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Career Action Center

The Development Process

Starting the process

Your resume is a marketing tool. It describes what you have to offer the employer. To start the resume development process, begin by listing your skills and strengths. Take out a notepad and write answers to these questions:

  • What am I really good at?
  • What are my talents and strengths?
  • How can I contribute to an organization?

Your list shows what you have to sell an employer.

Next, list each of your jobs, giving the starting and ending dates.
Describe what you did on the job.

  • What were your responsibilities and duties?
  • What projects were you involved in?
  • What did you do especially well?
  • What did you contribute to the organization?
  • If you feel you did a good job, how do you know?
  • How can you prove you did your work well?

Start with your most recent job and write about these things. Then go to your previous jobs and do the same

If this is your first job or you are returning to work after raising a family, consider these additional ideas:

  • What have I done that I feel proud of? (make a long list)
  • What skills have I used in raising a family and managing a household?
  • What volunteer activities have I participated in? How did I contribute?

The First Draft

Following these guidelines, prepare a first draft. Don’t worry too much about wording at this point, just get the ideas down on paper in resume format. Revising and re-writing come later.

Revise and Rewrite

Let your first draft sit for a few hours or preferably overnight before returning to edit. After reviewing and revising your resume several times, ask four or five people to review the draft and suggest improvements. Listen to their comments, then make your own decision about what to change.