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Resume Writing 101: Guidelines For Completing, Revising and Using Your Resume

By Louise Tincher

July 11, 2003

--For one-on-one help writing your resume, contact Louise at jtarpoff@tarpoff.com. For $40/page either she or others by request can help you develop and write a more effective resume.




Organization and Content


Full Name and Address


110 Main Street

Somewherein, Ohio 45200

513- 000-0000




Unfocused Objectives

Focused Objectives

Challenging position that uses my skills and experience.

Engineering job with potential for growth.

Mechanical project engineering position.

Aeronautical engineering management position.

Senior software developer, Cincinnati area.



Business Skills

Technical Skills


Budget Development

Risk Analysis

ISO 9000 Implementation

Finite Element Analysis

3D Design and Modeling

Network Design / Implementation

AutoCAD 2000

SolidWorks (500 hrs)

Oracle (3 yrs)


Experience / Work History

Project Engineer, contract

Tarpoff Moore, Lebanon, OH                                    January 2001 – present

§         Installed mechanical and electrical equipment for new process system

§         Optimized layout for customer facility

§         Researched required permits, standards, and requirements



Six Sigma Blackbelt, 2000

Master of Business Administration, University of Cincinnati, 1995

MS (nearly) in Computer Science, Wright State University, completed coursework 1990

BS in Mechanical Engineering, Purdue, 1980, graduated on Dean’s List





Layout and Design

Desktop publishing and electronic distribution have changed employer’s expectations for a professional resume. Use design elements to create a user-friendly document. Keep your resume style classic but up to date.



Trendy Fonts

Classic Fonts

Monotype Corsiva font is too trendy for a resume.

Some fonts, like Impact, may be difficult to view and print.

Serif fonts like Courier are the most common and easier to read in print.

San serif fonts like Arial squeeze more text on a page and are easier to read on screen.


Font Styles

Fonts That Are Too Small

Fonts That Are The Right Size

Many 9 point fonts are hard to read.

8 point fonts are really too small.

12 point fonts are easy on the eyes.

10 point fonts squeeze more text on a page.



To create a hidden table in Microsoft Word

    1. Highlight the table.
    2. Pull down the Format Menu.
    3. Choose Borders and Shading.
    4. Change the setting to None.
    5. Choose OK.





Mechanics of Writing

Write for screeners (automated or human) who are not familiar with your profession, and managers who scan dozens of resumes at a time.


Keyword Usage

Unclear Acronym

Clear Acronym




Failure Mode Effects Analysis (FMEA)

American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)

Microsoft Certified Network Engineer (MCNE)


Engage Your Readers With Strong Clear Writing

Weak Sentence

Strong Sentences

Development life cycle having been significantly impacted by major process improvements.

Shortened development time.

Improved processes.


Review And Revise Your Resume Early And Often



Your resume should pique the employer’s interest, leading them to schedule an interview.



You will need more than one version of your resume.


The “Kitchen Sink” Resume:


The “Swiss Army Knife” Resume:


“One Shot” Resumes:


Special Considerations


Using Your Resume

Keep an updated copy of your resume on hand at all times and hand it out freely:

About the author:

Ms. Tincher graduated with a BA in History from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio and works currently as a documentation specialist. Over the years, she has held various marketing positions within the computer, defense, and employment industries.