Resumes 101: Learn How to Write Your Best Resume!

Resumes 101: Learn How to Write Your Best Resume

by Tyler Crass & Jason Muldoon

March 15, 2021

The Covid-19 pandemic has left no one untouched. We are proud to be part of the effort to help our community get back to work. As part of that effort we aim to help our community put their best foot forward on their resume. Your resume, after all, is a powerful tool that can land you an interview or cause you to be overlooked by a recruiter. Getting it right is crucial. We’ll walk you through some basic questions about resumes and we’ll each give our take on how to tackle it.

Q: What is the purpose of a resume?

Jason: This one is pretty easy! Your resume is your marketing tool to get a job and help you get the position you’re looking for. It’s best to think of it as a marketing piece, so talk about your successes, your accomplishments, and what you have done. The secondary purpose is actually a talking piece when you’re in an interview, so you want to be very clear with your resume. You also want to know everything that’s on it because they’ll look at your resume during the interview and ask you questions about what’s on it. So make sure you are familiar with what you put on it, and be able to talk about it.

Tyler: The purpose of the resume is to outline your skills and open the door for the job you want. Make sure you list your skills on your resume so the hiring manager has an idea of what you did. The resume is a catalyst to help you get the interview. Once you have a phone interview or an in person interview, you should be ready to discuss everything on your resume.

I would tell you that it all starts with the resume. Even if you have filled out an application, you still really need to have a resume. It can be as simple as if you had a Devanning position, then list that. And then add the details such as “I handled loose load boxes” and “I unloaded 36 cans a day.” Give details that demonstrate that you did a good job. We want to see evidence that you’ll be able to do the job.

Laptop on a desk with a resume on screen

Q: I have leadership experience from an online hobby. Can I list it on my resume?

Tyler: I would say that if you are going for a supervisory type role and you have experience with leadership in your community, like being a Cub Scout leader, or you’ve taken a leadership position on your HOA, or done something that has allowed you to practice leadership skills, you should always list that on your resume. But you should also be able to explain to your recruiter what you did. Explain the different tasks, for example did you coordinate activities, or facilitate conversation? Be able to explain what type of leadership you brought to the table during that time.

Jason: If you’re looking for a leadership position, and you don’t have a lot of experience on the job, then absolutely put it on your resume. Write it so you’re inviting a potential interviewer to ask about it. If you’re listing it, you must be comfortable talking about it, so use it to demonstrate your leadership experience. And then be ready to talk about how it translates to the working world.

Q: Does it matter what format I save my resume to?

Jason: I recommend to always have your resume in a Word format and send it in Word format, especially if you send it to a recruiter. Recruiters will often adjust your resume minutely to reflect the position you’re going after. They’ll take your resume and make a few alterations and then send it to hiring manager. If you send it as a PDF, or a format they can’t change, they won’t be able to make changes to tailor it to the job they’re submitting you for. And then the first thing they’ll ask you for is a resume in a Word document anyway. If you don’t have access to Word, most word processing formats will translate over to Word, so keep it in a word processing format, and your recruiter will be able to make it happen from there.

"A good recruiter will always tell you before changing something on your resume and they will always give you a copy"


Tyler: I can tell you that if you’re working with a recruiter, Word is the only way to go. I see people use Notebook, or PDF. I can tell you as a recruiter, once we get a resume we try to help you feather out the details and build up your resume, but we can’t do that with a PDF or rich text file. Word is the universal way to go.

With this in mind, a recruiter should always ask you before changing your resume and sending it off to a client. You don’t want to be blindsided in an interview with the hiring manager asking you about something on the resume that you didn’t know the recruiter changed. A good recruiter will always tell you before changing something on your resume and they will always give you a copy.

We hope this spurs more questions! Stay tuned, we’ll be answering more resume questions in our next blog post!

Check out our other blog posts for more useful tips and tricks!


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