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How to Make a Resume – Questions to Get You Started and What to Include

By Tonya Wells – Part of the resume service that I provide includes sending out several checklists and questionnaires such as the one below to candidates prior to assembling their resume. I can provide guidance for how to make a resume, but only the candidate knows what experience, accomplishment, and benefits he or she brings to another employer. So, this part MUST be completed by the candidate, whether they are utilizing a resume service or not.

These checklists and questionnaires will help give you a starting point when preparing a brand new resume or cleaning up an old one.


Free Resume Questionnaire to Help You Make Your Resume

Did you help to increase sales, productivity or efficiency?
– How? How much? Be specific in your answer.
– What was the percentage increase?
– How many dollars?
– What were the circumstances?
– What was your contribution? Specific dollars are the most convincing evidence you can offer. Use percentages only when revealing the actual dollars would be less attractive than the percentage.

Did you save your company money?
– What were the circumstances?
– How much did you actually save?
– What was the percentage of savings?
– Was your ability to save your company money greater than that of the person before you in your job?
– Of other people in your company?

Resume Builder Tips

Did you institute a new system or procedure in your company?
– Why?
– What was the situation that led to your instituting the change?
– Who approved of your change?
– Did your procedure or system compete with any others?
– Why was it selected over others?
– What happened as a result of the change in procedure that you initiated?
– Has your procedure been adopted elsewhere in the company? Where? In other divisions or departments?

Did you identify a problem that had been overlooked?
– What was the problem?
– What was the solution?
– Why was the solution overlooked? When you answer this question, you prove that you have the capacity to dig deeper than the next person.

Were you ever promoted?
– Why did your boss promote you?
– Was there one thing you did that your management though stood out?
– How long (or short) a period occurred between this and your previous promotion?
– How much more responsibility did you have in your last job than the previous one?
– How many more people reported to you in your last job than the previous one? If you have been promoted several times by several different companies, it is substantive evidence that you have potential for growth. Your prospective boss wants and needs to know this fact.

Did you train anyone?
– Did you develop a training technique?
– What was this technique?
– How long was the training time by your technique as compared to the old one?
– What happened as a result of your training technique?
– Is your training technique being used by others in the company? Employers are always on the lookout for people who know how to train someone to succeed them. If you’re one of them, let it be known!

Did you suggest any new programs for your company that were put into effect?
– What were they?
– Why do you think they were adopted?
– Did they result in extra sales to your company?
– Did you represent your company at any industry-wide symposium at which your suggestions or programs were presented?
– Have your ideas for programs been published in any industry magazines or journals?

Did you help to establish any new goals or objectives for your company?
– Did you arrive at these goals by any new or unusual thought process?
– Did you convince management it should adopt the goals you established?

Did you change, in any way, the nature of your job?
– Why did you redefine your position?
– How did you redefine it?
– Have other persons in jobs similar to your own had their positions refined per your definition?
– Have there been any significant responsibility changes as a result of your redefining your job?

How to Make a Resume

Did you ever undertake an assignment or project that wasn’t part of your job just because you were intrigued with the problem?
– If you have, you are the sort of person who is totally involved with his/her work. Any such project you undertake is proof of your interest in increasing profits. Prospective employers will be interested in this kind of dedication, particularly if this extra assignment led to significant results for your company.

What would you say would be the most important qualities of the “ideal candidate” for the position you seek?
– Put yourself in the shoes of your prospective boss when you answer this question. Decide on the half-dozen important characteristics you would look for in a candidate if you were in a hiring position. Which of these characteristics do you possess as part of your own experience? Look for examples that would prove you had each of them, and write them down. These illustrations will do a better job of convincing your prospective employers you have what they are looking for than any “claims” you make for yourself in your resume or interview.

What education have you completed?
– What degrees do you hold?
– In what did you major?

How many years of experience do you have for each type of accomplishment listed?

List out any awards, patents, licenses, special seminars, and any unique life experiences that are relevant to the job you seek. Leave out anything that doesn’t correlate directly with your job.

List a chronology of your work history. Include every position you’ve held (up to this point).

List out any promotions you’ve received.

Assign the significant accomplishments you listed at the first of this questionnaire to the work history. Some things may repeat, and that’s okay. List them all. This is not the time to be shy. The accomplishments should be very specific and contain qualitative measures. Try to identify a minimum of 25 accomplishments in total.

Identify which of these accomplishments can be used for a new employer.

List ways that your skill sets can benefit a new employer (this will go in your cover letter/CV/curriculum vitae).

What are the most compelling reasons for a new employer to want to hire you over someone else? Include these reasons in your cover letter.

Final Tips

Resumes result in rejection more than they result in interviews. Because of this, getting your resume in the best shape possible prior to sending any versions of it out to a potential employer is critical. That’s why it is so important to learn how to make a resume the correct way.

How to Make a Resume

All good resumes should contain 3 essential elements – Facts, Accomplishments, and Benefits that you can bring to the potential employer.

Once you have completed the steps outlined above, it is time to get your resume formatted properly so that it looks polished, has the main ideas you want the employer to see ‘above the fold’ (meaning, what they see on their computer screen before they have to page down), and has a very polished CV/cover letter to go with it.

You can either complete these next steps on your own, or contact me at careers@allyresourcegroup.com to discuss how I can assist you in getting the final touches put on your resume for you.

About TonyaWells

My name is Tonya Wells, and I am the founder of Ally Resource Group, a 100% Woman-Owned Executive Search Firm and founder and writer for one of the most popular job blogs on the internet, BlogAboutJobs. I am an AIRS ECRE (Elite Certified Recruiting Expert), ACIR (Advanced Certified Internet Recruiter), CIR (Certified Internet Recruiter), PRC (Professional Recruiter Certification), CDR (Certified Diversity Recruiter), and CSSR (Certified Social Sourcing Recruiter) Certified Recruiter. AIRS is the gold standard for recruiting certification in the staffing and recruiting industry. I have 18+ years of sales and recruiting experience in a variety of industries. My firm provides retained searches, career coaching, and resume critiques/makeovers. I work with my clients to understand their organization’s pain, and goals to find talent, particularly passive candidates. As a career advisor, I work with job hunters to assist with interview preparation, find new and more satisfying career paths, and I work with VC start-ups and entrepreneurs to assist them with developing and executing their business strategy.I am also an author of several job-related Ebooks, and run several blog sites, including BlogAboutJobs. I also do guest writing for other people’s blog sites and for industry sites, and I do reviews of other people’s products and services and write about them on my blog site. If you’d like for me to write a review about one of your products or services, please connect with me, and let me know what your main objective is with having me write a review for you so that I can make sure to cover everything you’d like to have covered in the blog post.Please message me at tonya.wells@allyresourcegroup.com if you need assistance finding employees, with critiquing or doing a makeover of your resume or if you need career coaching because you are changing careers, looking for job advice with things such as salary or commission negotiations or promotions, or need help with a career search.

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