How to make a resume: step-by-step, with Microsoft Word.

Here are the handouts. These are useful to have for students as they wait for class to start.

Here’s your desktop, click the Start Button:
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Open up Microsoft Word. You may have to find it by clicking on the start button. Then look under the menus of All Programs / Microsoft office / MS Word.

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MS Word opens up to its main interface. It should look like the following picture. Below is the 2003 version which is the familiar interface for most public terminals found at your local library.
MS Word

imageStart a new document by clicking on the menu File / New

On your far right, a task pane will open with options to select your template’s location. Click on the 2nd option, “On my computer…”

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Your available templates pop up:
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Click on the Other Documents tab then on Resume Wizard, and OK.
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When the Resume Wizard opens, click Next:
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You can click any style you want. But for this guide, we use Elegant. Click next when ready.


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Choose the type of resume to use. One way to do that is to choose the resume format that best highlights your experience, education, and skills. Let’s help you pick.

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The Chronological Resume

The most commonly used resume format is the chronological resume. On a chronological resume, your work history is listed by job title beginning with your current or most recent job.

The chronological resume works best for job seekers who:

  • want to showcase a steady employment history
  • are looking for a position that matches or logically progresses from previous jobs
  • are seeking a conventional position, such as an office clerk, accountant, or teacher

The Functional Resume

A less popular resume format among recruiters and hiring staff, the functional resume highlights your skills without revealing the dates associated with your job history. The functional resume minimizes specific job titles and eliminates dates of employment , while emphasizing your abilities and skills by placing them in functional skill categories.

The functional resume works well if you:

  • Have worked lots of different jobs or possess very diverse skills
  • Have skills that relate to the position, but not a lot of previous work experience in the field
  • Have gaps in employment history, are a recent graduate, or are changing careers
  • Are a mature worker who wants to de-emphasize your age
The Combination Resume.

You can combine the two previous types. The combination resume format combines the functional and chronological formats. It includes functional skill categories, but also lists the dates of previous employment.

This format works well for job seekers who:

  • may have obtained the required skills from seemingly unrelated industries or jobs
  • are trying to change careers and want to emphasize transferable skills
  • have had a steady work history

To learn more in greater detail, including examples, please visit the GCFLearnfree.org's resume types. To review, the most common is Chronological, highlighting steady employment history and if all your previous employment is related to the position being sought. Functional highlights your skills even if in unrelated job and for those with gaps in their employment history, recently graduated, or changing career directions. For most people’s use, the entry level is where you want to start. Once you choose, click Next.



So look now, we are half-way done with the wizard! Here, we fill in your contact information.
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What Contact Information Should You Include?

You probably already know that your contact information -- which includes your name, address, phone number, and email address -- should always appear at the top of your resume, regardless of which resume format you use.

But did you know that some employers actually use the contact information section to screen out undesirable candidates? They may pass you over if you live in another part of the country, to avoid paying relocation costs. Or they may form a negative opinion about you if your contact information is inappropriate in some way. A lot of hiring managers today will even use this information to search for you on popular social networking sites to see what is posted about you.

So what should you include to make sure your resume doesn't get eliminated?

INSTRUCTIONS: Roll over each highlighted component of the contact information section on the interactive resume below to explore tips for what to include or not include in your contact information.


  1. Your first and last name are expected to appear at the top of your resume. Enter your Name in place of [FirstName I. LastName], keeping the following in mind:

    • The middle initial is optional. Include it if that is how you are known in your field or if your name is fairly common and you want to distinguish yourself from other job candidates with the same name
    • You can use your given first name (Elizabeth, e.g.) or your shortened first name (Liz or Beth, e.g.)
    • Don't use a nickname, especially one that can lead someone to form an opinion about you. (Ace or Dizz, for example)
  2. You are also expected to include a home address on your resume. Type it in, by:

    • Entering your House number and street name in place of [#### Street Name], your city and your state abbreviation in place of [City, ST], and your five digit zip code in place of [ZipCode].
    • Consider using your complete state name if your state abbreviation is easily confused with another, like MO, MS, and MT
  3. Enter the digits of the phone number you have decided to use in place of [(###)###-####]. Your home, work, mobile/cell phone numbers are all acceptable to use. However, when thinking about which number to include, consider these things:

    • It is acceptable to include more than one telephone number.
    • Make sure you have a reliable (as well as appropriate and polite) message system or message taker if you cannot answer the phone yourself.
    • Make sure the number you include is one on which you can actually take calls as they come in. Your current work phone number is not a good choice if your employer does not allow personal calls, or if you don't want them to know you are looking for another job.
    • You will want to check your messages regularly during your job search, so make sure the number you include will be accessible to you.
  4. In this digital age, it is becoming increasingly expected that you include an email address on your resume. Not only does it show that you are tech savvy, it also gives the hiring manager a very easy way to get in touch with you. But make sure it is an appropriate email address before you enter it in place of [email@emailprovider.com]:

    • Use a conventional email address (firstname.lastname@email.com), not one with an inappropriate connotation (like bootyman24_7@email.com)
    • During your job search, you will need to check your email regularly so you don't miss an opportunity.
    • If you don't have an email account, there are many free online providers (like Yahoo! and Gmail) that you can access at your local library or internet cafe.
    If you don’t have an email address, click here to help setup an email address, send a message, and attach your resume and send a message. Click Next when you have completed entering your contact information.

Let’s choose which main headings we want in our resume:


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You can remove these later, but it’s easiest to add them now. Remember, you want to put your best foot forward, but you don’t want to have a 3+ page phone book for your future boss to read. Choose what’s relevant for the specific job you are applying for. Good practice: You can select more than less for now, and delete later to custom fit for each resume app. Next, you also have some optional headings.


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Anytime, during this wizard if you remember something you forgot to do, you can go backwards and add them; once you click Finish on the wizard, you’ll have to make changes manually. Don't worry -- we will walk through how to manually edit after the wizard does its magic!


If there’s information that is not included in the wizard, you can add it here. Try to make sure it will help you get the job you are looking for.
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Let’s take a look at our new file. Let’s save it before anything happens. Click File, then Save in a place you trust. Your desktop is fine for now, but use a USB thumb drive if you have one.

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You’ve got your resume! Now let’s add some flesh to these bones. First, go to Objectives and click on it to highlight it. image
Just for practice, type in “To get a job.” We’ll revise this part later.
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Next, let’s fill in your qualifications:
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To help keep the formatting and alignment, let’s see the Gridlines on the table. Click on the menu Table, then Show Gridlines. You can turn them off anytime just by doing the prior steps again.
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Now we can see the hidden lines that keep the page aligned and your resume impressive:


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Fill in your information by following the select-and-type method. After clicking on where you want to input your information, type over it and delete the unnecessary pre-format marks. Highlight the text you are editing. Repeat this for the rest of the form. Note to presenter: walk through these steps on the screen for all to see.

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Then type in your dates. Repeat for the next field, and so on: image
Do the same click-and-type method for the Company name:

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image Click-and-type. If you mess up, there’s the undo button at the top. It’s right next to the redo button. (It can remember multiple undo’s, but it can not undo an old history after a new course of action.)

Fill in your City:
imageimage image Fill in your degree:image image Look at how great things are going, in the following examples.image How do I add another school experience? Or How do I add a second or third job? First highlight the whole section you wish to copy, by click-and-drag the mouse over the whole section. Next, copy and paste. You can use the menus above or the right click to do the copy and paste function.image Fill the Fill the rest out accordingly. Save often!image Look at Look how awesome your whole page is!
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There's one more thing that needs to be fixed. See it? If you were a hiring agent, (maybe your new boss if you impressed her,) would you interview this person? Consider revising the Objective, perhaps like the following. It may take some soul searching, but your first impressions will be worth it. For example, take a look at the following link:




Then save it manually, often, because automatic-save can be trusted too much.


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Print out. Use thicker resume paper but nothing too fancy.
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Great, you’re done! Click here to help setup an email address, send a message, and attach your resume and send a message.

Now you have a resume page that represents you and helps your prospective bosses see if you fit their business. Turn your good resume into a great one, by visiting “How to Get that Job” with tips also on writing a cover letter and interviewing.

Now that you have a resume to turn in on hard copy, you can make a web presence for yourself quickly. Sign into Google Docs, then upload your saved file or create one from Google Docs templates. Then when ready, click on share and save that link to place in e-mails, web pages, blogs, anywhere you can. Because your special formatting is not easily kept, make sure it looks right using different screen sizes and different computers if possible.

9 comments:

indianist said...

Please someone tell me how to write a good resume. I am a fresher and have no experience before….

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free resume template said...

Wow you have shared amazing information about how to make resume with Microsoft word. This article is very useful for me because In my personal computer only Microsoft word is available. So now start to making my resume.

Lucy gray said...

I Love your articles guys keep it up.
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