Creating a professional resume is an important step when looking for a new job. With the right resume, you can make a great first impression and stand out from other applicants.
While resume writing can seem daunting, it’s actually quite straightforward with Microsoft Word. This versatile program offers user-friendly tools to help you build an effective, polished resume from start to finish.
In this guide, we’ll walk through a simple 12-step process to create a professional resume using Word.
Step 1: Pick a Resume Template
Start by opening Word and selecting “New from Template.” Under “Resumes and Cover Letters,” browse the various built-in resume templates.
Choose one that fits your industry and experience level. For example, recent graduates may benefit from an entry-level or internship template.
Step 2: Add Your Contact Information
At the very top of your resume, include your full name, phone number, email address, and city. You can format this as a heading or simple text.
This section gives hiring managers an easy way to reach you.
Step 3: Write a Resume Objective or Summary
Briefly explain your background, goals, and what assets you’ll bring to the company. Tailor this to each specific job listing.
Keep it short – about 3-4 lines or 2-3 sentences.
Step 4: List Your Work Experience
Under the “Work Experience” heading, detail your past jobs or internships in reverse chronological order.
For each position, include the company name, job title, employment dates, and 3-6 bullet points describing your responsibilities and achievements.
Step 5: Add Your Education
In the “Education” section, provide details on your academic background. For college and any degrees, list the school name, location, graduation year, degree earned, field of study, and GPA (if above a 3.0).
You can also mention academic honors, scholarships, or study abroad programs here.
Step 6: Include Your Skills
The “Skills” section highlights abilities that make you qualified and marketable. These can be technical skills, soft skills, computer skills, languages, or certifications.
Break this into 2-3 columns to save space and make it skimmable.
Step 7: List Additional Sections If Needed
If relevant, you may also add sections like “Volunteer Experience,” “Awards & Achievements,” or “Extracurriculars.”
Include details on any activities or honors that showcase desirable skills.
Step 8: Insert a Professional Headshot
Adding a professional headshot makes your resume more personal and memorable.
In Word, go to “Insert” then “Pictures” and select your photo file. Size it to 2×2 inches and place in the top right corner.
Step 9: Proofread for Errors
Carefully proofread each section of your resume to check for spelling mistakes, grammar errors, or formatting inconsistencies.
Read it slowly, word for word, and use Spell Check. Also, double check that dates and details are accurate.
Step 10: Refine Formatting
Go through your resume and use formatting to enhance readability. Here are some tips:
- Keep font size 10-12 pt and use a standard font like Arial or Times New Roman
- Increase headings to 14-16 pt font and bold them
- Align text to the left and dates to the right
- Add 0.5-1 inch margins on all sides
- Use bullet points to break up dense blocks of text
Step 11: Export as a PDF
To preserve your resume’s formatting when submitted online, save the final version as a PDF.
Go to “Save As” and under “Save as Type,” select “PDF (.pdf).”
Step 12: Print Multiple Copies
Print several copies of your completed resume on professional resume paper. This allows you to bring physical copies to job interviews and career fairs.
The 12 steps above outline a straight-forward approach to transforming your work history into an impressive, well-formatted resume using Word’s built-in features.
While every resume should be customized to highlight your personal experiences, these guidelines provide a framework to get started quickly.
With a professional Word resume that captures your background and strengths, you’ll make employers take notice and set yourself up for job search success!