What is a resume?




A resume should be a synopsis of your skills, experience and education.  It’s basically an advertisement for yourself, so present the information in a way that emphasises your best points.

For example, if your education is vast but your experience is choppy, present the education first.

If your education is dicey but your experience is jaw-dropping, present the experience in a way that the education won’t matter.  If your experience contains gaps or lacunae (the trip around the world, the time off to have children), present your skills first and avoid using dates.


Some interesting additions can be: personal qualities (they always want you to be good under pressure) and goals (these may change according to the position applied for).  Remember to emphasise your good communication skills.


There is so much help on the Internet that a template is not necessary here.


As an editor, you want to help your client put forward his or her best face.  This involves thoughtful attention and looking for:


  • mistakes in spelling or grammar
  • typos
  • uneven line spacing
  • appropriate font of an appropriate size
  • centring of name and address
  • appropriate use of bold or italics (not too much)
  • deciding on text or bullets
  • brevity (one page is good)
  • clean, clear presentation and formatting
  • repetition
  • best presentation of your client’s skills


For resumes, less is more.  Avoid the neon pink paper and floral font.  Keep it lean, elegant and business-like.


The cover letter should match in terms of formatting, paper and font.