Guide to Designing a Resume with Microsoft Word®
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DESIGNING A RESUME
  • Below you will find two resumes by James Sistrunk. Both resumes contain the same details, but one uses a single-column format, the other a two-column format. Sistrunk's resume content appears in a slightly different format on page 130 of Pocket Guide to Technical Writing, Fourth Edition, by William S. Pfeiffer, Copyright 2004 by Prentice Hall, Inc. The two resumes below, however, have been redesigned to show you how to create a format for your own resume. Both resumes use boldfaced headings and subheadings to divide the resume into sections. Bullets emphasize key points within each section. A line border separates Sistrunk's name and address from the resume body to give the page more of a letterhead look. After each resume you will find instructions to design that format.
  • If you are a first-time user of Microsoft Word, please read Guide to Writing Paragraphs, Essays, Letters, and Memos with Microsoft Word® to learn the basic operations of using Microsoft Word®.
  • Once you understand the basics of using Microsoft Word®, also read Guide to Using Bullets, Numbering, Tab Stops, Headings, and Paragraph Styles in Microsoft Word®. This document will instruct you in how to insert bullets and headings into your resume.

FIGURE 1: Resume with Headings and Indented Text

James M. Sistrunk
1523 River Lane  ·  Worthville, OH 43804  ·  614-882-2731


PROFESSIONAL OBJECTIVE

To contribute to the research, design, and development of automotive computer control systems.

EDUCATION
B.S., Computer Engineering, 1996-present
Columbus College, Columbus, Ohio
  • Major concentration in Control Systems with minor in Industrial Engineering.
  • Courses included Microcomputer Systems, Digital Control Systems, and several different programming courses.

Computer Repair Technician Certification Training, 1996-97
U.S. Air Force Technical Training Center, Keesler Air Force Base, Biloxi, MS
  • General computer systems option with emphasis on mainframe computers.
  • Student leader in charge of processing and orientation for new students from basic training.

CAREER DEVELOPMENT
Computer Repair Technician (Secret Clearance), U.S. Air Force, 1996-99
  • Repaired computer systems and documented work accomplished
  • Conducted preventative maintenance inspections
  • Performed diagnostics and troubleshooting of equipment
  • Achieved "Excellent" score during skills evaluation
  • Awarded Air Force Specialty Code "5" skill level

Assistant Manager, Spring Farm, Wootan, Ohio, 1990-95
  • Managed all phases of dairy operations on this 500-acre farm.
  • Developed the technical skills to repair sophisticated farm equipment.

SPECIAL SKILLS
  • Macintosh desktop publishing
  • IBM - MS DOS
  • Assembly Language
  • C++ Programming

REFERENCES

Available on request


CREATING A SINGLE-COLUMN RESUME
  • The format in the resume above is an effective design if you have quite a bit of text but still want to leave spacing to make the text easy to read. Follow these steps:
    1. Open your word processing program, and when you see a blank page appear on the screen, click on File and then Save and then give your document a name and save it on your floppy disk or hard drive.
    2. First look to see the default paragraph font style and size. If you have just opened your word processing program, and you see Times New Roman and 12 for the font style and size, then those are your default settings. If you see some other font style and size, then click on Format on your menu bar and choose the 12 point Times New Roman. Be sure that you click on the Default button near the lower portion of the Format dialog box.
    3. Click on the Bold button and then the Center paragraph button. Both of these are located on the Formatting toolbar just above the space where you begin writing. Then click on the font size 12 on the Formatting toolbar. When the number it is highlighted in blue, type 14 to increase the font size for your name. Then type your name. Press the Enter key to begin a new paragraph, change the font size to 11 and type your address and telephone number on one line. You can type a comma after each part of the address, or you can insert a symbol as you see in the resume above. To do so,
      1. Click on Insert on the Menu bar and then when the menu drops down click on Symbol... on the menu.
      2. When the Symbol dialog box appears on your screen, click on the Font options box and scroll down to select the Wingdings style from the options.
      3. Choose a small dot or small square between each part of your address by clicking on Insert and then Close.
      After you have finished typing your address, press the Enter key twice and then change the font size back to 12, turn off the boldfacing (click on the Bold button), and change the paragraph alignment back to left align (click on the left align button).
    4. If you would like a line border separating your name and address from the body of your resume, use your mouse to click back on the address paragraph. Then click on Format on the menu bar and select Borders and Shading.... Choose the line style, either a single line, 1/ 1/2 points or a 1/2 point single line and then click on the underline paragraph button. Then click on the OK button. DO NOT PRESS YOUR ENTER KEY. Instead, click on the 2nd blank paragraph. This is the place where you will create a table for the body of your resume.
    5. Use the bold command to make headings boldfaced and all uppercase. Then press the Enter key one time after the heading and use the Increase Indent button to indent each paragraph under the heading.
    6. The Increase and Decrease Indent buttons are located near the right side of the Formatting toolbar on your desktop screen. When you move the left margin with the Increase Indent button, bulleted text will be indented, including the bullet. The word wrap feature will move the text to the second line of the same paragraph with a hanging indent under each bulleted paragraph. When you wish to begin a new section, press your Enter key twice so that there is more space before the heading than after it. Then you will press the Decrease Indent button to move the heading back to the original left margin.

FIGURE 2: Resume in a 2-Column Format

James M. Sistrunk
1523 River Lane  ·  Worthville, OH 43804  ·  614-882-2731


PROFESSIONAL
OBJECTIVE
To contribute to the research, design, and development of automotive computer control systems.
EDUCATION
B.S., Computer Engineering, 1996-present
Columbus College, Columbus, Ohio
  • Major concentration in Control Systems with minor in Industrial Engineering.
  • Courses included Microcomputer Systems, Digital Control Systems, and several different programming courses.
Computer Repair Technician Certification Training, 1996-97
U.S. Air Force Technical Training Center, Keesler Air Force Base, Biloxi, MS
  • General computer systems option with emphasis on mainframe computers.
  • Student leader in charge of processing and orientation for new students from basic training.
EXPERIENCE
Computer Repair Technician (Secret Clearance), U.S. Air Force, 1996-99
  • Repaired computer systems and documented work accomplished
  • Conducted preventative maintenance inspections
  • Performed diagnostics and troubleshooting of equipment
  • Achieved "Excellent" score during skills evaluation
  • Awarded Air Force Specialty Code "5" skill level
Assistant Manager, Spring Farm, Wootan, Ohio, 1990-95
  • Managed all phases of dairy operations on this 500-acre farm.
  • Developed the technical skills to repair sophisticated farm equipment.
SPECIAL SKILLS
  • Macintosh desktop publishing
  • IBM - MS DOS
  • Assembly Language
  • C++ Programming
REFERENCESAvailable on request

INSERTING A TABLE TO CREATE A RESUME
  • One advantage of using a table to create a resume of the type shown above is that you can use one style of font for the headings in column 1 and then use a different style font and bulleted lists in column 2. Another important feature is that you can use the word wrap feature of your word processing program to move the text of a bulleted list to a second line of a paragraph so that the text will align with a hanging indent under the bullet. This will give the text a well-aligned, easy-to-read appearance.
  • Follow the steps below to create a resume in a 2-column table.
    1. Open your word processing program, and when you see a blank page appear on the screen, click on File and then Save and then give your document a name and save it on your floppy disk or hard drive.
    2. First look to see the default paragraph font style and size. If you have just opened your word processing program, and you see Times New Roman and 12 for the font style and size, then those are your default settings. If you see some other font style and size, then click on Format on your menu bar and click on Font. Then choose the 12 point Times New Roman. Be sure that you click on the Default button near the lower portion of the Format dialog box.
    3. Click on the Bold button and then the Center paragraph button. Both of these are located on the Formatting toolbar just above the space where you begin writing. Then click on font size 12 on the Formatting toolbar. When the number is highlighted in blue, type 14 to increase the font size for your name. Then type your name. Press the Enter key to begin a new paragraph, change the font size to 11 and type your address and telephone number on one line. You can type a comma after each part of the address, or you can insert a symbol as you see in the resume above. To do so,
      1. Click on Insert on the Menu bar and then when the menu drops down click on Symbol... on the menu.
      2. When the Symbol dialog box appears on your screen, click on the Font options box and scroll down to select the Wingdings style from the options.
      3. Choose a small dot or small square between each part of your address by clicking on Insert and then Close.
      After you have finished typing your address, press the Enter key twice and then change the font size back to 12, turn off the boldfacing (click on the Bold button), and change the paragraph alignment back to left align (click on the left align button).
    4. If you would like a line border separating your name and address from the body of your resume, use your mouse to click back on the address paragraph. Then click on Format on the menu bar and select Borders and Shading.... Choose the line style, either a single line, 1/ 1/2 points or a 1/2 point single line and then click on the underline paragraph button. Then click on the OK button. DO NOT PRESS YOUR ENTER KEY. Instead, click on the 2nd blank paragraph. This is the place where you will create a table for the body of your resume.
    5. Click on Table and then Insert Table. When the dialog box appears in the middle of your screen, select 2 columns and then the number of rows that correspond to the number of sections and number of blank lines between paragraphs. In the sample resume above, Mr. Sistrunk uses 5 sections, with a blank line between, so he selected 9 rows, and then pressed the OK button.
    6. You will see a 2-column, 9-row table on your screen. The lines you see will not print; they are displayed to guide you as you enter text in the proper cell of the table. Follow these guidelines as you enter text:
      1. Use your mouse to click in the cell where you want to enter text. You should enter all of the resume headings in the first column before you enter other text, being sure that you skip a cell so that you will leave one blank line between each section of your resume. Leave your headings the same font size as the other text in your resume, but boldface them and use all caps so that they stand out from other boldfaced text in column 2.
      2. When you have completed entering all of your headings, turn off the boldfacing. Now you are ready to move the right margin of column 1. This will take a bit of practice, so if you make a mistake, just click on the Undo button (the left-turning arrow near the top center of your toolbar). Move your pointer very slowly over the right border of column one until the pointer, which usually looks like a small I-beam, becomes two small vertical parallel lines. When the pointer changes to this format, click your left mouse button and slowly drag the line to the left until you see the headings with two words occupy two lines without any of the words becoming hyphenated. Then be sure you click your Save button (or File/Save) to save all of the work you have done.
      3. Now you are ready to enter text in column 2. You should press your Enter key only when you have completed a paragraph. If you will notice in Sistrunk's resume, some lines are individual paragraphs, and others, especially those which are bulleted, wrap around to the second or third line. Be sure to use the word wrap feature so that your text is aligned evenly throughout your document.
      4. You can use bold, italic, or bullets by selecting the text in an individual cell. Then click on the bold, italic, or bullets button on the Formatting toolbar. If you want to indent the text under subheadings as you see in Mr. Strunk's resume, click on the paragraph to be indented. Then click on the Increase Indent button on your toolbar. (The Increase and Decrease Indent buttons are located near the right side of the Formatting toolbar on your desktop screen.) The Increase Indent feature will move your left margin to the right, and subsequent lines of that same paragraph will also be indented from the left. This is an especially important feature if you are bulleting a paragraph that will wrap to a second or third line.
      5. For more information on modifying and formatting tables when you are using Microsoft Word, click Help on the menu bar of Word and then click Answer Wizard. Then type table in the Request box, click the Search button, click the topic you wish to read, and then click the Display button and follow the instructions.

©Copyright 2006 by Rick Lewis
Sandhills Community College