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Being a recent college graduate, I’ve had my recent fair share of resume writing.  It’s been my experience that there’s no "forever and ever amen" true formula for writing a resume.  Nonetheless, there are some guidelines to follow to ensure you have the best resume you can have.  The following are some of those guidelines.  Mold them to fit your resume.

What kind of job are you applying for?
This is the first question you need to ask yourself.  You cannot write an effective resume until you know what (who) you’re writing it for. After you find out what job you’re seeking and your objectives, you’ll be able to structure that resume to successfully market yourself.

Get to the point!
A resume is meant not to score you a job.  It’s meant to score you an interview.  Put pertinent information, but don’t overload bullets with 38 sub bullets going into every single detail about a past job you had.  Get to the point, while still providing the important information.

Use numbers whenever possible
Employers like to see numbers.  It’s one thing to say, "On my last job, I managed some accounts."  If you quantify those actions with specific numbers, it stands out so much more and you are more likely to be called in for an interview. "On my last job, I managed 13 accounts, each having between 3-5 websites I created and maintained."  Those numbers really shine through.

Strengths at the top
Resumes, especially in a highly competitive market, are typically reviewed in less than 30 seconds. For that reason, it is important to list your strengths at the top so they are the first thing the employer gets to.

Make sure your resume is easy to read!  Leave white space here and there.  Use bullets to organize your points and to provide that white space.  Try and use 12 point font, but absolutely no smaller than 10 point font.  Even if you’re applying for a graphic design position, don’t use a crazy font that’s hard to read.

Proofread and maintain!
A resume is living thing. You should make it a point to proofread it yourself and to let a friend (or friends) proofread it as well.  The more people that look at it, the more ideas and constructive criticism points you’ll receive.  It’s easy to get lazy and just be content with what you have for a resume.  However, it’s important to continue updating it whenever something happens that is pertinent for your resume.  It should be a quick insert of information, and you’ve got an updated resume.  So don’t be scared to keep building your resume. Just do it!

Again, there’s no one way to write a resume, but there are techniques that everyone should abide by when writing theirs.  Follow these rules and you can’t go wrong!

This Personal Development article was written by Brooks Wood on 5/12/2006

Brooks Wood is a singer/songwriter from Raleigh, NC with degrees in Marketing and Music from North Carolina State University. He fronts a Raleigh-based band, Brooks Wood Band ( and offers guidance and marketing consulting to other area artists and bands.