Those who specialize in developing resumes are considered technical writers. Even though writing resumes doesn't involve explaining highly complex subjects, this task does require the writer to present information in a concise and easy-to-understand manner. As a freelance technical writer, resume writing is definitely an area you should consider. Because the job market is so competitive, many people are willing to pay top dollar for a well-constructed resume that presents their skills and experiences in the best possible light.

When you are developing a resume for somebody, there are a few different ways to present information. One popular format for resumes is the chronological format. This involves listing the individual's positions in such a way that the most recent is listed first and the first relevant position they held is listed last. Another common format for resumes is the functional format. Instead of describing each position the individual held, the work section of the resume is organized to highlight different skills. For example, if you are highlighting a person's sales skills, you might refer to three or four different positions to describe their relevant accomplishments in this area. To save time, it's a good idea to create or buy a resume template for each of the different formats.

Whether you decide to develop a functional or a chronological resume, you will usually include a career objective and a section that outlines the person's educational achievements. Depending on the individual and the type of career they plan to pursue, you might also include these sections:

  • Memberships in professional associations
  • Computer skills
  • Hobbies
  • Awards and honors

Developing winning resumes is an art, and it's one that must be developed over time. However, there are several unwritten rules regarding resumes that should always be observed:

  1. Keep it concise: Often, the most challenging part of developing a resume is trying to fit all of the crucial information onto a single page. This can be especially difficult if the person has an extensive work background and numerous accomplishments. Most sources recommend that resumes be only a single page, but many also say that a two-page resume is perfectly acceptable. Anything beyond that, however, is too long.
  2. Highlight achievements: When you're writing a resume for somebody, make sure potential employers will understand what they actually did in their past positions. Using action words like supervised, arranged, and created is recommended.
  3. Use bullets: A resume is no place for lengthy paragraphs. Instead, highlight the individual's most important qualifications and achievements using bulleted lists.
  4. Use a single font: Using several different types of fonts is distracting. Use just one, and bold any text you want to draw attention to.
  5. Don't confuse the prospective employer: Avoid using technical abbreviations or terms if it's likely the potential employer won't understand them. You may think these acronyms and terms sound impressive, but it's likely all they will do is confuse the person in charge of reviewing resumes and applications.

Last Updated: 05/05/2014