How to Teach Students to Write a Resume

Writing a student resume isn't a very easy thing to do. It's like giving someone a pen and a piece of paper and telling them to list why they're so great. It's hard to write about yourself. So if you're teaching students to write a resume, you have to tell them to get that apprehension out of their heads. You must hammer into their heads that they are vying for a position against dozens, if not a hundred other applicants, and their resume is their chance to really stand out amongst all those other applicants. The first thing they must do is put themselves in the employer's position and do a little mental role-playing.

Tell the students to think of themselves as the employer. What would they want in a potential employee? No matter what the industry, or position, an employer is going to want some reliable, someone who has attention to detail, someone who's a team player, someone who has experience and someone who has an education. If your students have all of these things, they will be able to create a powerful resume that will definitely rise to the top of the heap. However, most students face a dilemma when it comes to writing an effective resume. The dilemma is that they have the education, but lack the experience in whatever field they've chosen.

It's frustrating when you have experience but no education and thus can't get the job you're applying for. On the flip side of that coin, it's equally frustrating when you have the education and no experience. Whatever your case, when teaching students to write a resume, you have to instill in them the importance of highlighting their strong points. Never give an employer a reason to doubt your ability to do the job correctly. If you don't have experience, don't list it; list your skills and education as your highlights. If you have experience, but no education, don't even mention your lack of education.

It might also be a good idea to instruct students, when teaching them to write resumes, to stay away from templates. Sure, they may help with the design of the resume, but if you use a template, your resume has the potential of looking like dozens of other resumes. Instead, tell your students to be creative, to create an outlay that's easy to read and highlights their skills, experience, education or whatever else they have to bring to the table. Make sure they proofread it; twice or three times if possible. Nothing will get a resume tossed into the trashcan faster than grammar, punctuation or other errors.

Cover Letters

Finally, when teaching students to write a resume, make sure they understand just how important a cover letter is. A cover letter is your chance to show how much you want the job, and it shows your personality. While the resume highlights your experience, education and other accomplishments, a cover letter allows you to speak personally to the employer, which is very effective in getting you a sit down interview. Hopefully, if you've done your job correctly, your students will be able to write a terrific resume and will get whatever job they're applying for.


Gail Esparan


2/18/2010 10:17:38 PM #


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2/19/2010 12:17:29 AM #


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