The Bare Bones of a Basic Resume

I think everyone knows what a resume is, so I’m just going to pick at the weak points.

The Basic Bones

The Header:

  • Full Name, Designated Titles (MBA, PhD, whatever)
  • Telephone Number
  • Email Address (Get a GMAIL or regular email address. Please, nothing stupid like “
  • Title/Role you consider yourself to be (IT Consultant for example)

The Meat:

  • Summary of Skills and Certifications (Bullet points, 1 lines)
  • RELEVANT Employers, Your Position & 1-2 sentences describing what you did (Fast Food Joints, out. Working in totally different roles/industries, out.)
  • Include solid facts (I led a team of 50 employees)
  • Include real numbers (As a result, our margins increased by 5% resulting in a $150,000 increase in profits)
  • And include big client names if any (So-and-So company as a the Project Lead)
  • Be choosy. (No need to put ALL of the employers on there even if they are all relevant.)

The Footer:

  • Education (One-liner, please don’t detail that you were Lacrosse Captain and you like to ski while being on the Debate Team unless it’s relevant)
  • Technical Skills that are not as important but good to have/know that you have (e.g. Microsoft Project proficient)

Keep it Brief

Short and sweet, and throw in spelled out acronyms of your industry with the acronyms in a bracket after it because a lot of recruiters do a Ctrl + F Find function to search for keywords their client is looking for in a candidate.

Example: Personal Finance (PF)

The actual person doing the hiring is typically NOT the same person who is scanning and filtering all the resumes.

Keep it Professional

No need to get cute. It’s one of those things that COULD go over well with an employer or recruiter, and put you at the top of the pile… but sarcasm will usually get you landed on the bottom of the pile because your resume is your black and white, hard paper copy of you.

And if you get stuck with a recruiter with no sense of humour, you’re risking it.

Keep the format clean

Don’t get fancy with fonts, colours and pictures.

Font sizes should be at a minimum 12 point font, usually in Times New Roman so it’s easiest to read.

Comic Sans in bright neon yellow on white paper will surely get you thrown into the wastebasket. Stick to black and white, this isn’t a creative assignment, it’s your resume.

If they want to see creativity, they’re going to ask for it.

With that being said, I’ve also heard that more creative industries like advertising do appreciate the thought that you put into your snapshot of yourself. Some made scrapbooks with pictures of themselves or a DVD that you popped in to play.

But in the majority of industries, keep it boring and Plain Joe/Jane.

Keep the language plain and simple

Interacting with multi-logistical APT, BPT and XIO high-efficiency performance vehicles to ascertain the profitability of margins in..“I’m bored and confused already.

Stick to:

Analyzed profits using X software with these integration points


The person reading your resume is more than likely going to be a recruiter who doesn’t really know the industry in depth.

She or he, is just looking that you generally fit the profile, and to sort out the ones that don’t into the trash bin with a rejection letter saying: “Thanks but no thanks.”

Don’t irritate them.

That does it for me. And you?

About the Author

Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver. I cleared $60,000 in 18 months earning $65,000 gross/year. Now I am self-employed, and you can read more about my story here, or visit my other blog: The Everyday Minimalist.