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How to create a good resume

Mike Gershman
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Joined: Mar 13, 2004
Posts: 1272
I'm teaching a computer basics course and am about to ask the students to build their resumes. While the goal of the assignment is making good use of MS Office, I'd like to point the students at a good site on how to create a resume. Any suggestions would be appreciated.


Mike Gershman
SCJP 1.4, SCWCD in process
Marc Peabody
pie sneak
Sheriff

Joined: Feb 05, 2003
Posts: 4727

If the students are learning Word for the first time I would start with teaching how to do a cover letter. Dealing with spacing on a resume can be a bit frustrating without some prior experience.

If you do go with resumes, I don't know of any sites that cover this but here is my recommendation.

Insert a table with 3 columns and oh about... 5 rows. The left column will be used for topic headers (Education, Experience, etc.). The middle column will be the widest and will hold the main content. The right column will hold dates (not 100% necessary to have dates but I think it makes it look nice).

The nice thing about using tables is that you can quickly change the format of all of your headers or dates at once. Want the headers in italics, bold, blue, and 14pt? Select the column and change the font style.

But you don't want those table lines to show up on the printer. You will need to right-click the table and select Borders and Shading. This will allow you to select "None" for the border which will allow you to still see the table but not print it. I also recommend ending the class with changing the table back to having a border but setting the color to white so that the Word file could be sent to employers without the distracting gray lines.

Hope this helps, Mike!


A good workman is known by his tools.
Mike Gershman
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 13, 2004
Posts: 1272
Hi Marc:

Thanks for your suggestions.

The students did letters this week. I asked them to draft their resumes before class so they can concentrate on MS Word during next week's lab time.

It would be good if I could point them to a web site that teaches elementary resume writing. The sites I found seen to be directed at experienced professionals looking to polish their resumes, not at beginners who don't know where to start. I would cover this in class, but it's outside the syllabus and we don't have the extra time.

Mike
Marc Peabody
pie sneak
Sheriff

Joined: Feb 05, 2003
Posts: 4727

I think the best teacher of resume writing is to look at lots of samples and copy what you like. The art of resume writing has two parts. 1) layout the text to make the page pleasing to the eye. 2) write the text to effectively sell yourself. I'd focus on showing everyone how to make a resume that LOOKS good (part one). The second part takes extensive research and is beyond the scope of what Word can do for you... aside from spell check.

Here's a couple sites with sample resumes:
Monster resume samples, especially nice because of the wide variety, allowing nearly anyone to find one that matches their experience level
More samples

I think most of these samples are good resumes but not great. They could do a better job of balancing the amount of whitespace using a three column approach IMO. A good layout (part one) will lead its audience to WANT to read the contents. Good text (part two) will KEEP the audience reading.
Mike Gershman
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 13, 2004
Posts: 1272
Thanks, Marc. This site has plenty of good ideas.
Mike
 
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