How to Write a Resume - A Resume Centre Guide

Here we discuss the basics of how to write a resume. Please also see our article on writing the perfect resume! We also provide example resumes.

Resume writing is a controversial subject - part art, part science. If you ask any two people their idea of the perfect resume, you are likely to get two different and rather subjective responses. However, there are a number of 'do's, 'don't's and common pitfalls, which most personnel professionals would agree on. If you bear these in mind when preparing your resume, you stand a much better chance of surviving the 'resume cull'!


Far too long. This is probably the principal mistake people make when preparing their own resumes. We keep resumes brief and cut out the waffle - 2 pages is generally a maximum, and for those with little experience 1 page generally makes more sense. We also use other techniques such as bullet pointing - these help make your resume easier to read; they help make it punchy.


We eliminate what a prospective employer would see as unnecessary detail, e.g. we only list years, not months (this also helps to cover up chronological gaps). We look at each piece of information which could be included in your resume and think, 'Does this help your case?' If it doesn't then we leave it out.


We concentrate on your recent history and summarize older information. Employers are most interested in what you've done most recently, although they obviously still need to know the basics of older information.

Interests & Activities

A common mistake is to write far too much in this section. We recommend keeping it to a minimum.

Key Skills

The inclusion of a 'Key Skills' section in a resume is progressively less popular these days. It is now considered better to spread evidence of key skills and abilities throughout your employment history. Specific points should be addressed in the cover letter, a vitally important part of any application.


Details of referees shouldn't be included on your resume. They clutter it up and, more importantly, you will find that your referees get pestered unnecessarily by time-wasters. By the time they have handled their tenth inquiry of the day, they are a lot less likely to give a helpful response.

Resume Builder

If you’d like to try writing your own resume then we do provide a completely free Resume Builder. We recognize that not everyone will be able to take advantage of our professional resume writing service and so we’ve created an easy-to-use solution which will ask you for the information necessary to produce your resume and then build a resume for you in both Word and PDF formats, giving you the option either to have it emailed to you or to download it.

Please click here to see our free Resume Builder.

Professional Preparation

At the end of the day, this is definitely the most sensible option; there really is no substitute for taking advantage of in-depth professional experience. Please click here to find out how The Resume Centre can help you boost your career.

A resume is often all a prospective employer has to judge you on, so creating the right first impression is absolutely vital. Whether you've set your sights on changing jobs, winning promotion, or simply regaining employment, with our evident expertise in this field we are confident that our assistance will maximize your chances of getting the job you deserve.