Getting Started on Your Resume

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The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step…and when it comes to looking for a new job, that first step is developing your resume. Your recruiter can help you to fine tune your information, but first you will need a basic resume that outlines your background in a concise and readable format.  Here are some tips to get you started:

The Basics

  • Your font should be simple and easy to read – Arial, Calibri and Times New Roman are good choices. Font size should be between 10 – 12 points.
  • Your heading should have your name, your address and your contact information (phone and email). Include designations such as FCAS or FSA after your name.
  • If you have a strong LinkedIn profile, include it on your heading. Only include the link if your LinkedIn profile includes a picture, detailed experience, designations, etc.
  • Jobs should be listed in chronological order (most recent first).
  • Spelling, grammar, and formatting mistakes point to a lack of attention to detail. Your resume speaks to your writing skills, organizational skills, and communication skills.
  • Have a heading just for your technical skills. List training and certifications.
  • If you have more than one or two years of experience, don’t try to get all of your information on one page. Concentrate on the content, it’s normal for candidates to have a 2-page resume.
  • Proofread, and then proofread again. Ask a friend to proofread too.

Professional Summary

Crafting a short paragraph that highlights your skills and background is a great way to get immediate interest from a Hiring Manager. This should be a concise summary of the skills that are most relevant to the job you are interested in. Consider it a “snapshot” of your career. You will expand your qualifications in the experience portion of your resume.

Professional Experience

Most of your resume will be focused on your work experience. Use bullet points to highlight your experience and achievements.

  • When you can, use numbers – companies look for ways a candidate has brought value to previous employers. If you worked on a project that saved the company money, make sure to highlight that, and try to include dollar amounts or percentages when possible.
  • Be concise and specific when outlining your experience.
  • Call attention to important achievements
  • Use action words such as organized, executed, coordinated, planned, produced, presented.
  • Include skills such as leadership, flexibility, and teamwork.
  • Only list special interest or hobbies if they apply specifically to your industry or the position.


Starting the process of developing a compelling resume can be intimidating, but it is the first step in starting the journey to your next job. For more tips and guidance, contact us at DW Simpson, we are happy to help you through the resume and job search process!