How to Build a Resume in Easy Steps

Creating a resume can be challenging when you start thinking about all the information you need to share with prospective employers. Your employment history, educational background, skills, and qualifications need to be presented in a way that will help you get selected for a job interview. Rather than a simple list of the jobs you have held, it’s important to include information specific to the positions for which you're applying.

What’s the easiest way to write a resume? If you look at resume building as a step-by-step process, it will be easier to do and much less overwhelming. Once you’ve created your first resume or refreshed your old one, you can simply tweak it to match it up with a job when you’re applying for an open position.

Read on for how to build a resume, the components required in an interview-winning resume, examples of what to include in each section, how to format your resume, options for saving your document, and tips for writing a resume that will catch the attention of hiring managers.

Before You Begin Creating Your Resume

Choose a Word Processor

Before you start to work on your resume, you’ll need a word processor. If you don’t have word processing software installed on your computer, here are free online word processors, like Google Docs, you can use. One of the benefits of working online is that you can update, send, and share your resume from any computer or device you’re using. That makes the application process  much simpler because you’ll be able to easily apply for jobs from anywhere that may be convenient for you.

Plan the Framework of Your Resume

Next, consider the basic framework of your resume. More isn’t necessarily better, so aim for conciseness over length. Employers are looking for a synopsis of your credentials; not everything you have done in your career. In many cases, a one-page resume is sufficient. If you have extensive experience, longer may be necessary.

Your goal is to wow the hiring manager and present a document that promotes you as an ideal candidate for the position. Review these tips for building a resume that will help you get job interviews.

  • Compile Your Personal and Employment Information

    Collect all the information you need to include before you start writing your resume. It’s much easier to write, edit, and format a document when you have all the details you need in front of you.

    Before you get started, make a list of the contact information you want to use, all your jobs, your education, training, certifications, skills, and other credentials. 

  • Write Your Resume

    When you have compiled all the information you need, it should be listed in the following order. Don’t worry about fonts and formatting your document yet. Just get everything you want to include on the page. It will be easier to edit when you can see the full picture of your candidacy.

    Once you have everything down on paper, you will be able to adjust the font size and type, spacing, and add formatting options to your resume.

  • Choose a Resume Layout

    There are three basic types of resume formats you can use. The format you select will depend on your employment history and credentials.

    • Chronological: This is the most frequently used and presents your work history starting with the most recent job first.
    • Functional: If you have a spotty work history, you may want to use a functional resume that focuses on your skills and experience.
    • Combination: This resume layout includes both your skills and your chronological work history.

Keep Your Resume Current

Once you've got your resume finished, plan to update it regularly. It will be easier to keep it current if you keep track of your accomplishments, rather than having to make a major update all at once.