How to Do a Resume

What a great question!  How to do a resume!  It seems like such a challenge!  A resume!

  • If you get it right, you may get the job.
  • If you don’t get it right, you may not get the job.

A lot of pressure!  So, how does one “do a resume”?

First, get out your paper and pen.  Start by making a list.

How to do a resume.  The Objective

What is your objective?  What kind of job do you want?  What kind of job do you have experience for?  What kind of job do you have training for?  Will it be a job that you will hope to be trained “on the job”?  Will it be a job that you aleady know how to do?

The questions above need answers - so you have to think clearly about your goals.

Make the objective clear and specific.  However, the objective can focus the reader (prospective employer) or it can “turn off” the reader’s interest.

The objective for any resume must be something that the reader (prospective employer) is looking for. 


The reader is going to want to know what you can contribute to the firm – to the position.  You’ll consider the objective with that “contribution” in mind when you consider how to do a resume.

So – you want a job where you can

  • contribute to a specific company, or
  • contribute to a company in a specific position

The more specific and personalized the objective for each resume, the better.

With today’s computers and the ability to personalize each resume document, you can very easily produce a very specific and personal objective for each resume you write.

How to do a resume.  The Skills

What skills do you have that you can bring to this position you wish to have?  What skills would the employer wish to have in any employee?

There should be some clear and definite skills associated with any job, regardless of what it is.  If it is a job dealing with the public, the general skills must include things like

  • Outgoing personality
  • Friendliness
  • Helpfulness
  • Honestly
  • Ability to work hard
  • Dedication
  • Desire to be part of the team

If you are struggling – and this may be the first resume you’ve ever attempted – then these general traits will be important. 

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Specific skills - relevant skills

Specific skills.  You should be able to list a number of very specific skills that will relate to the specific job you hope to gain.  Write them down because you’ll use them when you begin to think about how to do a resume.

Relevant skills/experience.  If you are applying for a specific job, you may be replying to a posted advertisement.  In that case, read the ad carefully. 

Does the ad contain any desirable traits or skills?  If you see that, try to respond by including these – highlighting these – in your resume.  The sub-title “relevant skills” or “relevant experience” may be a good place to add them.

This section would come immediately after the Objective section – so that this would be the first section that the reader can focus on.

So, we’ve now covered your objective, your relevant skills (a short list), and then your general skills.

Follow up with Experience

Do you have specific experience in the area?  If so, add it here.  If not, then simply omit it.

  • Never focus on the negative.
  • Never mention the negative.

If you have no experience, do not write “I have no experience.” 

Consider only the positives when you consider how to do a resume.

Every single one of us has some experience – and if you look at the list presented earlier – every single one of us will have some of the following – and if you have  nothing else, then you will highlight and focus on your positive skills and positive personality traits.  The employer will be impressed – because everyone has to start somewhere.

  • Outgoing personality
  • Friendliness
  • Helpfulness
  • Honestly
  • Ability to work hard
  • Dedication
  • Desire to be part of the team

If you don’t have experience, get some.  How?  Volunteer!


Plan now!

Volunteer experience is a valuable part of how to do a resume!  What you can add to your community, and your interest in others and helping others, will say a great deal about you. 

So, you can plan your life now.  Get involved. 

If you’re in school, volunteer for school activities.  Most schools ask for volunteer hours as part of the curriculum, and you can make the most of this.  There are countless volunteer opportunities in any community – so just go out and do it!  Not only will you be enhancing your resume by having volunteer activities to include, you will be enhancing your life and the lives of others whom you help.

If you are out of school, volunteer in the community.  There are countless opportunities in all communities for everyone!

So, get started!

Education - a necessary part of how to do a resume

Clearly list your education.  Begin with the most recent first.  Be clear. 

If you intend to graduate, then indicate that you will graduate at the end of the year.  Do not make it appear that you have not yet graduated if you have not. 

The resume must be accurate and it must show your best features.


Finally, when you consider how to do a resume, include References only as a mention – Available upon request.

As with the volunteer experience, it’s a good idea now to line up references just in case you need them.  You’ll need them for the interview when you gain the interview.  You must always ask your references first if you may use them as references.  If you do that, you show a common courtesy.  Failure to do that is lack of courtesy and it could well backfire on you. 

If you do gain the interview with your successful resume, then you would prepare a separate sheet listing the references and their contact information.  But you don’t need that as part of the actual resume.

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› How to Do a Resume