DerrJones Recruiting Solutions

How to Create a Resume

How to Create a Resume

Advice on how to create a resume is readily available from a wide variety of sites on the internet. What makes our advice different? Or for that matter, better?

Straight talk. No fluff. Just the facts. We share our opinion, based on years of recruiting experience, about what makes a winning document.

You have 15-20 seconds to be noticed by the person reviewing your resume. 15-20 seconds. What kind of impression will you make? Strong enough to be asked in for an interview?

Read on. We'll show you how to create a resume that will get you more interviews. Guaranteed.

Your Resume Outline

The easiest way to get started on building a resume is with a good outline. It's really very simple:

  • Contact Information
  • Summary Statement
  • Professional Experience
  • Specific Accomplishments
  • Academic Record
  • Honors & Awards
  • Professional Associations

Getting Started

Write your Summary last. It's the hardest part of writing a resume, so let's tackle the easier points first. Other elements of how to create a resume are much more factual, so in many ways, they can be pulled together quickly.

Your contact information. Pretty self explanatory, right? Just a couple of quick points:

  • Include your name, address, all of your phone numbers, and email address.
  • Make sure that your voice mail and email are professional.
  • Your name and phone number should appear on page 2 of your resume as well.

Your professional experience is also straight forward:

  • Make a list of every place you've worked, including dates of employment and titles held.
  • For each company, write a short description (1-2 sentences) about the company. Incorporate these key elements: the industry, revenue size, geography covered (e.g. global, U.S., etc.).
  • For each position, write a short narrative (2-3 sentences) about your responsibilities. This is where most people go wrong. Your resume is NOT your job description.

Accomplishments are hard, so we'll skip these for the moment as well. Move onto your Academic Record. List your educational experience, post high school, starting with your highest degree. For each degree, list the college or university, the degree conferred, and your major. Do not include dates.

If you have had substantial professional training, for example, Six Sigma, list that as well. Do not include every training seminar you've ever attended. If you have attended numerous training sessions around a topic - e.g. management, sales - a line item that incorporates all of this training could be included.

Make a list of any awards or honors you've received.

And finally, list the professional associations you belong to. This should be a current list.


A strong resume highlights significant accomplishments in each position you've held.

  • For each position, make a list of your most significant accomplishments. To the extent you can quantify a result, include that as well.
  • You will want to document more accomplishments for your most recent positions.
  • Accomplishments should start with strong action verbs, such as led, directed, initiated, created...several examples can be found throughout the resume sections on

Your Summary Statement

Resume objectives are out. They are too limiting. Instead, write a strong summary statement that captures your background and key skills. Think about this as a short answer to the question "tell me about yourself." This statement should be 3-5 sentences long. You can include a bullet pointed list of key skills following the summary.

For more in depth information on this important aspect of how to create a resume, check out the following sections:

Putting it All Together

The hard work is done. You now know how to create a resume, and in fact, have done it! Keep in mind some resume style and format guidelines:

  • Use a chronological resume format. It's preferred by recruiters and hiring managers.
  • Allow for white space in your document. Make sure it's readable!
  • Vary the type face with the use of bold, italics, underline.
  • Make sure that the type is at least 10 point. 11 is better.
  • Break up sections with some style - use partial horizontal rules.
  • Do not use tables in your formatting. They do not render correctly in ATS (applicant tracking systems) and sometimes in email.
  • Use Microsoft Word rather than a PDF file.
  • No pictures.
  • No references. References should be presented when requested. See our sections on References for more information: Resume References and Employment References.

Resume Critique

Once your document is together, don't be afraid to get a second opinion! A Resume Critique is an inexpensive way to know that you have created a resume that showcases your experience. Whether you use us, or another service, this is a smart final step to the process.

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