Your resume is a deceptively complex document. It describes who you are, what you know, what you have done and, most importantly, what you can offer an employer. While the finished product looks like a simple, clean summary of your accomplishments, the process of writing it can be difficult. Don’t be deterred! A well-crafted and well-formatted resume will help you stand out from other applicants and is definitely worth the time and effort.

Your resume is a marketing document and should be focused on delivering a specific message about you to your target audience. In order to know what to include in your resume, you have to be able to answer the following question:

What do you want employers to learn about you when they read your resume?

Your resume cannot and should not try to tell everything there is to know about you. The only way to know what you should include or exclude is to identify the aspects of your education, experience, skills and characteristics that are relevant to your candidacy. These should comprise the core message of your resume, using strong action verbs. Once you know your core message, you can begin creating your resume. 

For more information about creating a curriculum vitae (CV), a type of resume used for academic-specific fields, click here.