Write Your Resume in Microsoft Word

I'm not a professional resume writer, but I've done more than my fair share of it in the past, having been responsible for writing many technical consultant resumes and even resumes for CEOs of multi-million-dollar corporations. If you disagree with any information here, it doesn't mean you can't still use the instructions for layout.

This layout should be able to be copied into online resume submission services, as well as for submitting as a Word document.

Preparation

As usual with my instructions, turn on your Show/Hide button, and set up Word with my Recommended Autocorrect Settings.

Components

You can choose all or any of these. Ones marked with a * are definitely required. Try to keep your resume to one page. If you insist that your resume needs a lot of details, then use the first page as a synopsis, and put the details on subsequent pages. Also consider not sending the subsequent pages, but taking them with you to hand the potential employer at the job interview, along with your references.

Contact Information

This should include your name, your mailing address, your telephone number, and an email address. Try not to use bighotmamma@yahoo.com, okay? Preferably, use the email address that your ISP has provided you. Alternatively, go buy a domain name and get email hosting for it. This is relatively inexpensive. For $18 a year (as of writing this article), you can buy a domain name and have a 25MB email address at www.DynoNames.com. In business, Yahoo and Hotmail email addresses are seen as transient.

Objective

I personally don't like this one. My objective has always been to get the job for which I'm submitting the resume.

Skills

It's nice to include this if your a programming/software geek. People like to see, at a glance, which skills you have.

Work History*

Call it employment history or what you will. Here's some tips.

  • If you have had some jobs that are pretty boring to describe, or if you've been with one employer for a long time holding different positions, then call it Accomplishments instead, and list them beginning with the greatest. List it as one job.
  • If the company names you worked for are more impressive than the titles you held, then list the company names first, in bold. If you worked for the same company at several locations, list the home office location, and group all the positions under one job.
  • If the titles you held are more impressive than the company names, then list the titles in bold first.
  • If you have very few positions to list, or perhaps even none, consider jobs you've done for otherspaid or unpaid. Consider responsibilities you've had, regardless of who it was for.

Education

Is your education currently more impressive than your work history? Put it first under the objective (if you have an objective).

References

Unless you have some very impressive references or they're required with the resume, don't include them. List them on a separate page and provide them when you go on the interview. Don't get taken by surprise when you get to the interviewhave personal references ready, too! I don't know about you, but I don't remember people's phone numbers or addresses anymore. They're kept in my Favorites or in my Contacts and I don't get to take those with me on a job interview.

Layout

Here's the instructions for doing the actual creating of your resume.

Your Name

  • Open a blank document and type your name and hit enter once.
  • Select your name and center it horizontally on the page, bold it and make it 18 pt font.
  • Go to FileàPage Setup, Margins tab, and set the top margin to .25". If you have what you feel will easily fill the page, set the left and right margins to 1", but no less. Hit OK.
  • Hit Ctrl+End.

Contact Information

Type your address, phone, and email address, separating each item by 3 spaces.

Select the space between your street address and your city. From the menu, choose InsertàSymbol. Choose a simple bullet-type characternothing too fancy. Don't choose any oddball fonts either for these symbols or for your resume in general. Stick to standard Windows fonts.

Select each center space between the 3 and insert the same symbol. Click anywhere inside your contact information line and put a bottom border on it.

Don't do any further formatting until your entire resume is typed. This will save you from having to reformat it in the event you need to squeeze your information on the page, or even make the fonts a little bigger to make it look like more. Never use more than 12pt font, and never use less than 10pt font.

Left-align, and type the categories you intend to use in your resume, one right after the other. Select all the lines, and then go up to the rule and drag the bottom notch (hanging indent) to the right so there's a bit of space between the last character of the longest word, and the indent location (see the space between the colon after "Accomplishments" and the dotted line in the graphic below).

With the lines of text still selected, hit FormatàParagraph and type a 6 in each the Before and After boxes. Hit OK.

Place your cursor after the first item in the list, and hit the Tab key. Begin typing its contents. If you need additional paragraphs, just hit tab before you begin typing.

If you lose your formatting, just use the Format Painter to get it back.

Final Formatting

Hopefully you have only filled one page. If you have a little more than that, then decrease your left and right page margins slightly, or reduce your font. You can type a value into the font box, so you could type 11.5 into the font size box and hit Enter to slightly reduce the size. You could also select everything (except your contact information) and format the paragraph to be slightly less than 6 before and 6 after if you just need to "buy" one more line. If you've gone over one page and can't fix it with these settings, then consider cutting out words. Here's some phrases you can definitely cut out:

  • in order to
  • Responsibilities included
  • Promoted to (always list only your last title)

In looking for more items to add to the list, I came across what I felt was a terrific write-up here.

Bold the headings, and the first item you listed (title or employer name, whichever was most impressive).

Most importantly, good luck!

OfficeArtilces.com debuted on May 26, 2005.

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