.  

Focus on how you can help them. Yes, your resume is about you. But what you put in it needs to impress the person who’s reading it. You should find ways to show how your skills and experiences have prepared you for success in the job you’re hoping to get.  When you’re writing your resume, make sure that every word helps explain why you’re the right candidate for this exact job.

Think big picture. Sometimes your most relevant experience comes from a volunteer gig, side hustle, or a job where you were paid under the table. Include this experience on your resume the same way you would write about a more formal work arrangement. In some instances, like this, a functional resume (see an example on page eight here) can help you highlight your skills better. CDS can help you figure out the best way to present your experience and skills.

Update often. Your resume is always a work in progress. Every time you apply to a new job, you should tailor your resume to make sure it fits the target role. In addition, every time you gain a new skill, get promoted or even provide a stellar presentation to senior-level executives, make sure you add it to your resume.

Call an expert. Resume help is always just a call or click away. If you want to talk more about how to write a resume, or if you’re done writing a resume and you want someone to take a look at it for you, reach out to Career Development Services. We’re located in Suite 67 of College Hall. You can also email us at cds@peirce.edu or call us at 215-670-9202 or toll-free at 888.467.3472, ext. 9202.