How to write a resume

Maybe you’ve never written a resume, or maybe it’s time for a rethink. Writing a resume may seem like a daunting task, but it shouldn’t be: it’s your life and work experience—you know it like the back of your hand.

Getting started with the process may seem overwhelming, but it starts with three simple questions: Who is your audience? What is your point? What story do you have to tell?

Knowing your audience is easy. Is your resume intended for a hiring manager or a direct manager? Do you need to include certain items like employment and salary history? Or should you highlight the skills that you’ve learned?

The second point is slightly more difficult, but far from hard. What’s your point? What field of work are you looking for? Are you looking to jump to management? What makes you qualified? Make sure you know what you’re trying to achieve beyond “getting a job.” Do you want a long career in the company? Do you want an apprenticeship or internship?

The last question is the easiest. What’s your story? If you’re fresh out of school, your resume should be about your educational journey. If you’re switching careers, it’s about applied experience. If you’re looking to make a jump up in a related field, it’s about career-related accomplishments.

Answer those questions but include the basics: Your name, your contact information, your employment history, and references—if required.

Once you’re done, read it out loud (yes, out loud) and check for spelling and typos. Hand it to someone else and have them do the same.