DerrJones Recruiting Solutions

Writing a Resume

Writing a Resume

Writing a resume often requires getting advice from someone who knows what they're talking about. Good advice. The kind of advice you get from someone who is in the business of recruiting. DerrJones can help.

Resume advice is abundant on the internet. What makes us so special? If you're looking for a step by step introduction to how to build a resume, you'll find that here. If you're looking for someone who is in the business of writing a resume for you, well...that's another story.

I'm not aware of anyone providing resume writing services for free, on the internet, or anywhere else. That being said, I think you'll find our advice easy to follow. And at the end of the process, you'll have a resume that will open doors for you.

So, let's get started. For more detailed information on any particular section, click on the links provided.

Resume Outlines: Your Roadmap

Before we officially start writing a resume, we're going to create an outline of a resume that will serve as a roadmap for where we're going. The outline is as follows:

  • Summary Statement
  • Professional Experience

                Companies You Worked For (Name, Location, Dates)

                Short description of what the company does

                Titles Held for Each Company, with Dates

                Short description of what your job entailed

                Significant Accomplishments in each role

  • Education
  • Honors/Awards
  • Professional Associations

Filling in the Details

Rule number 1: Write your Summary Statement last. You'll find this much easier to write, once you've given some thought to the positions you've held over the years, and what your accomplishments have been.

For each company you list, write a short sentence or two that tells the reader what the company does. This is especially important if you're not working for a big name company. Specifically include the industry the company is in and the size of the company, in terms of revenue and employees.

List your positions. Your short description should not an excerpt from your job description! Instead, write one or two sentences that describe your role. Like this:

Senior Sales Director                              2006 - Present
Responsible for a 12 person sales team in the Midwest Region, with an annual sales quota of $72 million in new business.

Your Accomplishments

This is the hardest part. Listing your significant accomplishments. Your accomplishments are not your job description. Accomplishments are results you've produced in your role. Things like:

  • Revamped the sales reporting system to accurately account for repeat business from existing customers, allowing the company to more accurately forecast sales results.
  • Negotiated an $18 million, multi-year contract with a leading widget maker, the largest single deal in the company's history.

In thinking about your Accomplishments, cast a wide net. Let your ideas flow. Think about strong Action Verbs to use at the beginning of each accomplishment statement. You'll refine this list as you're putting your resume together.

Education, Honors, and Professional Associations should be straight forward. Include only current Association memberships, unless you held an officer position in the past 5 years. Continuing Education should be listed only if significant. For example, attending a one hour workshop should not be listed.

Now that you have some details mapped out, how do you put them together?

Chronological or Functional...
Which Resume Format is Right for You?

Your first decision is what resume format you will use. DerrJones recommends a chronological format in almost all cases, so that's what we'll focus on here in writing a resume. The outline you created above is already in the right order. List your most recent positions first, working back through time to your earlier roles.

Resume Layout

Your resume layout needs to draw the screener in. Think readability. Think white space. Think visual interest. Vary your font size. Vary your special effects, like bold, italics and underlining. Use some dividers to visually break up information presented.

Start with your contact information at the top. Your name and phone number should also appear on Page 2.

Use Bold for your headings.

Your resume should be no more than 2 pages. If you have more to say, review your accomplishments and pare them down. Include only your most significant results. If you have a lot of work experience, you can eliminate accomplishments in your earlier roles.

Summary Statement

Your Summary Statement should be 3-5 sentences that highlight your key attributes. Think big picture. Like this:

Senior sales executive with a demonstrated track record of closing multi-year, multi-million dollar deals with Fortune 1000 companies, leading to President's Club status in 8 of the past 10 years. Recognized as a strong leader, with outstanding people management skills. Strong business acumen, including P & L management responsibility for the North American sales operation.

Here's what the finished document should look like:
Sample Resume

While we are not in the business of writing a resume for our visitors, we hope that the information we shared puts you well on your way to creating a document that will open doors for you.

For more information on writing a resume, visit How to Write a Resume. When you're through browsing our site, you'll be an expert in your own right. Guaranteed!

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