Your resume is the first thing many potential employers may see from you. You want to make sure that you’re making a great first impression by including all the right info in your resume and making sure it looks great.

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 What should I be sure to include in my resume?

Make sure your resume includes the following elements:

  • Heading
    The heading should include your name, address, phone number, and email address. Here’s some info on setting up your first email account if you don’t already have one.
  • Qualifications
    Write a short paragraph or use bullet points to highlight skills or prior work experience that relates to the position you are applying for.
  • Education
    In the Education section, include the names of institutions attended and the dates attended; list degrees or certificates, if applicable.
  • Experience
    Include both paid and unpaid work experience. List the name of the organization that you worked for, the city and state the position was located in, your title while working there, and dates that you worked there.

What else can I include in my resume?

  • Objective
    An Objective indicates what type of position you are looking for with a company, but this information will most likely also be included in your cover letter.
  • Honors and Awards
    This can include educational, community, or business honors.
  • Skills
    This section can include foreign languages that you speak, knowledge of computer systems and programs, and any other skills relevant to the position you are applying for.
  • References
    References can be included on a separate page, if directly requested, or it is appropriate to indicate that references are “available upon request.”

I know what to put in my resume – now what?

Once you have collected all the information for your resume, it is time to type it up. You can use a word processing program like Microsoft Word. If you don’t have access to MS Word on your computer, check out your local library. You may also be able to find some free classes on resume building and MS Word at your library!

If you can’t get access to MS Word, never fear! Google Docs is a flexible and robust – and FREE! – online word processing tool. All you need is a Web browser, an Internet connection, and a free Google Account.

Check out Google Docs

What should my resume look like?

  • Make sure that your resume is clear and readable to anyone you are sending it to.
  • Use a plain font, such as Times New Roman, Helvetica, or Courier, and a font size between 10 and 14 points.
  • Use both uppercase and lowercase letters rather than typing in all capital letters.
  • Use bold text, underlines, or bullet points in order to make your resume readable, rather than using different fonts or different colors of text.
  • A shorter resume with content relevant to a particular job is more powerful and more likely to be read all the way through than a lengthy resume.
  • Use the right keywords and industry-specific buzz words.
  • Spell check your resume and ask a friend to proofread it, if possible.

See sample resumes for many different types of positions.

How do I send my resume as an attachment?

Many online job postings will specify whether they want your resume as an attachment or in the body of an email message. Sending an attachment means you’re sendign your resume as a separate document. The exact steps for sending an email attachment will vary depending on the email program you’re using, but they’re all pretty similar. Follow the link below to learn how to send an attachment in Gmail. If you’re not a Gmail user, you can probably follow along in your own email application – just look for the paperclip icon once you’re logged in to email!

How do I send my resume in the body of an email message?

You may need to create a plain text resume if you are applying for a position in which the employer wants your resume included in the body of the message, rather than in an attachment. In order to do this, begin by opening up a saved version of your resume. Save a copy in plain text by going to File – Save As, and save as type: text only. Then revert any bold or underlined text to plain text, replace bullet points with dashes or asterisks, and change the entire document to left justification.

T3 Contributor:
Denver Public Library