Everybody needs a resume nowadays. When you are applying for almost any job, a resume tells the employer everything they need to decide whether they want to interview you or not. Unfortunately, resumes can also be intimidating.

To make it easier for you, we have provided a series of posts to walk you through the process of creating your first resume. This post will detail all things you need in hand before you start creating your resume:

1. A word processor program

Because resumes are always typed (never, ever handwritten), the easiest way for you to create your resume will be in a word processor computer program. The most commonly used word processor program is Microsoft Word, which comes installed on most Windows computers. If you don’t have access to Word but you do have access to the internet, you can also use Google Docs, which is a free online word processor. Either of these programs will give you the tools you need to create a great resume.

2. The job description

Your resume needs to be customized for the job you’re applying for. That’s why it helps to have the job description for that job in front of you before you sit down to create your resume. You’ll want to look at the skills and types of experience they require, because these are the things you’ll want to bring out in your experience. For example, if they say, “Prior electrical engineering experience a huge plus,” you’ll want to make sure they know that you spent six months installing wiring at your last job.

3. A list of the jobs you’ve held

Sit down and write a list of all the positions you’ve held. Write down your actual title, what company or organization, where your work was located (city, state), and what dates you worked there (month/year – month/year). Along with each of these, you’ll want to make notes of your responsibilities and what you accomplished (awards, recognitions, promotions, etc.) at each job.

4. A list of your skills

As you probably noticed in that job description, employers want to see what skills you bring to the table. List all of the work-related skills you have. This could include trade skills, computer programs you’re proficient in, foreign languages, or any other skills that could apply in the workplace and make you a more attractive job candidate.

5. A list of the schools you’ve attended

If you attended a trade school, college, junior college, community college, or any other educational or training program, make a list of those. With each, note the name of your program of study, the name of the institution, the dates you attended (month/year – month/year), where it was located (city, state, unless it was online), and the degree/certification you earned (if you finished).

With these items in hand, you are ready to start creating your resume. To help with that, we’ve created a series of posts to help you with each step of the process. If you’re ready to start, click here now to go to the next step.

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