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How to Write a 10-Minute Resume

By Taya L. Cline for LIFELines

Most of us are at a loss as to what to put on a résumé. Following these basic ideas and rules, you can complete a basic résumé in 10 minutes or less.

Gather Information
Get together a list of your educational experiences, past training and development, work history, and pertinent personal information.

You might not want to include personal references, but line them up before sending out your résumé. Chose people who have known you for at least one year and can give testimony as to your working habits, credentials, education, or volunteer work. As a general rule of thumb, don't include relatives as personal references. On a separate sheet of paper with your name and contact information on the top (the same as your résumé), list personal references and their contact information.

Ask your references for their permission to list them and let them know you are sending out résumés. (Hey Jane … just wanted to let you know I'll be sending out résumés this week, so you might receive a few phone calls.)

Now that you have all the information you need, make sure you have a reliable typewriter, computer, or word processor and clean paper.

There are several styles of résumés to choose from. has examples of great résumés. If you are applying for a variety of jobs, use a generic style résumé. If you apply for a specific position later, this generic style will help you lay the foundation for a more formal résumé.

Generic Résumé
A generic résumé starts with your name and contact information (address, phone, and e-mail) at the top. Your name should be in bold or in a type different from the rest of your résumé. This will help the interviewer file and pull your résumé at a later date. Next, list your education, starting with high school. Always list your completion date and degree or certificate obtained. List education specific to your skills (i.e., high school, junior college, university, or special training). After listing your education, put your work experience, complete with contact information for previous employers and dates of employment. At the bottom of your résumé, type a sentence stating that you will provide references upon request.

For more tips on job searching, read other articles on LIFELines under Transition Services.

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