Creating your resume is the first step to getting a job.
Your resume is a fluid document and dynamic, meaning, it is always changing. As you grow professionally, the manner in which you describe your duties or functions will change. As you move to a new employer, or new role within the same organisation, or take time off for school or volunteering, even time away for a death in the family can cause your resume to change or need to be adjusted.
Learn exactly what goes into this important document and start your career search off on the right foot by creating your own resume.
If you don’t have a list of employers and jobs you have had over the years already made up or fresh in your mind, then get yourself ready for a creative brainstorming session! Be sure to have a pen and enough paper ready because you will want to be able to write as much as you can in a relatively short period of time. Don't worry about dates and duties or tasks right now, we will put that all together later!
This is just a draft and it is fun! You are going to have a lot of information here but that is the idea; we will walk through sorting it all out later. For now, just get as much information about yourself as can think of! The moment you think of it, write it down so you don’t forget. You can come back to it later.
Don’t worry about how messy it looks while you do it – this is just a draft. The point here is to get the brain warmed up and information flowing!
Pen in hand, and paper ready, close your eyes. Imagine all the things you have done over the years for anyone, anywhere. Write down all your employment, community service, positions, volunteering, contract work and odd jobs you have done for others whether you were paid to do it or not. You may even write down obligations that did not have a title or a role you may not believe was of value, but it was of value to whomever you were doing it for.
Now you are ready to put together the substance of your resume. You may need some extra paper for this part because now we will REALLY brainstorm!
Pick out one of the jobs, roles or companies you wrote down and think about all the things you had to do to complete the task, do the job, or perform the role. Every function, task, duty, responsibility, chore, assignment you can think of. We will whittle it down later.
NOTE: You will also want to write down the biggest accomplishment, achievement, success or goal you attained working there or doing the job. It is okay if you don’t have an achievement or goal for every position but it is a good idea to get them down if you do.
Now, pick out another role and do the same thing. Maybe it has some of the same responsibilities or duties as the first one. Do this for every one of the ideas you put down in the first step; and don’t forget those successes!
Next, look at all the roles: Do any have the same responsibilities? The same expectations? The same product? If you have not already done so, you will want to name each with a “title”, “position”, or “role”. If it was an “odd job”, you are unsure, or don’t like what you come up with, then do a Google search of some of the duties you performed or responsibilities you had. Chances are, if you did it, someone has given it a title. If you have done much of the same “kind” of work, they may all have the same or similar titles.
Bragging Rights! There is no need to be humble here – if you did the work – you deserve the title so get comfortable bragging about yourself now because you are going to need that confidence for the interview when you get it!
Now that everything has a title, you can go back and chronologically note each one of the jobs you put down.
Write the years you remember doing that work next to each one. If you remember the months put that down too, if not we will come back to it.
Also add the employer, agency or contact information for each - name of the company (or person) for whom you performed the work for, where it was located (just the city and state will do), who you reported to and why you left.
This is a piece of work that is for your eyes only right now so if you were fired – write that down. You will have the opportunity to go back and determine how you will address that to your interviewer or potential employer later, just brainstorm here and get all of the information down on paper.
Now you can go back and add the months in which you performed those duties. It’s okay if it is out of order for now. Just get those dates down on paper.
Finally, you can start putting all your resume pieces together.
There are many ways to create a resume so determining what role you want to apply for, what industry or field you are applying in or the company you are applying to can help decide what type of resume to use. We have offered a few through the link above to help you on your way!