Develop your resume

Now that we have gone over cover letters and you have written a sample cover letter, let’s talk about resumes.

CVs and Resumes: What’s the Difference?

People talk about CVs and resumes interchangeably. Is there a difference?

In general a CV is a longer, detailed summary of your life’s work. A CV is more commonly used than a resume in some countries and in some fields. A CV typically includes detailed information about your educational background, your degrees, research experience, any awards or certifications you’ve received, any publications you’ve written and any presentations you’ve given.  

Your resume is more succinct. It will also include your education, work history, credentials, and other accomplishments and skills. But it is more directed at showcasing your skills while a CV is more about your detailed credentials.

Employers located in North America are likely to direct you to include a resume, while employers located in other regions may request a CV. Take your cue from the language in the job description to determine which is ideal for the job you are applying for. For this lesson we’re going to focus on developing your resume.

Resume Basics

The basics for your resume are as follows:

  • Choose a straightforward template, with clear headings. No need to get fancy.
  • Your resume should be no more than 1 page. If necessary you can go up to 3 pages, but this will not increase your chances of being noticed.
  • It should not be cluttered and the font should be easy to read.
  • Use a professional email address. Create a new one if you don’t already have one.
  • Do NOT include your picture, no matter how many templates you see including them. You have no idea who is reading your resume and what their biases are. You want them to assess you from as neutral a perspective as possible.
  • Do NOT include personal information, such as marital status, nationality, or religious affiliation. If you include this type of information, you run the risk of discrimination even if you are the best-qualified for the role you are applying for. Even if including this is standard practice in your own country, most remote employers for WordPress support are located in countries where including such details is not typical and not expected.
  • Save your resume as a pdf and name it with your name (resume-my-name.pdf). Most software that hiring managers use will not work will with other formats such as .docx.

Most resume templates will have the following sections:

  • Contact Information.
  • Professional Resume Summary:  a short paragraph at the beginning of a resume that highlights a job seeker’s professional skills and experience (you can skip the objective section that some sites recommend, it’s not very used anymore).
  • Work Experience: a list of names, dates, and a bulleted list of responsibilities — especially those that apply to the job you are applying for.
  • Skills: a list of your main skills, paying special attention to any skills specific to the job.
  • Education: a simple list of names, dates, locations.
  • Achievements: a list of things you have accomplished, especially if they don’t fall under job descriptions of the jobs on your list, for example: Raised $3,000 in sponsorship for local WordCamp.

Sample Resume

Let’s look at an example:

This first section includes the contact information and a brief summary of the applicant. See how they have kept it simple? A nice straightforward resume is a solid choice.

Next is a brief bulleted list of the relevant experience. You want to list the main tasks that you performed in your roles and also try and highlight anything that might be relevant to the role you are applying for.


In the education section you should list your university or any other post-secondary education, including certificate programs or online courses.

In the skills section you will list any relevant skills you have for the job. You can include any relevant certifications you might have earned (if you didn’t already list them under Education). Again, it’s best to keep this section relevant to the role you are applying for.

Assignment

Your assignment for this lesson is to write a blog post that details the information that you must include in a resume. Don’t get fancy. Just write lists with headings:

  • Your name and general location (city, state, country — you don’t need to include your street address or telephone number on a public web page, but you may want to include these details on the pdf version of your resume).
  • Your Professional Resume Summary (you can skip the objective section that some sites recommend, it’s not very used anymore.) You can find ideas for it here https://novoresume.com/career-blog/resume-summary
  • Work Experience: a list of names, dates, and a bulleted list of responsibilities. Especially those that apply to the job you are applying for.
  • Skills: a list of your main skills, paying special attention to any skills specific to the job.
  • Education: a simple list of names, dates, locations.
  • Achievements: a list of things you have accomplished especially if they don’t fall under job descriptions of the jobs on your list, for example: Raised $3,000 in sponsorship for local WordCamp.

Optional Assignment

If you don’t have a LinkedIn account yet, create one and use the work history you have created so far for your resume to fill out your profile. Some employers will request a link to your LinkedIn profile, so it will be helpful for you to be prepared for this.

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